Eight-day layoff costs men’s team

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By Nathan Deen

Published on December 5, 2007

The PJC men’s basketball team picked up a big 91-78 win on Thanksgiving Day against New York Technical Career Institute, a team that had a lot of size in the post. PJC out rebounded NYTCI and showed a lot of team chemistry in that game.

“We’re starting to get a better feel offensively to each other,” said head coach Paul Swanson.

However, it was difficult for PJC to carry that momentum into the Panhandle Shootout (Nov.30-Dec 1.) with an eight-day layoff after the win over NYTCI. The Pirates lost the first game of the tournament to IMG Academy at Marianna by two points and the second game to ABAC at Marianna by three points. PJC had a chance to win both games but failed to execute at the end.

Swanson said the team needs to better defend the perimeter as opponents are making too many  3-point baskets. PJC is shooting poorly from the perimeter, averaging just 23.7 percent in 3-pointers.

Although PJC (6-4) is out-rebounding their opponents, Swanson said he’d like to see his post players execute better by blocking out and preventing offensive rebounds.

Sophomore forward Miles Taylor was PJC’s standout player in the Panhandle Shootout, averaging 17.5 points for the tournament. Sophomore forward Petras Balocka had an unusually quiet first game but did score 18 points in the second game.

PJC plays two more games on the road before returning  home Dec. 10 to play LB Wallace. Then, the Pirates will travel to Ocala to play in the Florida Shootout, Dec 15-Dec. 16, against Central Florida Community College and St. Petersburg College. PJC will play their final two games of their non-conference schedule in the Collegiate Sports Shootout at the Lou Ross Center. They will play St. Lawrence on Dec. 30, tip-off at 5 p.m., and Three Rivers Community College on Dec. 31, tip-off at 3:30 p.m.

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