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Larson and Panthers earn first win by topping Blue Bolts

Dollar Bay-Tamarack City’s Liam Tourtillot (20) and Will Beaudoin (13) box out Chassell’s Eli Danison during a game Monday in Dollar Bay. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

DOLLAR BAY — It was an historic moment for Chassell Panthers boys’ basketball coach Joel Larson and his team on Monday night. The new leader earned a win in his high school-coaching debut. The Panthers downed the Dollar Bay- Tamarack City Blue Bolts, 62-58, on the road.

“It feels good,” said a smiling Larson. “However, credit goes to the boys who have worked so hard since we started. I am super proud of them.”

Despite having a three-point lead at halftime, and even winning the third quarter, size, or lack their of, would be difference in the fourth quarter for the Blue Bolts.

The Panthers’ tall and lanky Kalvin Kytta and Eli Danison dominated the boards and made their free throws late in the contest.

“We knew that size was going to be an issue,” said Blue Bolts coach Jesse Kentala. “However, we could have done better boxing out and making better shot choices.”

The two teams tied at 13 after the first quarter. Dollar Bay led 30-27 at half, and by as many as eight points in the third. They entered the fourth quarter with a 47-42 lead and kept that until the final minutes of the game.

With 3:02 left, the Panthers’ Mason Loukus banked one off the glass to give his team a 53-52 lead. However, it was short-lived as the Blue Bolts’ Liam Tourtillott rolled in for a layup and put his team back on top at 54-53.

Back-to-back threes by Chassell with less than a minute to play sealed the win for the Panthers. Down 55-53, Brayden Larson drained the first triple and put his team up by one at 56-55. Then Oliver Campbell sunk a three ball to move the score to 59-55. Both teams scored again after, but Chassell stayed on top in the end.

The Panthers had four players in double figures. Mason Loukus led the scoring with 17 points. Danison sunk 15. Brayden had 11 and Oliver Campbell had 10.

“Eli gets the game ball,” said Joel. “He gave it all and left it all on the floor.”

The Panthers sunk seven threes; the Blue Bolts had six.

Tourtillott led the scoring for Dollar Bay with 27. Caleb Kentala sunk 16 and Will Beaudoin had 10 points.

“We’re young and this had all the trappings of a first game,” said Jesse. “I am confident that we will be okay and get better as season goes on.”

UP NEXT

The Blue Bolts will travel to Painesdale to face the Jeffers Jets on Thursday. That same night the Panthers will play in Lake Linden against the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes.

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