While a 8-9 overall record and a 2-6 record in the Intermountain League seems nothing to cheer about, they represent a vast improvement for the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls basketball team.
Thus, when the Lady Panthers take the court this weekend in road matchups against Centauri High School and Monte Vista High School, players can draw confidence from the fact that their season has been a success.
If M-CHS picks up one or two victories, the team will be guaranteed to finish no worse than fifth place in the IML and could finish as high as fourth. Below are some things to look for during the Lady Panthers final regular-season games this season.
Centauri presents stiff challenge When M-CHS hits the road to face the Centauri on Feb. 8, the Lady Panthers know that they will face a physical team that has ranked as one of the state’s best and has enjoyed success again this season.
So far this season, the Falcons have amassed a 12-4 record overall and a 4-3 record in the Intermountain League. Centauri defeated M-CHS 57-34 this season in a game defined by turnovers and transition baskets.
If the Lady Panthers hope to give Centauri a game, M-CHS players will have to take care of the basketball and set up their half-court offense. As always, Lady Panthers’ sophomore Paige Yarbrough could have a big game in the post if teammates get her the ball.
Playing fundamental defense will also be key for M-CHS given Centauri’s balanced scoring attack that features four players averaging at least seven points per contest. Leading the way for the Falcons this season has been senior Melissa Wilson, who is averaging 14.7 points per game.
In the event that the Lady Panthers receive big games from Yarbrough, junior Myra Simmons, junior Hayden Leggett, junior Taelynn Comisky and junior Dimery Plewe, the game could remain close.
Given Centauri’s, however, expect the Falcons to build a big lead early before settling in for a double-digit victory.
Monte Vista capable of scoringAlthough the Monte Vista High School girls basketball team’s overall record of 3-12 and IML record of 0-7 are indicative of the teams’ season-long struggles, M-CHS knows that it must play well to walk away with a road victory on Feb. 9.
The Lady Panthers’ 62-50 victory over the Pirates on Jan. 25 should give players confidence, however, when they take the floor for their final regular season game of the season.
During M-CHS’ first matchup against Monte Vista, the Lady Panthers’ depth proved to the difference as five bench players played key minutes during what turned out to be a decisive third quarter. Freshman Brianna Comisky was especially impressive as the freshman notched 13 points in her first varsity game.
In securing what should be another double-digit victory over Monte Vista, look for M-CHS to push the ball in transition and utilize full-court pressure to bother Pirates’ guards in the backcourt.
If the Lady Panthers are able to lock down their third victory of the season, it is highly likely that the team will finish fourth in the Intermountain League. Both M-CHS contests are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.