Maumee's Josh Goatley drives to the basket against Southview defender Poncho Valdez. Goatley scored eight points as Maumee improved to 4-0. Valdez had nine points for the Cougars, who fell to 2-2.
Attempting to figure out the Northern Lakes League this season could cause some confusion.
Southview - the presumed team to beat in the NLL - is still winless after two league outings.
Maumee, on the other hand, remained undefeated with a 57-49 upset of the visiting Cougars last night.
Josh Arthur scored 14 of his game-high 21 points before halftime to lead the Panthers (4-0, 2-0 NLL). Jon Fay added 12 while Josh Goatley chipped in with eight.
Mike Norris and Ray Thomas paced Southview (2-2, 0-2) with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
“This game showed me we can play with the elite teams in the league,” Maumee coach Jim Robinson said.
Playing against the preseason favorite, the Panthers did more than hold their own.
Maumee held the lead for most of the game. A 3-pointer by Southview's Jamar Murchison to open the fourth quarter gave the Cougars a 40-38 edge. That was the first time the Panthers had trailed since the end of the first quarter.
Maumee regained the lead at the free throw line. The Panthers, who made 15 of 20 foul shots, were 13-of-15 in the final quarter.
“I thought we attacked the basket really well in the fourth quarter,” Robinson said. “I thought Josh Arthur and Josh Goatley made some great plays for us.”
Arthur carried the Panthers' offense early. He scored seven of his team's 14 points in the first quarter before coming through with seven of their 13 points in the second quarter to help Maumee head into the locker room with a 27-21 lead. He sank a 10-footer right before the halftime buzzer. The Panthers set up the last shot of the half by sitting back in their spread halfcourt offense to chew up the final minute.
Southview coach Marc Jump commended Maumee for coming away with the victory.
“Maumee played a great game,” Jump said. “As long as our kids work together I don't have any complaints with the outcome. I thought we played a better ballgame tonight than we did on Friday night [against Northview]. I thought we improved.
“I thought we had better ball movement and I thought we played better defense. Maumee just played well and sometimes you have to tip your hats to them.”
Nevertheless, the Cougars were never really out of the game. Even after the Panthers regained the lead in the fourth quarter they never led by more than three points until late. Southview turned the ball over several times late in the game, which resulted in Maumee's 15 foul shots in the final quarter compared with two for Southview.
For the game, the Cougars attempted only three foul shots, making two.
“Turnovers at inopportune times,” Jump said. “It's our best players making them, so what are you going to say. They're out there killing themselves and doing the best they can.
“Sometimes the basketball doesn't end up where you'd like it to.”
Maumee's Adam Russell said the Panthers had been looking forward to the challenge of playing Southview.
“We just wanted to come out and play our game,” said Russell, a 6-4 senior who finished with six points. “Our goal from the start of practices has always been to win the league. We believe we can win every game that we play.”
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