Last Tuesday the Panthers basketball teams saw action in the Napa Valley where they played the Pacific Union Falcons in Angwin. The Panthers came on fast and strong with a early lead in the first half. John Paula and Garrett Mezzanatto worked hard on the boards while Domingo Ferreyra and Sergio Guiteirrez got the fast breaks going. In the second half, Omar Ferreyra came off the bench with a number of steals/fast breaks to help the Panthers pull away for good. Leading scorers were John Paula 18, Omar Ferreyra 11, Noe Benavides 10, Garrett Mezzanatto 10 and Derek Soto 5.
The JV boys team, lead by Jason Sanchez with 13 points, won their game 45-21. Other scoring: Hector Cruz scored 10, Irving Jimenez 8, Omar Benavides 6, Ryan Lopez 4 and Scott Johnston and Oren Klein had a bucket a piece.
Upper Lake JV & Varsity Tournament
Next stop, Upper Lake Tournament on Thursday night. AV was matched up with the host team, the Cougars, on opening night of the round-robin JV/Varsity tournament, which is never fun, especially in Upper Lake. Our boys varsity hung tough as they faced a rude home crowd and suffered a from big man, John Paula in early foul trouble. The Panthers pounced on an early lead in the first two quarters but the Cougars were never far behind. In the second half, the Cougars’ offense failed to answer to the hot shooting from the outside by Omar Ferreyra (6 three-pointers!!!) and Garrett Mezzanatto. The Panthers walked away with 73-55 victory. Omar Ferreyra finished with an impressive 27 points! Mezzanatto had 19, Noe Benavides 12, Paula 8, Domingo Ferreyra 3, Soto and Guitierrez each had 2.
JV Panthers suffered a 60-39 loss. Coach Espinoza referred to the loss as a “learning experience.” The JV Panthers were again led by Irving Jimenez 10, Jason Sanchez 9, Hector Cruz 7, Salvador Gutierrez 7 and Omar Benavides 4.
On Friday, despite Ferreyra’s 28 points, the Varsity fell to the Kelseyville Knights, 76-62. The entire game the Panther were plagued with bad passing, turnovers and poor performance (8 for 34) at the free throw line. Kelseyville had a quick running game and were cherry-picking from under the basket—our guys just couldn’t keep up. Mezzanatto and Paula finished with 14 points each and N. Benavides had 6.
JV Panthers lost to the Knights 63-23. Scoring was led by Sanchez 9, O. Benavides 8 and Scott Johnston had a 3-point shot.
Saturday’s Varsity action was disappointing for the Panthers and fans. The Panthers were cold and flat as they faced three-time tournament champions, the College Prep Cougars. A team that boasted a 6’6” center (tourney MVP) and a fast all-tourney guard, this year would be no different for the Cougars. College Prep flew by the Panthers 76-30 to take the tournament again. Scoring was led by Paula with 12, Mezzanatto 6, N. Benavides 4, D. Ferreyra 2, and O. Ferreyra and Carlos Mendoza each had a three-pointer. Coach Espinoza said, “They were out of gas. They’ve had 8 games in the last 14 days. They were just tired.” Espinoza still feels confident that they will do great once league play begins in January.
The finale for the JV Panthers was probably the most exciting game of the tournament. In a real nail-biter, the JV boys edged out College Prep 43-42 in the final seconds of the game. Omar Benavides picked up the offensive slack when Sanchez was benched with foul trouble. Benavides finished with 15 points, Jimenez 8, Sanchez 7, Johnston 5, and Cruz and Guitierrez had 4 each.
All-tournament honors were given to Omar Ferreyra for varsity and Jason Sanchez for JV. Congratulations! Don’t miss league action starting in January 2010!