A sluggish start to the 2005-06 season cost the Pauls Valley Panthers and Lady Panthers in their season openers at Purcell.

The Panthers had only four points and eight turnovers in the opening period and Purcell took advantage with an eight-point lead. Pauls Valley rallied from as many as 13 points down in the second quarter to take a three-point lead in the fourth quarter. Purcell came around late scoring the final nine points of the game for a 49-43 win.

"It's always tough to win in Purcell," head coach Chris Caldwell said. "I was really pleased with our effort tonight, especially on defense."

The Panthers pressure defense is what got them back into the game in the second half.

Trailing 34-21, Troy Johnson sparked the offense with three three-pointers and the defense created several turnovers and lay-up opportunities. PV turned the 13-point deficit into a three-point lead with a 20-4 run giving them the lead with just over three minutes remaining.

Purcell finally got back on track with a couple of easy baskets off the PV pressure and a 9-0 run to end the game as they held on for a six-point win.

Johnson led all scorers with 18 points while Purcell's Matt Lohn and Chase Page both finished in double figures with 16 and 15 apiece.

The Panthers will look to regroup on Friday night as they have their home opener against Marietta.

Purcell 49, Pauls Valley 43

PV 4 14 16 9 - 43

Pur 12 12 14 11 - 49

Pauls Valley — Troy Johnson 18, Josh Rolan 7, A.J. Nunez 6, Matt Harding 5, Phillip Miles 3, Ruben Jones 3, Will Jones 1.

Purcell — Matt Lohn 16, Chase Page 15, Price Mabry 6, Kyle King 5, Anthoony Alfonso 4, Seth Barrett 3.

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