WP Hoopsters Set First Winning Mark in Years – Boys’ team shattering expectations Mac McClintock

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The good times keep rolling for the Woodland Park’s boys’ basketball team.

Is this team flawless? Not really. Are they winning? Well, don’t bet against the Panthers, at least for the 2016/2017 season.

The Panther boys’ hoopsters this week tried to continue the momentum they had established from a recent game in which they put up an astonishing 96 points, and looked amazing on the court.

The team opened up this week against Florence, which had an undefeated (3-0) record. The Panthers were not planning on letting Florence hang around in this one, though. The Woodland Park b-ball team completely trounced Florence. In the first half alone, the Woodland boy hoopsters put up 40 points and held the Huskies to a mere 14. Woodland Park let up in the second half and the final of that game was 75-48. The win gave Woodland Park a 3-2 winning record, marking the first time the team had back to back wins since 2012.

For the most part, Woodland Park played great, but they did make a few bad passes and lost control of the ball on dribbles a few times. The crazy thing is, even when that happened, the ball just seemed to always bounce Woodland Park’s way. And the reason for this fortunate result is because the Panthers simply displayed more talent than Florence.

So the question quickly became, “Can the Panthers keep this winning trend up?” They would face a premiere test against Littleton, a formidable and underrated opponent. Littleton, when you just looked at their 1-4 record, didn’t appear that tough to beat. But when you take a deeper look at the games they had played, they barely lost most of them. The bout against Littleton last week was a big contest, probably the biggest game of the year.

And Woodland Park answered the bell in resounding fashion. The Panthers dominated the first quarter, scoring 14 points and only surrendering 4. The offense this first quarter was mostly entirely driven by sophomore Skye Ciccarelli and junior Josh Bodin. When commenting on this winning duo, Bodin noted, “Skye (Ciccarelli) is an amazing player and for him to take over games, I feel like he does not think, he just goes out and does it. And for me, I just let the game come to me, attack the rim and get shots. When we both go off we open up opportunities for our teammates. We could never do it without our teammates.”

While Bodin and Ciccarelli dominated the first quarter, the second quarter belonged to junior Kodi Newsome of the Panthers. He succeeded in shutting down Littleton’s best player, and then on the offensive side of the ball, Newsome was able to get offensive rebounds on back to back possessions. In addition, he got to put back shots on both of those. So going into halftime the Panthers had a comfortable 29-13 lead.

The third quarter though was not one of Woodland Park’s best as they slowly let Littleton get back into the game. This was partially attributed to the fact that both senior Orion Drummond and senior Connor Elliot netted four fouls and had to come out of the game. The good news for the Panthers is that they have amazing depth on their bench.

As Newsome explained, “We all are willing to do whatever is best for the team, whether it means playing the whole game or not playing much at all.” Even with Woodland Park’s depth, Littleton did get back into the game and came within one point with only one minute to play.

But Bodin made a clutch shot that basically sealed the victory for the Panthers. Woodland Park won by a 52-47 margin.

This boys’ hoopsters are now 4-2 and they are starting to learn how to finish games. Obviously letting Littleton get back into this last game was not great, but they still found a way to win at the end of the day.

The rebound of the boys’ basketball team this season is becoming a record-breaking sensation.

Currently the team has won three home games. The last time a Woodland Park boys’ basketball team won three home games was during the 2012-2013 season. And when it comes to three consecutive victories, the last time this occurred was during the 2005-2006 season

This team still has a few hurdles to overcome. But for better or worse they are a lot of fun to watch. The team’s next game is at home against Prospect Ridge Academy on Tuesday, December 20

If you can’t make the game, the school does broadcast all home games (boys and girls) live on their twitter feed (@WP_Perspective).