by David Tesitor
HOEHNE, WALSENBURG — The John Mall Panthers finished their regular season with a 7-13 record (6-8 League) when they defeated the Hoehne Farmers to close-out the regular season by the score 59-54.
From the opening quarter, the Panthers opened a 16-7 lead which was not relinquished. The win set up their first round district match against last place Las Animas where they were upset, thus eliminating them from advancing into the second round of districts. The Panthers fell 68-51.
Against the Farmers, Philip Valdez lit up the scoreboard with 25 points. He shot 54% from the field. The game was also won by the team with their 80% from the line on their free throw shooting. Under the boards, the Panthers controlled the defensive game with 24 rebounds which prevented the Farmers from second and third attempts.
The win set up the pigtail match against Las Animas, a team they beat twice in regular season. On the game which mattered, the Trojans upset the Panthers 68-51. Las Animas opened a 29-16 point half time lead then opened the game wide with 39 second points in the second half. Valdez was the team’s leading scorer with 18, but Las Animas had four Trojans scoring double digits.
James Gallegos was the game’s leading scorer.
This night, the tables turned as Las Animas out-rebounded the Panthers and pulled in 24 defensive boards of their own, stopping the Panthers from scoring on second chances.
John Mall 16 7 17 19 59
Hoehne 6 10 19 19 54
Las Animas 16 13 15 24 68
John Mall 10 6 13 22 51