Parkway junior Cory Walls goes up for a lay up Friday night. The Panther thumped the Tigers 73-32 in the season opener. (DHI Media/ Pat Agler)
Parkway junior Cory Walls goes up for a lay up Friday night. The Panther thumped the Tigers 73-32 in the season opener. (DHI Media/ Pat Agler)
ROCKFORD — The Panthers dominated on opening night, as they welcomed and thumped the Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers 73-32 Friday.

“I thought we did exactly what I talked about since day one,” said Parkway’s head coach Doug Hughes. “I thought we shared the ball extremely well. We had multiple guys step up, if there was an open teammate we got him the basketball. As you saw tonight, we can score from a lot of different positions, a lot of different spots, a lot of different guys can do the job.”

The Panthers welcomed back four starters from their team a year ago and six key players. That chemistry of playing together didn’t wear off, as even though it was just the first game of the season the Panthers took it in stride. Five separate players reached double digits including Caleb Kinney, Dylan Hughes, Corey Walls, Mason Baxter and Caden Slusher.

From tip-off Parkway was in the driver seat, attacking the rim and defending tenaciously to hop out to a 20-5 lead after the first quarter. Waynesfield-Goshen could set up in man-to-man or zone and the would result still end in Parkway getting a shot near the rim.

For the Tigers offensively they couldn’t get anything going unless Layton Campbell had the ball. Campbell scored 21 of his team’s 32 points on the night. Until the final five minutes only one field goal had been made for Waynesfield-Goshen that didn’t come from Campbell’s hands— a testament to how well the Panthers defenders played.

“The big thing with our defense is whether or not we are going to be able to rebound the first miss,” said Hughes. “Tonight our rebounding was huge.”

The Panthers out rebounded their opponents 40-11, Preston Stober led the charge with nine boards personally. Dylan Hughes used six offensive rebounds to get to 15 points on the night. Hughes was the closest to a double-double, as he was just three boards shy.

The key to the Panthers success Friday night, perhaps wasn’t just defensive rebounding or their offense getting bodies open, but instead their depth. Parkway was able to sub at any moment, and not have tremendous let down in play on the floor.

“[Depth] is definitely going to be a strength for us going forward this year,” said Hughes. “Not one guy is a superstar but we have a good, quality group of players that can all play well together.”

“The chemistry is there and these guys have played together now for a little bit,” Hughes continued. “We are just hoping to continue to work hard and improve every day because this is just the start.”

The Panthers will have a big test next Friday Dec. 1 as will travel to play Van Wert.

Summary:

Parkway (1-0) |20|21|15|17|

W-G (0-1) |5|7|11| 9|

Parkway:

Caleb Kinney 16 pts, 4 reb, 4 stl

Dylan Hughes 15 pts, 7 reb

Corey Walls 14 pts, 2 reb

Mason Baxter 10 pts, 2 rebs, 2 stl

Caden Slusher 10 pts

Preston Stober 2 pts, 9 rebs, 2 stl

W-G:

Layton Campbell 21 pts, 1 reb

Britton Elliot 4 pts, 2 reb