On Jan 21, the Stuart Pepper Middle School eighth grade basketball team hosted the Elizabethtown Middle School Panthers. Both teams came into the game sporting undefeated records, so it was inevitable that one was going to take their first loss. SPMS found some early difficulty in trying to get around the E-Town defense, but were still able to get out in front with some quick put backs from under the basket. E-Town quickly figured out how to get through SPMS tough man-to-man defense and which allowed them to tie the game at the end of the first period. The remainder of the first half was a battle of the defenses, but SPMS found ways to get the ball up the court to score outpacing E-Town to grab a four-point lead at the half.
SPMS came out of halftime using the same game plan they did in the first half, move the ball with purpose until they had the open man for the clear shot. This strategy continued to work through the third with SPMS still leading at the end of the third by two-points. In the fourth, E-Town came on strong with an extremely aggressive defense that forced SPMS to make passing errors that they capitalized on by closing the gap and finally tying the game with just three-minutes left in the game. After a quick timeout, Meade began to look for open players on the perimeter rather than try and drive the ball to the basket, this strategy worked when Meade hit a pair of three-pointers to take a four-point lead with just a minute remaining in the game. After taking the lead, Meade’s defense kept E-Town from mounting any comeback, and when they had the ball, they slowed the game down to bring home their fourth straight win, and stay undefeated on the season.