October 23, 2014

Panthers fall to Braves in NEMC play

By Brent Baker|Special to the Independent
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STANDISH — Tawas Area kept alive its hopes at making a late-season NEMC title run Friday with a 68-62 victory at Standish-Sterling that realistically ended the Panthers' championship hopes.

The Braves, who host league-leading Pinconning next Friday, stayed within two games of the Spartans by avenging an early-season home loss to SSC.

A career-high 35 points from Jesse Siwek and a 7-of-7 shooting night from Gary Sisk were two of the driving forces behind the Tawas victory.

Siwek shot 14-of-27 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free throw line, scoring at least seven points in each quarter.

"Siwek played an amazing game," said SSC coach Tom Murray. "He just did us in.

"We were up at halftime, but we just couldn't handle him."

The Panthers led 19-17 after the first eight minutes as Kevin Reeves hit a pair of 3-pointers and Mark Lorence had seven his team-high 20 points. SSC was up 36-32 at the half, with Siwek scoring 13 of the Braves' 15 points in the second quarter.

Tawas took control of the game with a 20-11 third quarter. On top of Siwek's continuing efforts, D.J. Decker added 10 of his 16 points in the third quarter.

SSC hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, but never recaptured the lead. Tawas, in a departure from recent seasons, won without hitting a single trey, and took just one shot from outside the arc.

Tawas (6-3, 3-2 NEMC) trails Pinny by two games and still has both contests to play against the Spartans, including the first one at home on Friday, Feb. 5.

SSC (6-4, 2-3) had Reeves finish with 13 points and Cole Walderzak with 12.

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