LUTZ- The thrill of senior night was not enough as the Steinbrenner Warriors (3-17) fell to the Plant Panthers (10-10), 81-60 in their final regular season home game.
“Tonight was all about our seniors,” said head coach Reggie Anderson. “They put in the time and the effort day in and day out and to lose tonight is a tough loss for not only our seniors, but the team as whole.”
The Warriors lacked an offensive presence early on which let Plant get a comfortable 19-1 lead midway through the first quarter. After a poor first quarter from the Warriors, they got a spark in the second quarter from Freshman guard Christian Schach who led the team with 16 points and shot 4-7 from the three point line. Strong performances also came from forwards Justin Keller and Craig hall who tallied a combined 22 points. Hall also added eight rebounds and six blocks on the night. Although the Warriors found the scoring touch in the second quarter, they still found themselves down 49-29 at the half.
“Many players had to step up off the bench tonight and these players did which gave the team confidence at home and it leads to a better outlook on the coming games,” said Anderson.
Although the Warriors had a strong second half performance outscoring Plant in the third quarter, the Panthers would not slow down and respond to every attempt the Warriors had at a comeback. The closest the Warriors came to a comeback was the middle of the fourth quarter when the Warriors were only down 65-52 and went on a 9-2 run. Eventually the aggressiveness of the Warriors backfired as it led to multiple turnovers and bad transitions giving many quality chances for the Panthers. In the end, the quickness of Plant led to the eventual downfall of Steinbrenner’s comeback that made the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter.
“We now need to focus on being the best team we can become February,” said Anderson. “We play a couple of very good, non district, opponents that will prepare us for districts so we can attempt to make a run come February.”
The Warriors will try to bounce back from this loss against Newsome on Monday January 26.
Written by Dillon Schmidt/Staff Writer