HANSON — An off-shooting night from long range coupled with a bevy of turnovers would doom most teams.
But not for Whitman-Hanson, whose dynamic one-two punch in seniors Nate Amado and Cole LeVangie made up for the handful of miscues that kept Plymouth North hanging around for three quarters on Friday.
Amado poured in a game-high 28 points to go along with 11 rebounds and five assists as the Panthers extended their winning streak dating back to last season to 27 games with a 62-43 Patriot League win. LeVangie backed Amado’s effort with 16 points.
“The two of them are two of the best players in the state,” said Whitman-Hanson coach Bob Rodgers. “They both just bring so much to the table.”
LeVangie and Amado got involved early to stake W-H (4-0) to a 31-19 halftime lead before the Panthers endured a calamitous third quarter.
Plymouth North (4-2) went to a 1-2-2 half-court zone that caused W-H to register 10 of its 19 turnovers in the frame.
With their terrific defense and Julian Llopiz (20 points) sparking the offense, the Eagles got within three midway through the stanza and only trailed, 42-36, heading into the fourth quarter.
“This is the first game like this for all these guys. Just like pressure, really tough team.” said LeVangie as W-H has won its four games by an average of 26.3 points. “We as leaders had to make sure to corral them.”
Amado eased tensions by taking over with a personal 9-0 run to start the final frame. Amado drained two treys sandwiched around a traditional 3-point play off a terrific feed from Malcolm Alcorn-Crowder in the first 85 seconds of the fourth quarter that allowed W-H to cruise to the win.
“A lot of it was just good ball movement,” said Amado, who has notched 20-plus points in each game this season. “It’s easy when we’re moving the ball like that.”