ZWOLLE—The Doyline Panthers were eliminated from the LHSAA Class B basketball playoffs Friday night after a 86-63 loss to topped ranked Zwolle.
"I thought the game was actually close than the score indicated," Doyline head coach Michael Normand said. "I thought we played hard and with a lot of energy. Quite frankly, I was proud of my kids at the end of the game."
Zwolle doubled up Doyline 22-11 in the first quarter and then improved their lead to 49-21 at the half.
"We actually led after the first four or five minutes of the game," Normand said. "And then the adrenaline wore off and Zwolle made a run at the end of the first and through the second."
Normand made some adjustments in the locker room, and the Panthers fought back in the third quarter, out-scoring the Hawks 20-13 and then played close in the fourth (24-22) to make the final 86-63.
"After halftime, we turned around and started to press them," Normand said. "I don't think Zwolle gets pressed very often. We regained our composure and made sure Zwolle knew they had a game on their hands."
The Panthers (15-15) were led in scoring by Deotis Germany with 14 points and Cardarius Thompson with 13. Lawrence Hester scored 12 and Nate Hall and Brandon Hampton each scored eight.
Normand said this is just the beginning for this team.
"We're looking forward to next year," he said. "We're a young team and hopefully in the next year or two we can build Doyline back to where it's supposed to be. That's our goal."