HOLLAND — Delta Coach Matt Brighton has made great strides with Panther basketball his first season.
Not only did the Panthers win 11 games — a huge improvement from previous seasons — Delta also advanced to a sectional final for the first time in some time.
That run ended with a 55-30 loss to top-seed Eastwood Friday night at Springfield High School.
The Panthers stayed tight in the first as Justin Ruple and Bryar Knapp canned early triples and Josh Tresnan-Reighard muscled inside for a pair of hoops to give Delta a 10-8 lead.
However, Drew Arntson’s buzzer beating three-ball gave Eastwood the lead for good at 12-10 and the Eagles never looked back.
Arntson’s shot was followed by another of his own and a bomb from Jacob Limes that spurred a 13-2 burst to put the Eagles up 22-12 with 4:55 left in the half.
Knapp hit another triple and found Tresnan-Reighard in close again.
Nolan Risner’s putback at the buzzer kept Delta within single digits at 30-21.
But the Panthers went just 2-8 from the floor in the third and Eastwood went on a 14-0 burst in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Knapp led the Panthers with 11 points.
District Player of the Year, Jacob Meyer, led Eastwood with 14, 10 of those in the second half where the Eagles outscored Delta 25-9.
Delta finishes the season 11-13.