Peyton boys rely on depth to down rival Calhan

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Photo - Peyton's Dominic Gentile checks the clock prior to hitting a shot as the third quarter ends, helping the Panthers beat Calhan on Friday night. Image from a video by Scott Kaniewski, The Gazette.
Peyton's Dominic Gentile checks the clock prior to hitting a shot as the third quarter ends, helping the Panthers beat Calhan on Friday night. Image from a video by Scott Kaniewski, The Gazette.

CALHAN - Peyton's boys' basketball team showed just how deep it can go when it needs to Friday night.

With the Panthers' top three big men in foul trouble the entire second half, the Panthers hunkered down and got scoring from their two guards plus stellar defensive play from their bench to hold off rival Calhan 67-53 at Calhan on Friday night in a game that was closer than the score indicated.

The Pikes Peak region 3A and below No. 3 Panthers (14-1, 5-0 2A Black Forest League) stayed perfect in league play by beating second-place Calhan (7-6, 4-2).

Gage Gellerman scored a game-high 25 points, Seth Anderson scored 16 despite limited second-half action and Dominic Gentile added 14.

"We had three of our really good guys in foul trouble and I think we just have guys who can step up for us," said Gellerman, who scored often in the paint. "That's the promise of a great team this year and we just have to keep that rolling."

Anderson, Tyler Walker and Anthony Heredia spent most of the second half entering and exiting the second half depending on the Panthers' offensive and defensive possessions.

Calhan took advantage of Peyton's foul trouble early in the third quarter, taking a 37-35 lead less than two minutes out of the break - the Bulldogs' first lead since 11-9 in the opening quarter.

But Peyton answered with a 13-4 run over the next 5:09 to go up 48-41 and the Panthers never looked back.

Backups Josh Metzer, Rod Gregg and Zach Kiefer did just fine filling in defensively.

"I think our team did just an unbelievable job knowing their role, accepting their role," Peyton coach Jedd Sima said. "The offense, defense, we were on it. We didn't miss one possession for that type of stuff."

Kiefer forced a turnover at the end of the third quarter and stole the ball on Calhan's opening possession of the fourth.

The two plays kept the Panthers ahead by seven before they really opened things up. That effort earned high praise from Sima.

"He (Kiefer) was a huge, huge reason we won this game tonight," Sima said. "He doesn't normally get in games, especially tight games. But he accepted his role, he didn't turn the ball over and defensively he came up huge with rebounds and a couple of steals or stops."

Leo Prosser led the Bulldogs with 21, while Charles Sparks added 16, but the Bulldogs know they let slip a chance to upend the league leaders.

"We played good for two-and-a-half quarters," Calhan coach Ryan Carter said. "Just dumb decisions and not very good passing, and we didn't play defense worth a darn. We didn't rebound and we didn't take advantage of their foul trouble."