ORLANDO — It was early in the third quarter and the Lake Mary Rams were showing signs of life.
The Dr. Phillips Panthers boys basketball team had taken a 42- 19 lead into the half, but the Rams had rallied to start the second half and had cut the lead to 44-30.
After that 11-2 run to start the half, though, the Panthers (1-0) responded with one of their own — a 27-0 run en route to an emphatic 78-33 victory to start the 2014-15 campaign.
"I felt we came out a little bit flat, a little bit content with where we were at in the game at the beginning of the third quarter," Dr. Phillips head coach Anthony Long said. "But then we changed that and put a nice run on them."
Justin Tucker had a career-high 23 points to lead the way for the Panthers, while Chaundee Brown weighed in with 19 points and Jonathan Laurent registered 11 on the night.
Dr. Phillips showcased its ability to turn the tide of a game quickly, capitalizing on its length on defense and allowing steals and rebounds on that end to turn into easy buckets in transition.
"We've got four guys that are about 6'6 and so sometimes we'll put all four of them out there in an extended zone and it makes it real hard on the offense to pass the ball around," Long said. "That's something that we'll go to every once in a while but man-to-man will always be our base defense."
The Panthers will return to action looking for their second win of the season when they host rival Olympia on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.