LATTA — Byng’s Pirates weathered Hurricane Isaac in the first quarter of Monday’s showdown with rival Latta, then stirred up a storm of their own in the final three periods en route to a fast-paced and entertaining 70-61 victory before an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd at the Bill Johnson Fieldhouse.

The Panthers, who came into the game 11-5 and ranked No. 15 in Class 2A, sprinted to an early 20-10 lead behind center Isaac Vandever’s 15 first-quarter points and still led by eight (30-22) midway through the second period. But Byng’s full-court pressure forced six second-quarter turnovers, the Pirates took the lead for good on Ryan Dallen’s running 3-pointer as time expired in the third period, and they scored the game’s final eight points after Latta star Kolbie Brown missed two free throws that could have given the Panthers the lead with 2:17 to play.

“When Ryan hit that shot at the end of the third quarter, that was huge,” Byng coach Tommy Eaton said after watching his club go 10-for-17 from 3-point range and improve to 9-5 while completing a rare season sweep of Latta. “I thought that really sparked us.”

Latta took a 47-46 lead on a layup by Trevan Jimboy with 30 seconds left in the third quarter, and, after Byng’s Glenn Mitchell was called for an offensive foul, the Panthers played for the last shot. But Brown missed a 3-pointer with about four seconds left, and Dallen grabbed the rebound, raced across midcourt and threw up a prayer from about 30 feet that banked in as the horn sounded.

Dallen’s shot put the Pirates up, 49-47, heading to the final eight minutes, and Byng’s lead grew to 57-49 on Heath Wall’s baseline jumper with 5:18 to play before Latta scored 12 of the next 17 points to close to within 62-61 on sophomore Dakota Roebuck’s free throw with 2:49 remaining.

Ryan Haynes, who scored seven of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, then missed a shot, and Dalton Brown — who made his first start of the season for the Panthers — grabbed the last of his five rebounds and fed ahead to older brother Kolbie, who was fouled by Preston Petty while attempting a layup at the other end. Kolbie Brown missed both free throws, however, and the Pirates got eight points from four different players down the stretch and held Latta to only two shots the rest of the way to finally seal the victory.

“It would have taken a really good team to beat Byng tonight the way they played,” Latta coach Donnie Husband said. “The thing I feel good about is that they had to beat us — we didn’t beat ourselves.

“I thought they’d have to play great to beat us tonight, and they did.”

The Panthers — especially Vandever — started the game with arguably their best seven minutes of the season, hitting eight of their first 11 shots to grab the 10-point lead with a minute left in the opening period. Vandever was 6-for-6 while draining a variety of shots during that stretch, including a 3-pointer, a hook shot in the lane and a couple of baseline jumpers, and his 16-footer with a minute left in the quarter put Latta up, 20-10.

But Byng’s Preston Petty answered with back-to-back 3-pointers (the second with four seconds left off a feed from Haynes) to cut the lead to 20-16 heading to the second quarter.

Another Vandever hook in the opening seconds of the second period made it 22-16, his layup off an assist from Dalton Brown at the 5:50 mark put the Panthers up, 27-20, and the Latta lead grew to eight when Jimboy — who sat out the first 10:33 of the game after being late for a practice — drained a 3-pointer off an assist from Kolbie Brown with 4:12 left.

Byng’s press then forced four straight Latta turnovers, Jordan Parnacher hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the score at 30-all with just under three minutes left before intermission, and the Pirates took a 32-30 lead to the locker room when Haynes hit an off-balance floater along the baseline at the 1:50 mark that put his team on top for the first time in the game. Latta, meanwhile, finished the half 0-for-4 from the field after Jimboy’s 3-pointer.

Haynes, who was one of the area’s top backcourt players as a sophomore last season, had struggled offensively for most of the 2005-2006 campaign and was benched by Eaton for a few minutes early in the first quarter after missing bady on a long 3-pointer. But he came back to get a key offensive rebound and completed a 3-point play after being fouled on the putback to cut Latta’s biggest lead of the game (16-5) to single digits with 2:28 left in the first quarter, and he finished with five assists to go with his team-best 15 points. Haynes capped his big night with a drive through the Latta defense for a reverse layup with a minute to play that made it 68-61 and finally put the game out of reach.

“I just took (Haynes) out to kind of settle him down,” Eaton said. “But he made the difference in the second half. Sometimes we’re at our best when we press and play at a faster pace, and Ryan’s a big part of that.”

Byng’s defense, particularly sophomore center Caleb Timmons, also settled down after Vandever — a 6-6 senior who scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a victory over Atoka Friday — scored 19 points in just over 10 minutes to start the game. The Pirates held Vandever to only five shots and six points the rest of the way, and he didn’t take a shot in the fourth quarter.

“Caleb and Heath (Wall) did a good job on defense in the second half,” Eaton said. “We just weren’t contesting Isaac in the first quarter.”

“Their defense got better and we just weren’t patient after the first quarter,” Husband noted. “The Mitchell kid really hurt us in the third quarter, and we would have gone to the fourth quarter with the lead if Dallen hadn’t hit that shot.”

Mitchell, who wasn’t available at the start of the season while he recovered from an injury, had his best all-around performance since his comeback, scoring all nine of his points — including a pair of 3-pointers — in the third period and also grabbing seven rebounds while playing less than half the game. His first trey came with 3:20 left (and just 10 seconds after Kolbie Brown’s 3-pointer had given Latta its biggest lead of the quarter at 43-38), and his second bomb came with 1:15 left to make it 46-45 — just after Timmons had grabbed the offensive rebound on a missed 3-pointer by Parnacher.

Timmons, who had a double-double in Byng’s win over Latta last month, finished with 13 points — including six in the fourth quarter — on 6-of-9 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds to share the team lead with Mitchell.

Petty finished with 12 points, and, in addition to his two key 3-pointers at the end of the first quarter, he also grabbed an offensive rebound (one of his four boards in the game) after Wall missed the second of two free throws with 2:16 to play. After being fouled, Petty sank one of his two free throws to make it 64-61.

Wall finished with five points — all in the fourth quarter — and added five rebounds, three assists and a steal, while Dallen came off the bench with five points, two assists, a rebound and a steal. Parnacher finished with nine points, all in the first half.

Kolbie Brown (who was scoreless in the first half) and Jimboy had 11 points each in the loss, while sophomores Dalton Brown — who Husband said will probably be the Panthers’ starting point guard the rest of the season — and Roebuck combined for 11 points (seven by Roebuck), 11 rebounds (six by Roebuck) and four assists.