The Woodland Park basketball teams have gotten off to a bullish start, forcing critics to eat their words.
Both of these teams were coming off awful seasons, only winning a total of three games. The early prognosis for this 2016/2017 wasn’t too positive.
However, the forthcoming season appears to be headed in a different direction, capped by the boy hoopsters ending a several year home losing streak.
The boy’s team went on the road to Lamar to start their 23 game season.
That game did not fall Woodland Park’s way. The team’s 20 turnovers to Lamar played a key factor in the loss for the Panthers, as they fell 63-56.
After a disappointing start to the season, Woodland Park came back home and had to face Summit. The game was tied going into halftime, but the Panthers came out hot in the third quarter. Josh Bodin led the way with several clutch three pointers to help Woodland Park build a sizable lead against the Tigers. The Panthers held onto the lead and won by a score of 69-62.
The most amazing part about this victory was it marked the first time since January 8, 2014 that the Panther boys’ b-ball team won a home game. When asked about the importance of breaking such a long losing streak, Senior Sam Levy said, “All we can do is focus on winning every possession in every game. The streak is irrelevant. We focus on what we can control and take it one game at a time.”
To the team’s credit they did just that against Summit. After the Summit game, the team had to go on the road to face Pueblo County. The team found themselves down by 16 points, heading into the fourth quarter. They tried to rally back and put together a great effort, but fell just short and lost with a heart-breaking final of 44-43.
Following that tough loss, the Woodland Park team didn’t mess around and absolutely slaughtered Sheridan 96-71. That was their highest scoring output in the maxprep statistical arena, going back to the 2005-2006 season. If it’s not the school record for most points in a single game, it is awfully close. The team is now 2-2 and their next game is December 13 at home against Florence.
Lady Panthers riding high
For the girls’ team it has been quite the ride through their first three games. They started their season on the road against Conifer and they absolutely demolished them. The dominated every single faze of the game and took home an easy win with a final of 53-41. They then would play their first home game of the season against Summit and once again looked like a dominate team.
They jumped out fast with a 10-1 run and took a 34-20 lead into halftime.
In the second half Jenna Bashor frequently got to the free throw line and helped the lady Panthers to a 69-35 rout of the visiting Tigers.
Their next contest was another home game against Pueblo County. And this time it seemed the script would turn against the Panthers. For almost the entire game, they were out played by the Hornets, but in the fourth quarter they started to make a comeback, cutting the Hornets
lead to only four points. Unfortunately late game turnovers would doom the lady Panther as they suffered their first loss of the season, 53-41. Their next game is December 13 on the road at Florence.
On the upside, both basketball teams have already matched their win totals from last year during the first week of official play. Moreover, it appears that both sides of the program are finally improving.
The most amazing part is that last Saturday marked the first time since December10, 2011 that both the girls’ and boys’ Panther basketball teams won on the same day. Ironically, that previous feat also occurred against Summit. While all of this is great news for the kick-off of the basketball season, it won’t mean anything if the local b-ball teams can’t win league games in January and February.
That’s when the games really matter.