The Pflugerville Panthers came into the Lions Den tonight, making the 90 minute drive sown I-35 to take on Converse Judson. It’s always a great game to watch as they are truly contrasting in their styles.
Let’s start with the coaches who were old college team mates with the Texas Longhorns back in the day. In 10 years I’ve really only seen Pflugerville’s Mike Murphy be anything but mild mannered more than a handful of times. The Gentle Giant let’s his kids play a fast paced, uptempo style. Of course it doesn’t hurt that year after year he has the athletes to go to the well with. On the other hand, Judson’s Mike Wacker (who prior to tearing up his knee was a sure fire NBA lotto pick) is the picture of intensity. A super polite guy away from the gym, as soon as the whistle blows he hits the switch and he’s as intense as they come. His kids will go through a wall for him and are some of the State’s most disciplined, year in and year out.
Deon Mitchell, sporting his new Mohawk & tats, but an arrow through Judson’s heart with 29 pts
The game started slowly and with 3 minutes left in the 1st quarter, the score was tied at 3-3! Their was a lid on the basket at both ends of the court as both teasm were conservative and felt each other out. The quarter ended at 11-7 in favor of Judson. Judson’s strategy was to double Mitchell most everytime he touche3d the ball and to make someone else beat them. The big difference between Pflugerville and Clark though was the quickness of their defensive rotations. When Judson reversed the ball, Pflugerville players used their athleticism to cause turnovers. I counted 12 steals by the Panthers, many of them leading to layups at the other end. Pflugerville grabbed the lead 30-23 at the half.
Judson’s Cameron Griffin gave his regular top shelf performance with 14 points & 7 rebounds.
It never got closer than 6 points in the 2nd half. Even without Jamal Shabazz who only played a couple of minutes because of a fractured finger, the Panthers dominated the boards. Cameron Blue was The Truth as he had 16 points, 14 rebounds & 4 blocked shots. The strategy of doubling Deon Mitchell faded in it’s effectiveness as the game wore on. The Northern Iowa signee ended up with 29 points & 5 rebounds. Mitchell went 11-13 from the free throw line in closing out the game as Judson kept valiantly fighting back.
Karl Wacker led Judosn with 16 points, most of them coming late in the game. Cameron Griffin 14 points & 7 boards for the Rockets while Trent Matthews had 11 points & 5 boards. These two teams can very likely meet again, probably in the 3rd round of the playoffs. It has been that way for years now.
NOTES: It was a pretty good day for Pflugerville’s Mike Murphy as in addition his son, Lance Murphy ( a Texas D1 Ambassadors alum) was named the Player of the Week in the American Southwest Conference. Murph averaged 20 points & 7 rebounds in two conference wins. He went off for a career high 25 vs. Howard Payne.