The Palmyra Panthers scored enough in the second quarter alone to win 39-23 on the road at Bowling Green on Tuesday night.

The Palmyra Panthers scored enough in the second quarter alone to win 39-23 on the road at Bowling Green on Tuesday night.

A scoring spree of 24 points put the game in their control.

Despite the win, though, junior Peyton Plunkett said the Panthers (3-3) need to work on coming out stronger from the get go.

“Right now, we're working on our first quarter,” Plunkett said. “It's not going so hot, and that's in every game. Our shots aren't going down. But once the second quarter comes, we're like, shoot, let's start making these. Let's start getting this win.” 

That's exactly what the Panthers did. They flipped a 4-2 deficit after the first quarter into a 26-12 halftime advantage. 

“It's just screwing our heads on,” Plunkett said.

Ragar Plunkett scored seven of his nine points in the second, while Lane Hammond knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Peyton Plunkett scored five points.

Palmyra's defense turned it up a notch, applying pressure that often disrupted the Bowling Green attack.

“Coming into this game, we knew both teams had been struggling to score the basketball, so getting a 26-12 edge at halftime was a big lead in this type of game,” Palmyra coach Ryan Wood said. “We were pressing a little bit, throwing some traps in there and we created some baskets out of our defense.” 

The Panthers only scored 13 points the entire second half after netting 24 in the second period. In contrast to the offensive misfires, though, the Palmyra defense limited Bowling Green to 11 points after the break.

“We need to be more consistent defensively, and I thought I saw that tonight,” Wood said. “There's going to be times when offensively you're not going to be hitting shots. We had good looks, we just didn't finish. But our defense saved us tonight.”

Ragar Plunkett and Hammond each led Palmyra with nine points, while Peyton Plunkett and Noah Wilson finished with seven a piece. Ragar McKinney netted six, while Nolan Wosman and Brock Boulware each totaled four. 

“We're balanced,” Wood said. “It's somebody different every night. That's what I want. It makes it tougher for other teams to guard us and also makes it more team ball and more fun to play.”

Next up for Palmyra is a home game against Hallsville next Wednesday night. 

It'll be a chance for the Panthers to build upon a strong defensive outing and gain confidence that Peyton Plunkett says is growing by the game. 

“Five fingers make a fist,” he said. “You can't have have one finger making a fist. As long as we go out there as a team — I do my part, they do their part — we'll win ballgames.”