RICHLAND TOWNSHIP — The Sports Center at UPJ is becoming a second home court for the Shade Panthers.
Shade claimed its second consecutive District 5 Class A boys basketball championship Friday with a 59-43 win over Shanksville.
It's the Panthers (25-1) second district title in three years to go along with a couple of WestPAC championship victories on the court in that same time.
"I don't know if it gets any easier from a nerves standpoint," head
coach Wade Fyock said. "I can remember not knowing where we go in, what locker room we were in, just little things that I guess we now take for granted. We have a pre-game meal of pizza and there was more leftover than usual. I thought maybe the nerves were affecting them a little bit. But that certainly wasn't the case. We came out and played well."
For Panther senior Wade Walker, the win made him a four-time champion. He won two titles at North Star before transferring to Shade for his final two years of school.
"This is a great feeling," he said. "I'm 4-for-4. I never lost one. It's great."
Walker dominated the third quarter. He scored 12 of his 13 points in
the quarter as the Panthers opened up the game for good.
Shanksville's Dylan Glessner pulled the Vikings to within a point, 32-31, on two foul shots with 5:15 left in third. Then the 6-foot-5 Walker went to work down low for the Panthers. He scored nine of the Panthers final 11 points in the quarter.