On Friday afternoon the Palos Verdes Sea Kings traveled up the Hill to the Peninsula Panthers gymnasium for a rare 3:00 p.m. tip-off for the boys junior varsity basketball teams.
The game time had been switched due to the highly anticipated sell-out for the Varsity-level times, and since Palos Verdes no longer has a girls JV team, the boys start time was moved up. The last time these two teams met was back on Jan. 15 when the Panthers eked out a 3-point victory over the Sea Kings. This match-up had all the makings of another nail-biter.
The Panthers came out timid and appeared to playing not to lose to their neighbors, and the Sea Kings took advantage of the Panthers' tentativeness and raced out to an 11-5 lead midway through the first quarter. The Panthers, though, were apparently waiting for the right time to come to life and did they. The Panthers found their shooting touch and began hitting a variety of shots and battled back to finish the first quarter with a 15-11 lead. The Panthers jumped right back on the Sea Kings, who were looking a little startled, and the Panthers began successfully running against them as well as getting hot from behind the 3 point arc. The Panthers outscored the Sea Kings by a 19-9 margin to take a 34-20 lead going into halftime.
The Panthers have struggled against most of their opponents this season when they come out after halftime sluggish and out of sorts, but that wasn't going to happen this time. The Panthers came out ready to continue with the way the played in the second quarter and began attacking the Seas Kings on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. During the third quarter, there was a loose ball and tussle ensued between a Sea King player and a Panther. The referees jumped in quickly before anything could happen and this seemed to ignite the Panthers even more.
The Panthers began racing past the Sea Kings and scored easily and frequently ending the quarter with a 21-11 advantage and it put the Panthers up 55-31. The Panthers and Sea Kings exchanged baskets in the fourth quarter before the Panthers began to slow the pace of the game down when the lead ballooned up to 34 points. The Panthers became more direct and patient in their approach and began taking valuable time off the clock limiting the Sea Kings in their options.
As the clock wound down it became apparent that the Panthers were going to be victorious in this battle with the Sea Kings. The Panthers earned a 66-39 victory to move to 13-5 overall and 6-2 in the Bay League. The Panthers were led by sophomores Kurt Milch and Grey Goodman who put together quite an impressive scoring and defensive effort. Milch led the Panthers with 22 points, 19 rebounds, and 2 steals. Goodman scored a season high 19 points, 9 rebounds while coming off of the Panther bench. Junior Donte Buchanon scored 8 points, 8 assists, and 1 steal and Junior Cameron Tong added 8 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds.
The Panthers received an overall team effort in this victory. The Panthers have two very tough road games next week, with Mira Costa on Tuesday and the Bay League final versus West Torrance on Thursday. Both games will be played at 4:30 p.m. and the Panthers would love to see you at both Mira Costa and West Torrance.