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RANGELY | The Panthers traveled to Manila, Utah, for the Manila Holiday Classic on Dec. 15-16. A year ago, the Panther boys went 1-1 at the tournament, losing in the championship game by two points. This year the tournament featured more teams and the Panthers found their equals in the first matchup. The Intermountain Christian Lions from Salt Lake City trailed the Panthers 31-30 at halftime Friday. But the Lions came out strong in the third quarter outscoring the Panthers 19-13. The Panthers rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to find themselves down two points with possession of the ball and nine seconds left on the clock. Doug Denison showed his maturity in attacking the basket and getting a good shot, but it was not meant to be as the Panthers fell 60-58 to the Lions.
“We did a good job of defending ICS,” stated coach Kyle Boydstun, “But they shot the ball very well from the three point line. We just needed more stops in the third quarter.” The Panthers were led by Patrick Scoggins with 26 points and Kobe Broome with 14, while Brennan Noyes pitched in eight points. The JV team got an overtime win Friday against the ICS Lions JV which featured 31 points from Marshall Webber.
The second night featured a rematch against the Manila Mustangs. The Mustangs came out firing on their home court while the Panthers had no answers early for the Mustangs. “Jordan Lucio and Burk Pallesen proved too much for us—we had few answers for them defensively which allowed their shooters to spread the floor and get open shots,” said coach Boydstun. The Mustangs earned a 67 to 35 win and the tournament championship for the second year in a row. The Panthers were led by Devin Ramirez with 11 points and Cameron Filfred with 10 points. Earlier that morning the Panthers JV team proved very competitive in a 48-40 loss to the Manila junior varsity.
The Panthers begin league play after Christmas break by hosting Hayden on Jan. 5 and then traveling to Oak Creek to take on Soroco on Jan. 6.