The Lake County High School men’s basketball team wrapped up a fierce season last weekend with two tough regional games at home.
The Panthers kicked off the first round of 3A regional playoffs last Friday, March 3 with a win against the Meeker High School Cowboys 67-61.
The men won the first three quarters 13-9, 19-16 and 16-15 respectively. The fourth quarter score was 19-21, but the Panthers had enough points to claim victory.
“The game started off slow, but once the nerves left the boys were able to pick up the intensity and play a solid four quarters of basketball,” said head coach Isaac Martinez.
By playing man-to-man the whole game with a quick, fast-paced offense, the Panthers managed to hold off the Cowboys and sustain their lead throughout, said Martinez.
Senior Adrian Medina led the team with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Isaiah Martinez and junior Jonathan Valdez secured double doubles during the game, further leading the effort with 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for Martinez and 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for Valdez.
Anthony Harris, another senior, also helped the team reach victory with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.
After winning Friday’s playoffs, the team moved on to play a challenging game against Yuma High School, last year’s 2A state champions. The Panthers lost 65-86.
“They got a jump from the start and took the lead early,” said Martinez of the Panthers’ opponents.
Although Lake County was down 13 points after the first quarter with a score of 14-27, the men never quit and started cutting into the lead by the second quarter.
For most of the third quarter, the Panthers tested Yuma by chipping away at their lead, knocking the score gap to single digit by the end of the quarter. “Lake County had the crowd wild,” said Martinez.
The fourth quarter went back and forth, but Yuma’s experience and lead kept them ahead. “We eventually ran out of gas and couldn’t capitalize on the third quarter comeback,” said Martinez.
Although the Panthers eventually went down by 10 points, the team fought hard until the final buzzer for the end of a magnificent season.
Medina once again led the team with 20 points, two steals and two assists, followed by Martinez with 12 points and eight rebounds, Harris with 10 points and two assists and senior Victor Anguiano, who had nine points and four assists.
The Panthers ended the season with a 17-16 record and impressive stats throughout.
Medina, who leads the group in overall points, said it was an honor to be a part of such a special team throughout the season and the last few weeks of playoffs.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else,” said Medina.
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