PALMYRA, Mo. | Tuesday night's quarterfinal matchup was a big night for both Jayden Durst and the Palmyra boys basketball team.
The No. 2 seeded Palmyra Panthers defeated Missouri Military Academy 53-29, and Durst scored his 1,000th career point during the second quarter.
“It's a great accomplishment and I think I had a lot of help from my teammates and I put a lot of hard work to get here,” Durst said. “It feels pretty good now that I'm here, but I'm not satisfied yet.”
Durst scored 16 points in Palmyra's win, which was second-best on the team. He was presented with signed basketball by the team for his accomplishment after the game.
Panthers head coach Ryan Wood said it was awesome that Durst was able to reach that milestone.
“It's quite an accomplishment, not too many kids get that opportunity,” Wood said. “So he's probably glad that it is over, it's kind of been looming over him the past couple of weeks. He's a great kid to coach and he's a gym rat.”
Although Palmyra defeated the Colonels by 24 points, the Panthers struggled to score in the second half.
“We didn't play our sharpest tonight and we didn't hit real well from the field,” Wood said. “It's just this time of year where you survive and advance. We struggled with their size a little bit and we struggled scoring the basketball, especially in the third quarter. We kind of hit a lull there … but we found a way to win."
Durst said he and his team struggled with takign care of the basketball against the Colonels and need to work to improve upon that in practice.
“We won, but I think we didn't have our best game,” Durst said. “Which is nice to know that we won by (24) points and didn't have our best game as a team. I think as long as we get into practice tomorrow and take care of business, we'll be ready to go on Thursday.”
Panthers junior forward Abe Haerr led the team with 17 points and made all three of his free throw shots. Junior guard Zane Meyers added 10 points.
Colonels senior forward Gunner Stugart led his team with 14 points, including two 3-pointers.
Up next – Palmyra will play Centralia on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the district semifinals at Palmyra High School.
“We haven't played Centralia since the end of December and they have a lot of length and they have been playing well,” Wood said. “They have won 20 games already, so it's going to be a tough matchup. We just talked about how we got to play to win. We can't let little things get in our head right now. I think that happened a little bit tonight, so we (need) to go out there and be aggressive and play to win.”
Scoring by quarter
PAL – 15 | 16 | 8 | 14 – 53
MMA – 6 | 7 | 8 | 8 – 29