By Andrew Luberda
The Panthers boys’ basketball team defeated Hayden last Tuesday night to earn its first win of the season. The Panthers recorded their highest point total in the 59 – 46 victory.
Junior Ricky Longoria was one assist from his first triple-double of the season. As it was, Longoria finished with a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. He also added nine assists.
Panthers’ head coach Ryan Palmer said the players on the team, especially the underclassmen, are progressing from where they were when the season started. As a result, they are playing more competitively.
“I can see they are starting to know their assignments more without having to overthink it,” Palmer said. “I was happy with how we played.”
Freshman Nicolaus Cruz contributed 11 points and three rebounds while junior Matthew Zavala added nine points.
With the number of underclassmen playing on the varsity team, their biggest challenge has been adjusting to the speed of the game. The more games they play, the more comfortable they become. Palmer knows it’s part of the process. He’s happy to see the team rewarded for their efforts.
“They’re working hard to get better,” Palmer said. “It’s good to get the first win.”