After struggling offensively in the first half, the Paradise Panthers turned up the intensity on the defensive end Tuesday.
The Panthers held Boyd to one field goal on 13 shots in the third quarter, going on a 13-2 run that led to a 43-35 victory at Boyd High School gym.
“It was all defense. Defensively we stepped up the intensity,” said Paradise coach Tim Dukes.
The victory moved the Panthers to 2-3 in District 9-2A – a half game back of Millsap for the fourth playoff spot. Paradise plays Millsap Tuesday.
“We have to beat Millsap,” Dukes said. “Five wins gets you at least in a playoff game. Six wins should get you in. Our next two are big. We’ll go back to work tomorrow.”
Boyd (4-13) fell to 1-4.
The Yellowjackets shot only 22 percent from the field (11-for-50). In the first and third quarters, they shot a combined 2-for-23.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well enough,” said Boyd coach Oscar Hernandez. “We shot 18 percent on twos. That’s too low.
“They played that 3-2 zone, and we haven’t seen that any.”
Despite the struggles shooting the ball, Boyd owned a 17-15 halftime lead. Trey Gordon came off the bench to score eight in the second quarter, including two 3-pointers in a 13-4 run over the final 5:40 of the first half.
Gordon led Boyd with 13 points.
Paradise quickly turned the game around in the second half with its defense and work inside by Dillon Meadows. He scored 12 of his 13 points in the second half. He finished two boards shy of a double-double.
“We turned it up and decided that we were going to play,” Meadows said. “After the first half, we started playing defense.
“This means a lot beating your rival. It’s better than just a win.”
Meadows’ putback with 32 seconds left in the third put the Panthers up six. JD Pearson, who wasn’t listed in the official book and led to two technical free throws for Boyd in the first half, sent the Panthers into the fourth with a nine-point edge, 28-19, draining a 3-pointer from the left wing.
Pearson’s trey capped a 13-2 run for the Panthers in the third.
Boyd’s Dalton Lyon came off the bench to hit two 3-pointers in final quarter. His second trey with three minutes left pulled Boyd within six, 35-29. The Yellowjackets could get no closer as Meadows extended the lead back to 10 muscling his way to two baskets inside.
“Dillon is stepping up,” Dukes said. “He’s a very good athlete.”
Cash Preather joined Meadows in double figures with 12.