KETTERING — Brian Bales’ young Springboro team is a year away from competing well against the style of teams that get invited to the Beacon Orthopaedics Flyin’ To The Hoop.
On Monday, the final day of the 20th edition of the annual event, the Panthers ran head-first into Lima Senior. The Spartans dominated from the start in a 64-29 victory that reached running-clock stage with 55 seconds left.
“That’s a tough matchup for us,” Bales said. “Their physicality, the way they defend and turned us over early. We just never could get into anything we wanted to.”
The Panthers (6-8) trailed 33-9 at halftime and Will Yates led them in scoring with seven points.
The margin of defeat didn’t bother Bales as much as how it happened.
“All I wanted to do is come in and compete,” he said. “I’m not sure we did that the whole game, and it got ugly quick.”
The Panthers are young, starting sophomores Jerome White and Carson Gutman, juniors Yates and Max Butler and senior Chase Grevey. They are missing sophomore R.J. Greer, their best scorer and prospect with offers from Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Cincinnati.
Greer, who missed eight games last year and averaged 15 points, played the first four games this season before an ongoing foot problem ended his season. He had surgery about a month ago, and Bales said he should be back playing by June.
“We’d love to have him,” Bales said.
Lima Senior (6-4) did to the Panthers only what Centerville had done to them recently in a 90-43 loss. Otherwise, the Panthers had won three straight and four of five to recover from a 2-6 start. They defeated Troy 59-56, Miamisburg 64-45, Lebanon 83-56 and Beavercreek 68-58. They lost their first meeting to Beavercreek 58-49.
“The last four or five games I thought we played really well,” Bales said. “And today just wasn’t a good day for us.”
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