Behind one of their best defensive performances in recent history, the Washington Panthers boys basketball team defeated Dunlap 46-18 at Dunlap Friday night.
Washington held the Eagles to just five points in the first half.
Devin Whitelow set the pace early for the Panthers. In the opening quarter, he shot 5-for-6 from the field, including 3-for-3 from three point land for a total of 13 points of his game-high 24 points.
Behind Whitelow, Washington led 15-4 after the first quarter.
Washington’s hard-nosed man-to-man defense was the stalwart in the second frame, holding Dunlap to just one point to extend its lead to 24-5 at halftime.
“We shut Dunlap down (offensively) early and they didn’t get shots they usually get,” Whitelow said. “We just lock in, we go detail to detail and we stick to our game plan and we just go out there and focus on the task at hand.”
“We had incredible intensity defensively,” Washington coach Kevin Brown said. “I thought we had a great combination of very hard and very high IQ on defense.”
Washington kept up the pressure into the second half, using a 13-4 third quarter to push their lead to 37-9.
Whitelow added six more points in the third, including a three pointer.
Dunlap was able to fight back, even if it was too late, in the fourth quarter. The Eagles matched Washington in the last frame, with nine points for both teams.
Whitelow was a perfect 4-for-4 from behind the arc in the game, a feat that he attributes to his teammates.
“My teammates did a really good job of getting me in spots where I could score,” Whitelow said. “I felt good out there tonight and I just had to do my part and get the ball to go in.”
Whitelow, who is notorious for scoring at will in the paint off of the dribble, has put a lot of effort to creating an outside shot.
“The movement in the offense was great tonight,” Brown said. “(Devin) did a great job of getting into the paint with the ball. That helped him get his shot outside and he has put in a lot of work into his outside shot and that was big for us tonight.”
Including Whitelow, seven Panthers scored in the contest.
Panthers sophomore Payton Havens contributed seven points in the win, while also running point guard for most of the contest.
“With everyday that we look at Devin’s improvement, it is also Payton Haven’s improvement,” Brown said. “The more the ball can be in Payton’s hands and the more we can get Devin coming off screens is something we have been really working on.”
In defeat for the Eagles, only four players were able to score. Brody Adreon led the way for Dunlap with 11 points.