by David Tesitor
Las Animas- The John Mall High School Lady Panthers traveled to face the Trojans of Las Animas last December 18. From the opening tip-off, the Trojans took command of the game, taking the ball down court to score. They never looked back. The Lady Panthers struggled offensively, which has been a problem all season. Missed shots and turnovers were the Lady Cats own worst enemy. The two teams traded shots and were equally matched, but some costly errors in the first half kept the Cats from getting back into the game. By the end of the first half, the Trojans led the Panthers 25-14. The Cats’ outside shooting showed much improvement. Reyonlds, Duran and Aguirre each hit three-point shots keeping the Panthers in the game.
The two teams played a strong defense in the second half and were equally matched. A much improved shooting percentage provided the Panthers with an offensive third quarter surge. The Panthers outscored Las Animas 15-12 in the third and trailed by only 8 going into the final quarter. It looked like the Cats were mounting a comeback but some costly errors and a tired Panther team allowed the Trojans to put the game out of reach. In the end, the faster and more experienced squad from our neighbors to the east prevailed 50-38, handing the Panthers their fifth loss of the season. Coach Bustos is working with the Lady Panthers to improve some of the errors and looks for a productive start after the holiday break. The Lady Panthers meet Rocky Ford on January 5.