Playing in his first postseason game with Palmyra, sophomore Trevor Meny nearly came away with a triple-double as the Panthers crushed Brookfield 77-45 Monday night in the opening round of district play.
“We are Palmyra and everyone wants to knock Palmyra off,” Trevor Meny said. “I am going to do everything in my power - I just really want to do what the team needs on any given night.”
While Palmyra did not score first, as soon as the Panthers took the lead, they never gave it up. Palmyra outscored Brookfield 25-13 in the first quarter to set the tone for the rest of the game.
“We were going to press them from the get-go and trap and do what we do best,” Palmyra head coach Brian Meny said. “We were going to get after them and try and get that lead up. But at this point in the season, even though they are a eight seed and we are a one seed, anybody can beat anybody. You just don’t want to let teams hang around you in that situation and just go get it. So I thought we did a good job of that."
Trevor Meny echo’d his coach (and father’s) statement.
“Anybody on any given day can get upset,” Trevor Meny said. “We have seen that in the NCAA this whole year. Whomever is No. 1 is usually gonna get knocked off. We know that, and with the No. 1 seed there is a big target on our back and we do not want to get upset. Everyone on this team is going to do everything in their power to make sure we are not upset.”
Meny finished the night with a game-high 25 points, eight of them came during the first quarter. In addition to his scoring, Meny added 3 assists and a pair of rebounds during the opening eight minutes.
“It was just a normal Palmyra Panther game,” Trevor Meny said. “Get up and down, go hard and fast, and play defense with intensity.”
Coach Meny was happy with the way his team played.
“This is the kind of game you want to start your districts out with,” Brian Meny said. “Get a good solid victory and then move on from that.”
Brookfield kept the game close in the second quarter, but Palmyra still extended its lead. The Panthers edged the Bulldogs 13-11 as the first half came to a close.
Palmyra went into the break with a 38-24 lead.
“We really want to come out and set the time the first two quarters,” Trevor Meny said. “We got a huge lead in those first two quarters. Then we can just ride that the whole way.”
Palmyra picked up its scoring pace in the second half as the Panthers outscored Brookfield 17-10. The Panthers went into the final eight minutes of play leading 55-34.
Palmyra opened the fourth quarter with a 10-4 run to push its lead to 65-38. For every point Brookfield scored in the fourth quarter, Palmyra scored two. In all the Panthers outscored Brookfield 22-11 over the final eight minutes.
Palmyra had three players record double-figures. Meny led the Panthers with 25 points while Will Funkenbush turned in 13, including his first three-pointer. The Panthers other double figure scorer was Brock Butler who finished with 12 points.
“I really think that we are getting better with that,” coach Meny said. “I think someday we will have an opportunity to put four kids averaging consistently in double-figures. That is what is good. (Jordan) Nutt has had some big games scoring, Caleb Kizer a couple of nights ago came up with 11, so it is always good when a lot of kids can score and they can’t key in on one kid.”
Jordan Nutt just missed double-figures as he turned in 9 points. Bazil Keller had 7 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
“Everyone contributed,” coach Meny said. “We had some kids that came up and got to play and big Will (Funkenbush) hit his first three. I thought Brock (Butler) did a great job of leading the ball club out there with his leadership. We have kids that have accepted their roles and you have to have that to win.”
As a team, Palmyra outrebounded Brookfield 42-24. Matt Neeley recorded a double-double as he led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounds. Neeley had 17 points and 14 boards for Brookfield.
“Jordan Nutt once again did a great job,” coach Meny said. “I don’t know how many Neeley got, but Jordan did a great job on him. His defense has been phenominal all year.”
With the win, Palmyra improved to 17-9. The Panthers will play Clark County tomorrow night in the district semifinals. Brookfield ends its season at 2-23.
“This is a huge win,” Trevor Meny said. “It starts off the districts round and it gives us a sense of getting on a roll. Hopefully we just carry the momentum into the next four or five games down the road.”