Conner Lovelace boasted an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double Friday night to lift Maxwell High School’s varsity boys basketball team to a 66-44 drubbing of Quincy.
Lovelace, the Panthers’ 6’3”, 290-pound senior center, also dished five assists and stuffed three of the Trojans’ shots for blocks to dominate in the paint.
Senior Donnie Manson netted a game-high 20 points for Maxwell, and sophomore standout Daniel Lara scored 18 points with nine rebounds and club bests in steals (five) and assists (five) to steal the spotlight.
The Panthers, who ended a five-game losing streak to win their Mountain Valley League opener, staged an impressive 8-0 run after calling a brief timeout midway through the second quarter.
“We took advantage of some steals and fast breaks after that breather,” Maxwell coach Forrest Bateman said. “Everything started to click and we built up quality momentum.”
Quincy fell behind by over 20 points in the third quarter and attempted to make up ground by switching defenses. They employed a full-court press for the majority of the second half. Though the Trojans occasionally clawed back into the contest with that strategy, they never sustained any shifts in momentum.
“Not very many teams will be able to match our speed for long,” Bateman said. “Our guys did a great job moving the ball up the floor and refusing to let them disrupt our offense.”
Referring to point guard Eusebio “Chubby” Rangel and fellow seniors Isaac Magana and Manson, Bateman recognizes he has a formidable trio who can handle the ball.
“All those guys helped us attack and push the ball toward the hoop,” Bateman said.
Manson also drained four 3-pointers while Lara nailed three. Manson and fellow senior Wyatt Perry aided the defense by holding their ground on charging fouls.
Manson and Rangel contributed five and four assists, respectively, and Perry added a pair of buckets.
Juniors Marcos Parra and Angel Velazquez provided critical depth off the bench in the second half, especially when Lovelace had to come off the floor in foul trouble.
Manson commended the total team effort, emphasizing that everyone did their part to contribute to “probably our best game of the season.”
Hitting this stride couldn’t have come at a better time for the Panthers, who had a mediocre preseason but have nothing but MVL opponents remaining on their schedule. Last week’s games against Esparto and Portola were postponed due to power outages; make-up dates have not yet been announced.
Maxwell (1-0 MVL, 5-9) hosts Biggs on Wednesday and Esparto on Feb. 7 for their Senior Night.