On Thursday, Feb. 7, the Peninsula Panthers JV Boys Basketball Team traveled down to West Torrance for the final game of the 2012-2013 Season. The Panthers were riding a three-game winning streak with wins over Leuzinger High School, Palos Verdes High School, and Mira Costa High School. The Panthers were 14-5 and 7-2 coming into the game and were sitting in 2nd place in the Bay League JV Division. The Panthers, who were the defending Bay League Champions were looking to close out another successful season.
The game began and the Panthers jumped out to a very quick 11-0 lead and all seemed to be looking towards another Panther victory when the tide quickly changed. The Warriors appeared to be cold from the field and had difficulty making their shots. THe Panthers raced out to a 17-9 1st quarter lead. The 2nd quarter began and the wheels seemed to fall off of the wagon that the Panthers had been riding in. The Warriors began to hit a barrage of 3-point shots and the Panthers began turning the ball over uncharacteristically. The Panthers almost seemed to be disinterested in finishing what they had started and ended the 2nd quarter being outscored 14-6. This effort resulted in the game being tied at 23 at the half.
The third quarter began and from the onset it was quite apparent that the Warriors were now in the game to stay and they continued their onslaught of 3 pointers and Peninsula continued to struggle maintaining the ball. The third quarter ended with the Warriors outscoring the Panthers 19-16 to take a 3 point lead of 42-39 heading into the 4th and final quarter. The Panthers seemed to forget about how to play defense and they continually allowed the Warriors to take uncontested 3 point shots in the fourth quarter and with 3:00 minutes remaining in the quarter the Panthers were down by 7 points. The Panthers switched from their 3-2 defense to a full-court man-to-man defense and slowing began inching closer to the Warriors. The Warriors were no longer allowed wide open three point shots and suddenly their accuracy began to fall. The Panthers roared back and tied the game at 59 to end regulation. The Panthers were told by their coaches that this was now the time to go and get this victory, that they needed to forget about the first four quarters and treat this as the beginning of a new game. The Panthers responded by jumping on the Warriors quickly and in overtime the Panthers outscored the Warriors 9-2 to win the game 68-61.
The Panthers ended the Bay League season with a respectable 8-2 record to finish in second place all alone. The Panthers finished the year with a 15-5 mark.
The Panthers were led by Sophomore Kurt Milch who scored 25 points, 19 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Junior Donte Buchanon added 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 blocked shot. Junior Cameron Tong stepped up and added 14 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. The Panthers showed their determination and grit in grinding out this victory against a very good West Torrance Warrior team.
This year's Panther JV team had a remarkable summer and season record of 37-6 for a winning percentage of .860. This is a remarkable achievement for a team who's tallest player is 6'01" but they realized that by playing together as a team anything was possible. Congrats to the Peninsula Panthers JV Boys Basketball Team on another successful season. The past two JV Teams have set the bar high and with the proper amount of effort and dedication the success should continue in the future. Way to go Panthers!