By Andrew Luberda
The Panthers boys’ team remains winless for the season after dropping four games in last week’s Copper Cities Tournament. With the loss of seven players off last year’s team, including all five starters, head coach Ryan Palmer thought there might be some trying times during the season.
“We will have a lot of inexperienced players that will need to adapt quickly to the speed and intensity of the game at the high school level,” Palmer said before the season.
An always optimistic Palmer knows going through these growing pains will pay dividends in the future. With a number of underclassmen on the varsity squad, they’re gaining valuable experience if not the victories.
The Panthers scored 42 points in a loss against Florence in the tournament. It was the team’s highest scoring total in its last six games. They held Miami to 49 points in their first game of the tournament on December 12, 2013.
Junior Matthew Zavala led the Panthers with 14 points, six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in the loss to Miami. Zavala is one of the few Panthers’ players with any varsity experience.
The Panthers will have three games this week to earn their first win and hopefully more beginning on December 17 with a home game versus Hayden. They’ll play at Salt River on December 19 before another home game on December 20 against Miami. The game at Salt River begins at 5:30 p.m. while the two home games will begin at 7:00 p.m.