Panthers Improve to 7-0 Via 66-51 Win at Clarkrange; Capps Scores 24

By Michael Lindsay

Stone Memorial’s undefeated start to the 2022-’23 season continued Tuesday night as they won at Clarkrange, 66-51.

The 7-0 Panthers were led in scoring by sophomore Cade Capps, who recorded 24 points in the victory. Senior guard Matthew Bilbrey posted 11 points in a night that saw 10 Panthers record points.

Clarkrange’s Kris Beaty led the Buffaloes with 18 points, including 4 three-pointers. Jack Cordell scored 13.

“Coach (Jermaine) McElvain has done a great job over here,” said SMHS head coach Neil Capps. “He took a program over that had so many young kids. They compete really hard, and they gave us all we can ask for.”

The undefeated start for Stone Memorial hasn’t come easy as Tuesday was their first game following a 58-55 road win at Webb.

“I knew my guys put so much emotion into the game Friday at Webb,” Capps said. “It’s hard to ask a group of teenagers to get up emotionally for every game. Professionals don’t get up every night for every game. It seemed like we were emotionally gassed.

“We start district play on Friday, and it takes a toll when you get everybody’s best shot,” he added. “But there’s no such thing as an ugly win; this is a tough place to play.”

Clarkrange went shot-for-shot with Stone Memorial early as the Panthers led 16-10 after one quarter. The Panthers took a double-digit lead in the second period and never looked back as they outscored the Buffaloes 23-12 in the frame to lead 39-22 at halftime. Cade Capps scored 12 of his 24 in the second.

After halftime, the Panthers maintained their lead as they held a 50-32 advantage going into the fourth period. SMHS closed out the contest to win by a 66-51 final.

District 7AAA play begins for Stone Memorial on Friday as they host 6-1 DeKalb County.

“You’ve got to be locked in defensively; we had some miscues and were complacent,” Capps said. “We’ll work on it Wednesday and Thursday to get ready for it.”

Clarkrange takes a week off and will host Van Buren County next Tuesday.

Stone Memorial (66): Cade Capps 24, Matthew Bilbrey 11, Brady Lane 8, Blake Holt 7, Jayden Eldridge 3, Nathan Houston 3, Zaiden Rice 3, Jordan Manis 3, Preston Mayberry 2, Conner Bowman 2

Clarkrange (51): Kris Beaty 18, Jack Cordell 13, Case Cordell 8, Bryton Swallows 5, Lane Byrd 5, Logan Panell 2