Caleb Kinney of Parkway fights up a shot over a Tiffin-Calvert defender on Tuesday night. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
Caleb Kinney of Parkway fights up a shot over a Tiffin-Calvert defender on Tuesday night. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)

BOWLING GREEN — The Parkway Panthers are on an unbelievable run that just won’t stop, and the best part about that is that nobody wants it to. Parkway pulled out yet another tournament win on Tuesday night in Bowling Green over Tiffin Calvert 44-42.

“What a battle,” said Parkway Head Coach Doug Hughes following the game. “It was a great team win for us, especially after getting down early.”

The word “battle” would barely do this game justice after how many lead changes and momentum swings took place. This was a boxing match between two prize fighters with a title on the line.

Tiffin-Calvert landed the first punch out of the gate as Mitch Nielsen grabbed the first two buckets to put his team up 4-0. The Senecas held the lead for the entirety of the first quarter, ending the opening eight minutes up seven points at 14-7.

Nick Seifert had six points in the opening frame to go along with Nielsen and Nolan Beeker’s four a piece.

The Panthers didn’t make their way all the way back to the front of the scoreboard in the second, but they landed a significant counter-punch.

Caden Slusher found the bottom of the net from deep twice in the quarter to score six of Parkway’s 10 points. Slusher ended the evening with nine points, and as always, hit a few of the biggest shots of the game.

Parkway’s 10-5 effort in the second brought the game back to a two point difference at the break, and in the second half, the Panthers emerged from the locker room as the team we’ve all come to know.

Caleb Kinney announced his presence on his team’s first three possessions, scoring four points and assisting on a Dylan Hughes basket. Parkway’s 6-0 run was the result of defensive hustle that resulted in two steals for Kinney.

“I went into the locker room thinking that this could be the last 16 minutes of my career, or there could be another 32 minutes after this,” Kinney said after the win. “That was all the motivation I needed to give everything I had to help us win the game.”

Kinney delivered time and time again as he finished the game as the overall highest scorer with 14 points.

Although the Panthers shifted the momentum, Tiffin-Calvert would withstand the storm in the third quarter, escaping with a 30-30 tie.

With just eight minutes left on the clock, the game was up for grabs, and if you were in the Stroh Center on Tuesday night, you could just tell that the Panthers wanted it more.

Kinney scored Parkway’s first six points of the fourth, none bigger than his triple to put the black and gold up 36-33 with just under five minutes to go.

The Senecas turned the ball over on the next possession, and Dylan Hughes led a fast break that was a game-changer. Hughes dribbled up the center of the court, and when he spotted Caden Slusher all alone in the left corner, he made the perfect pass, and Slusher followed with the perfect shot. Nothing but net.

Panther fans exploded, making so much noise that it probably registered on the Richter scale.

With 3:47 to go, and their biggest lead of the game at 39-33, Parkway let off of the gas just a touch, and Nolan Beeker and Nick Seifert made them pay, as they battled back to take the lead less than two minutes later.

Seifert’s three-point play put the Senecas up 41-40, and all of a sudden, the pressure was back on the Panthers.

Unless you relieve it, pressure will burst the pipe, and Parkway came through just in time to redirect the pressure.

Nick Hawk hit four free throws down the stretch, and with just seconds left on the clock, Tiffin Calvert’s only hope was a desperation shot.

When that shot clanked off of the rim, the Panthers walked away as the winning team 44-42.

“This a very resilient group that plays very well together, and for each other,” Hughes said. “I thought that we stayed composed, and made plays down the stretch when we needed to.”

Parkway’s support never wavered , even when it may have looked like their improbable run might be coming to an end. When asked about the support of Panther nation in the post-game presser, Caleb Kinney, Nick Hawk and Coach Hughes all used one common word. “Unreal” was the main word along with many other positive adjectives to describe the Parkway faithful.

“We just gutted it out like we have all year, and it was a good win to get,” Caleb Kinney said. “When you can bring this many people this far on a week night to support you, it’s a great feeling.”

Nick Hawk echoed Kinney’s reaction to the strong Panther fan-base.

“Every game we’ve had, our fans have been the loudest, and that didn’t change in this game,” Hawk said.

Next up for the Panthers will be the undefeated Columbus Grove Bulldogs on Friday in Bowling Green. The two teams didn’t meet during the regular season, but did take part in a preseason scrimmage.

“We’ll be very well-prepared,” said Hughes. “They have three really nice players and they’re going to be ready for us. It’ll be a lot of fun on Friday night.”

BOX SCORE 1 2 3 4 T

PARKWAY 7 10 13 14 44

TIFFIN CALVERT 14 5 11 12 42

PARKWAY (44)

Caleb Kinney 14, Corey Walls 3, Dylan Hughes 9, Nick Hawk 8, Caden Slusher 9, Gavin Stober 2.

TIFFIN CALVERT (42)

Garret Spaun 7, Jack Shultz 2, Nolan Beeker 7, Nick Seifert 14, Mitch Nielsen 4, Blake Ronski 8.