JOHNSON — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team dismissed two in-state rivals in recent action to improve to 4-0.
The Panthers will return to action on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against another Vermont foe. The Castleton State men’s and women’s teams will visit Middlebury for a doubleheader, with the women’s game set to tip off at 5:30 p.m. and the men scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
On Nov. 24, the Panthers defeated St. Joseph’s of Vermont, 87-56, in their home opener. Middlebury shot .57 percent from the floor and placed four players in double figures.
The Panthers jumped out to a 20-5 lead in the game’s first 7:15 behind seven of Ryan Sharry’s game-high 17 points. St. Joseph’s cut the lead to nine, but the Panthers responded and went into halftime with a 38-26 advantage.
Middlebury went on a 9-1 run to take a 59-32 lead with 12:30 remaining. Jake Wolfin hit five points during that stretch.
Ryan Wholey scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Jamal Davis and Wolfin netted 10 points apiece. Sharry grabbed 11 boards in the game, while Andrew Locke scored seven points with seven boards and four blocked shots.
The Panthers used another fast start to cruise past host Johnson State on Sunday, 88-60 — Middlebury led at the half, 47-23, as the Panthers hit seven of 13 from behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes, including three of four by Wolfin.
In all, the Panthers out-rebounded the Badgers, 43-26, and shot 55 percent. In the first half, the Panthers held the Badgers to 26 percent shooting.
Five Middlebury players found their way into double figures, topped by Wolfin’s 15 points. Locke, Sharry and Nolan Thompson each tallied 12 points, while Wholey netted 11.
Johnson was led by Leandro Martinez’s 15 points, which included three treys in four attempts. Ian Passino was the only other JSC player in double figures, with 10 points and four assists.