The Woodland Park boys’ basketball team was looking to get 2017 off on the right foot when they hosted Mitchell late last week.
Unfortunately, the Panther hoopsters, even with much needed rest, just couldn’t continue their winning streak. A bad start just killed their prospects of jumping to more victories on the b-ball court.
The Panthers must have liked their chances in this game. Woodland Park was boasting their longest winning streak in four years, and Mitchell had only won two games all season. The game was originally scheduled to be played on January 5, but due to weather and school closures, the game was pushed back to Jan. 6.
When the game finally did start, it was not pretty for the Panthers. Mitchell was dominant in rebounds and that helped them jump out to a quick 11-point lead. Woodland Park would get their first points of the game off senior Sam Levy’s two successful free throws. This was quite a surprising factor, considering that Levy missed the previous game the Panthers played due to an injury.
While it appeared that the two-week break the school had would help the Panthers get healthy, it apparently didn’t help their play. During the entire first quarter, the team just seemed lethargic. They were not getting defensive rebounds, and their shot execution was well below the standards set early in the season. To make matters worse, one of Woodland Park’s best players, sophomore Skye Ciccarelli, got nailed with two quick fouls and was on the bench for most of the first quarter.
The second quarter was a lot better for the Panthers, though. They started to close the gap that Mitchell had established. But while their shot-making improved, the Panthers committed way too many fouls. However, this was a game in which both Woodland Park and Mitchell experienced foul problems. In the first half alone, there were 20-plus fouls by both teams. When the quarter had drawn to a close, the Panthers narrowed their deficit to 27-33, and it appeared that maybe the Panthers would be able to make a comeback.
The second half overall, though, just was not good for Woodland Park. They were not able to close the gap and Mitchell was just too strong rebounding the ball. The final score was 64-53 in favor of Mitchell.
As a result of this defeat ,Woodland Park falls to a record of 5-3 and 0-1 in league play. Obviously this is not the type of game Woodland Park wanted following their winter break. The Panthers are going to have to forget about this loss quickly, as the team’s next home game is set for this evening (Tuesday, Jan. 10), against the reigning league champion Sierra. It begins at 7 p.m.
Lady Panthers continue winning ways
On the Lady Panthers’ b-ball side, things have been going quite well, and maybe the winter break helped them. They too had their game on Thursday postponed. So that meant on Friday, they would play a double-header, with one game against Conifer, a school the boys team had already beaten this year, and a second game against Steamboat Springs.
The girls just absolutely dominated Conifer. The game was never in question as the lady Panthers steam rolled their way to a 53-19 victory. And in their second game, the Panthers handily defeated Steamboat Springs by a score of 53-35. They improved to 5-2 mark with the wins.
The girls’ next home game is not until Thursday, Jan 12, against The Classical Academy.
Compared to previous years, the 2016/2017 Woodland Park basketball program is showing great signs of improvement.
While this week might not have been the best for the boys’ team, they still have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about getting back on track. Meanwhile, the lady Panthers look like they are positioned to stack quite a few wins in the next couple of weeks.