Big picture: Griffith is undefeated.
At least, in this calendar year it is. That Times No. 3 Panthers are a perfect 9-0 in 2019 after beating No. 1 Munster 56-52 Wednesday.
The Panthers played suffocating defense all night. Munster turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and 17 times overall.
“That’s what we do. We put a little pressure on people, make them uncomfortable,” Griffith coach Grayling Gordon said. “If you let Munster run their offense, they’re going to beat you to death.”
Senior forward Corey Landers made several plays down the stretch, including hitting a pair of free throws in the final minute. Gordon said he moved the 6-3 Landers to guard the ball to utilize his size.
“Coach Gordon stays on us in practice about defense. Every single mistake on defense, we’ll run for it,” Landers said. “I really feel comfortable at any position on the court, so anything the team needs or wants, that’s what I’m willing to do.”
Landers finished with 16 points to lead the Panthers. Jevon Morris led the Mustangs with 15.
Turning Point: Michael Kantor hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter that gave Griffith the lead.
“That opened some things up for us,” Gordon said.
Munster player of the game: Morris -- He also led Munster with nine rebounds. The senior guard hit a 3-pointer and two free throws in the last minute that almost brought his team back.
Griffith player of the game: Kantor -- He had 14 points, including four from behind the arc.
Quote: “Our fans have been behind us. They be supporting us all year. The bigger games, they help,” Landers said. “Munster made it a big game. That’s part of it.”
Beyond the box score: Munster has lost three straight after winning 11 in a row.
“We are kind of in a funk - not kind of, we are in a funk,” Mustangs coach Mike Hackett said. “The good news is it wasn’t a (Northwest Crossroads) Conference game. Friday we play at Andrean with another raucous crowd and that’s for the conference championship.”
Up next: Munster (16-4) at Andrean 7 p.m. Friday; Roosevelt at Griffith (16-4) 7 p.m. Friday.