The Dudley Panthers played up to the level of their competition and defeated Word of God, the 8th ranked high school basketball team in the nation at the Dudley gym on Saturday night.
The game was all tied up at 45-all at the half and the Panthers out-scored WOG 24-14 in the 4th quarter to claim the eight point win.(Final:86-78)
The Panthers stepped up their game on a night that saw coaches and players from all sorts of high schools and colleges coming together to see John Wall, C.J. Leslie and several players from WOD, as they met the local team, the Dudley Panthers. Dudley has a number of highly-touted players of their own in P.J. Hairston, Brandon Pennix and the new-comer, the freshman, Reggie Dillard.
Skip, the Panther PA man, is already calling Dillard the “Real Deal”, and Skip was yelling, “Reggie, Reggie, Reggie, Reggie”, as Dillard was was nailing crucial free throws late in the game.
The Kentucky Wildcats are hard-after the WOG point guard John Wall and ‘Cat coach Billy Gillispie had his men at the game on Saturday night. John Calipari was at the game as were many other key coaches and the word is by the end of the game, the coaches were more interested in Hairston and Dillard than they were in Wall and Leslie. Leslie is targeted to N.C. State and the Pack was in the house at Dudley and the word is that the Wolfpack and Duke Blue Devils are once again back in the running to sign Wall.
The kid that really caught my attention was Dudley’s Chris Whitsett. Whitsett had two key slams and he also knocked down a couple of three-pointers to help push the Panthers and he ended up with 14 points. Trey Godette has also shown much improvement for Dudley on the inside and he will help Pennix around the post and take pressure off of Hairston so he can drift outside.
The 2003 mentioned above is the neighborhood of where the attendance would stand if we had the time to count to all of the fans at the game. The place was packed but it was not tight like sardines sandwiched into a tin can. Everybody had their space.
John Calipari, Billy Gillispie’s people, N.C. State, Duke, all the smaller colleges you can think of, and so many more folks were there to check out this game. Former Panthers like Will Graves now at North Carolina, Robert Johnson now at N.C. A&T, his brother Jonathan Johnson now at HP Wesleyan, Mike Hayes who played at Dudley and at N.C. A&T, and many more legends and future legends were in the house as Skip likes to say. We didn’t see the “Hat Man”. He may have been over at the EG-NEG game.
There were more dunks and blocked shots than you could begin to count and the from the comments we have had so far, there WAS sufficient help on the boards inside for Pennix coming from Godette, Waddell, and others and that was a big difference in the game, the fact that Dudley was able to keep the ball alive on the offensive boards and get second/third chance shots or draw the foul and head to the free throw line. Pennix is going to have to get stronger at the foul line because he is gonna get his chances this season to shoot a bundle of foul shots and he must hit the free toss baskets from the charity stripe. Brandon was probably at about 40% on Saturday night.
Brendan Wyatt did a fine job of running the Dudley offense at the point and late in the game he started looking more for his shots. The Panthers will have to look at getting him so minutes of rest as the season wears on and the development of his backup will be of the utmost importance.
Great game for the early season and we will have video coming up from this game later on this week and we will try and get you a box score from this game up on the site.
Don’t forget Oak Hill at Northern Guilford coming up this Wednesday night at Northern………
Word of God 78
WOG 24 21 19 14 – 78
DUD 17 28 17 24 – 86
Points: WOG–J.Wall 25, C.Leslie 18, B.Daniels 10, M.Baines 6, D.Wells 6, S.Drane 6, D.McDonald 4, J.Denning 3; DUD–PJ Hairston 26, Brandon Pennix 18, Chris Whitsett 14, Brendan Wyatt 8, Trey Godette 6, Reggie Dillard 6, Barry Scoggins 4, Devn Waddell 4