Reserve guard Danny Mangers lifts Oswego
By Paul Johnson For Sun-Times Media December 7, 2012 10:00PM
Updated: December 8, 2012 12:07AM
After Oswego senior Miles Simelton scored 12 of the Panthers’ first 20 points in their showdown with defending Southwest Prairie Conference champion Plainfield East Friday, the Bengals defense started to key on him.
Oswego needed somebody else to step up and provide a spark.
Reserve senior guard Danny Mangers filled that spot admirably.
The Panthers were down by four (26-22) when he came in and fueled an 18-4 run to end the half and propelled Oswego to a 72-54 win. Mangers scored 12 of the 18 points in the run and had 15 points on the night — all in the first half.
“They always collapse on (Simelton), so Miles always finds me,” Mangers said. “My guy always sags off and that leaves me open, so that works out real well. It’s a game of spurts, and we got a big one, and that really helped.”
Mangers scored four points on one possession to tie the game at 26-26 and start the run. He drove in for a layup and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but put in the rebound. He also drilled a pair of three-pointers from the corner and hit two free throws. Jack Kwiatkowski also drilled a three-pointer as the Panthers (5-1 overall, 2-0 SPC) took control of the game.
“I think we finally made a commitment that he’s a better player coming off the bench,” Oswego coach Kevin Schnable said of Mangers. “He means more to our team (in that role). Tonight, he played very relaxed and therefore very confident.”
Despite being hounded defensively all night, Simelton still managed to score a game-high 22 points on efficient 8-of-12 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. Most of those threes were from way beyond the arc, which left Plainfield East coach Branden Adkins shaking his head.
“I underestimated him,” Adkins said. “Going in, knowing that we were going to play zone, I thought they didn’t really have anybody that was going to shoot from 30 feet out that can knock down threes. Well, he made me look silly because he did. He’s a heck of a basketball player.”
After hanging around early, the Bengals (2-4, 1-1) could never cut the lead to single digits in the second half after Oswego took control of the game. Aaron Jordan led the Bengals with 15 points and Nick Novak added 11 off the bench. Elliot McGaughy scored 15 for Oswego.
Heading into a difficult stretch of the season through the holiday break, a trip to Downers Grove South Tuesday, a rivalry game against Oswego East a week from Tuesday and the always treacherous Proviso West tournament over the holidays, Schnable was happy with how his team played Friday.
“We’re pleased with where we’re at, but we have to continue to get better,” Schnable said. “We’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”