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Panther basketball manager Robert Pedigo hoists the trophy high, and the team celebrates after winning the Batesville Invitational.

It doesn’t seem like it was very long ago that the Panthers ended their pre-Christmas stint of their 2021-22 season with a 19 point loss at Seymour. However, the Panthers spent 11 days working hard and preparing for the 2021 Batesville Invitational.

Last Thursday, the Panthers began their day with a noon game against North Harrison High School. The Cougars had only lost once in their season leading up to the matchup with Jennings County. The Panthers were able to give North Harrison their second loss of the season, 41-40.

“The game was physical,” noted head coach Josh Land. “Our game plan was good, and Owen Law did a really good job defending their best player. Our kids thought we were going to win the whole time.”

While the game was tight throughout the stretch of the game, Panther fans in attendance were on the edge of their seat late in the game, as Jennings County help possession of the ball for the final two minutes of play while tied at 40. A foul with only 0.5 seconds left in the game sent Carson McNulty to the line, where he hit the winning shot.

Leading the way for the Panthers was senior Jacob Vogel, scoring 15 points. Others in the box score were Keegan Manowitz (9), McNulty (9), Owen Law (6), and Justin Ramey (2). Vogel also added nine rebounds, and Manowitz had three assists.

Jennings County had quite the long break before taking on host Batesville in a 6:00 p.m. showdown. The Bulldogs were no match for the Panthers however, as Jennings County won 76-53.

Coming off the bench and making a huge impact for the Panthers was junior Lane Zohrlaut, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds.

“He was outstanding. We got Jacob some rest in the second half of a physical game. Zohrlaut creates a lot for himself. I was glad to see him make the most of his minutes,” noted Coach Land.

Zohrlaut wasn’t the only member of the Panther bench that contributed big numbers for the Panthers in the game, as freshman Carter Kent hung 17 points and two assists in the stat book.

“Carter hit several threes and did a great job handling the basketball. He had really good minutes off the bench,” noted Coach Land.

Other Panthers scoring were Law (15), Vogel (9), McNulty (5), Cole Sigler (4), Manowitz (2), Cole Marksberry (2), and Matt Hines (2).

After the game, four members of the Panther team have came within 10 points of being the first to hit 100 total points this season. Seniors Jacob Vogel and Carson McNulty are both at 90 points, while Keegan Manowitz is at 92, and Owen Law is currently only 6 points away from the milestone. With averages being taken into place, it is a good bet that one of them will hit this mark on Friday.

The Panthers are back at home on Friday against a very strong, top ten ranked Brownstown Central team. Brownstown will travel to Jennings County boasting an 8-1 record, with their only loss coming to the #2 team in Class 2A. The Panthers share wins against North Harrison and Madison with the Braves, however, BC scored a win over Seymour, a feat that the Panthers can not claim.

The Panthers will travel north to Center Grove on Saturday night. Jennings County shares no common opponents with the 5-3 Trojans.

The JV matchups for both Friday and Saturday night will start at 6:00 p.m. with the varsity matchup taking place directly after at approximately 7:30 p.m. You can catch both games on 97.7 Jennings County KORN.