by David Tesitor
Las Animas- On December 18, the Panther boys’ basketball team traveled east to Las Animas to face the Trojans. In a closely fought battle, the Cats lost a heartbreaker 41-32. John Mall played a tough defense in the first half, holding the usually high scoring Trojans to 15. Poor shooting by the Cats yielded only 20 first half points themselves, otherwise they could have blown away the Trojans.
The second half was not kind to the Panthers as they seemed to run out of gas, scoring only two points in the third quarter. On the other side of the ball, Las Animas struggled offensively, but managed to outscore the Cats. As the quarter ended, the Trojans managed to take the lead 24-22. As the 4th quarter began, foul trouble kept the Panthers out of the game. By now, the Panthers could not catch up. By the time the final horn sounded, the Panthers Mike Vigil fouled out and the Cats lost 41-32. Despite the wide margin of victory, the Panthers played a hard game. It was closer than the final score indicated. Poor shooting and sloppy errors, on both sides of the ball made for an uninteresting game.
Coach Harriman indicated when the season began, he expected this to be a rebuilding year, and as the season progressed, his players would gain the much needed experience they need. Not a single player for the Cats scored in double digits. Vigil was high scorer for the Panthers with nine, followed by Alex Rodriquez with eight. Craig Eccher hit eight and Charlie Whitehead hit six. The Panthers return to action Jan. 5 against Rocky Ford.