Caden Slusher of Parkway goes up for a shot against South Adams on Monday night. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
Caden Slusher of Parkway goes up for a shot against South Adams on Monday night. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)

BERNE — When you're playing as well as the Parkway Panthers have lately, sometimes you're just due for an off night, the black and gold had their off night on Monday, losing big to South Adams 81-55.

The Panthers entered the game having won nine out of their last eleven, and to this point in the season were a cool 3-0 against out of state opponents.

Their first loss outside of Ohio this season drops their overall record to 13-7 with two games left to go in the regular season.

Caden Slusher topped his previous season-high scoring total of 19, which he set against Lincolnview, with a 22 point game against the Starfires that included five 3-point field goals.

Slusher started off the action with his first three of the game, followed by a two from Caleb Kinney and a free throw by Corey Walls.

With the Panthers out to a quick 6-0 lead, South Adams Head Coach Josh Hendrixson was forced to use an early timeout.

Following the break, the Starfires leading scorer on the season, James Arnold, got his team on the board and sparked a 5-0 run for the home team.

Parkway would hold on to a 13-12 lead at the end of one, but this was the least quarter of the game where they would outscore South Adams.

The Starfires hit their stride in the second, exploding for a 20 point quarter courtesy of four triples and six points a piece from Arnold and Drew Stutzman.

South Adams took the lead on their opening basket of the quarter from Arnold, and held it until Slusher used a trey to knot the game up at 25 midway through the frame.

Dylan Hughes briefly gained the lead back for the Panthers after splitting a pair of free throws, but 3-pointers on three straight trips down the court ignited an 11-3 run that helped the home team grab a 36-29 lead at the half.

Things weren't going well for the Panthers, and it would only get worse in the second half.

A 12-2 outburst to open the third propelled South Adams to a 48-31 advantage, and if you looked up at the scoreboard after Stutzman's three ball, you would see that every starter for the Starfires had exactly nine points.

When you look up the phrase "balanced attack" you'll see a picture of this box score, because the South Adams offense had this down to a science on Monday night.

At this point, the Starfires 2-3 zone had been causing problems for the Parkway offense all evening, as it's something they rarely see from their opponents.

The difference in the game stayed at 17 until the third quarter ended with the score at 59-42.

Caleb Kinney cut the lead back to 15 with a layup, but a back-breaking 11-0 run from South Adams put the game away. Kinney, Parkway's leading scorer at 19.5 points per game, struggled to a 14 point finish on the evening.

With the game at 76-50, both teams sent in a platoon swap of their reserves and the game ended at 81-55.

The Panthers will travel to New Knoxville on Friday, and will host Minster on the 21st for their final two games of the regular season.

BOX SCORE 1 2 3 4 T

PARKWAY 13 16 13 13 55

SOUTH ADAMS 12 24 23 22 81

PARKWAY (55)

Caden Slusher 22, Caleb Kinney 14, Dylan Hughes 7, Gavin Stober 4, Nick Hawk 3, Kendall Roof 3, Corey Walls 2.

SOUTH ADAMS (81)

Drew Stutzman 18, James Arnold 17, Nick Miller 17, Aidan Wanner 12, Trey Schoch 12, Brayden Gilbert 4, Adam Besser 1.