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Out of answers

Panthers unable to answer Mill Valley in loss

WLH0116 The Paola Panther Boys Basketball team has played a bunch of close games this season, and moral victories have been a plenty, as the Panthers have never really been blown out against some quality competition. That changed Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at Mill Valley, as the Panthers endured a 20 point thumping a the hands of the Jaguars.

The Panthers were a cold as the icy conditions outside the Mill Valley Gym, and while they never gave up, were never really in the game, as the Jags opened a nine point 13-4 lead at the end of the first period, and never looked back, steadily adding to the advantage.

The Jaguars opened a quick 5-0 lead on the strength of a three pointer by Max Carrol and a jumper by Sterling Roaf, before Travis Hayes hit a basket cut the lead to three at 5-2. Tanner Rainbolt and Jonathan Pomatto traded baskets, but Mill Valley’s Carrol hit a free throw, Kyle Powers hit a field goal and finally Roaf made an old fashioned three point play to give the Jags a 13-4 lead.

Mill Valley added to the lead in the second quarter, increasing the lead to 21-8 on the strength of baskets by Powers, Roaf and Rainbolt and two free throws by Roaf, while the Panthers were able to score only on free throws by Nick Wilson and Pomatto. Paola’s Brandon Erisman hit a three pointer to cut the lead to 10 at 21-11, before Rainbolt hit a basket to jump the lead back to twelve. Rainbolt hit a three pointer a short time later to up the lead to 13 at 26-13.

The Panthers’ Hayes hit seven points during a 7-2 run, which brought Paola to within ten at 28-18, but the Jaguars went on a 6-0 run to end the half with a 34-18 lead.

“We have to do the things we can control,” said Panthers Head Coach Dave Cash. “We have to play smart and under control.”

Mill Valley doubled up on the Panthers to open the second half on a basket by Roaf, but Adam Henn , Pomatto and Brint Hastert send the Panthers on a 6-0 run to get the Panthers back to within 12 at 36-24.

But Mill Valley went on a 11-1 run, with all the Jaguar points being scored by Rainbolt, to open a 20 point, 45-25 lead. Hayes hit three of four free throws sandwiched around a basket by Taylor Reinoehl, and the Jaguar lead was nineteen at 47-28. The Jaguars Carroll hit a basket to up the led to 22 points at 49-28 and Pomatto converted a three pointer as the third quarter closed and the Panthers trailed by 18 at 49-31.WLH0202

The Panthers made a quick run at the beginning of the final period, as Henn opened the quarter with a three pointer and Skylar Hawkins hit the front end of a one and one situation to cut the Mill Valley to 14 at 49-35, but that was a close as they would come. Mill Valley answered the Panther run with a 10-0 run of their own, on the strength of eight Jonathan Anaekwe points and a basket by Roaf, before a three point by Michael Bryson stopped the run and left the Jags with a 59-38 lead.

Rainbolt and Pomatto traded baskets to keep the lead at 21 before the Panthers Conne Kresin hit two free throws to cut the lead to 19 at 61-42. Mill Valley’s Rainbolt hit a field goal which was answered by two free throws by Nick Wilson and then Curtis hit a bucket for Mill Valley and the Panthers Anthony West hit a basket to keep Mill Valley comfortably in the lead at 65-46.

The game closed out on a single free throw from Wilson and a basket by Curtis and the Jaguars closed out the 67-47 victory.

“We can play better than that,” said Panthers Head Coach Dave Cash. “ They beat us in every facet of the game.”

Cash went on to express concern about the team breaking down defensively, leaving their feet and trying to do things they can’t do physically.

“We lost to a team that was a better basketball team than us tonight,” Cash said.

The Panthers will return to the hardwoods on Friday night as they travel to Eudora to take on the Cardinals.