If history provides any indication, the Southwest League is not going to get any easier.
Therefore, if the Montezuma-Cortez High School boys basketball team hopes to be competitive during the remainder of the season, things need to turn around in a hurry.
Turnovers haunt Panthers in loss to Montrose
Kicking off last weekend’s play on the road against Montrose, the Panthers were plagued by turnovers, losing 68-47 to what appears to be one of the league’s tougher teams.
After remaining competitive throughout a first quarter that ended with Montrose leading 15-13, the Panthers hit a wall early in the second, falling behind 38-24 entering the half.
“We had been on the road, and we didn’t execute very well,” said Panthers head coach Dusty DeBoer. “We just turned the ball over way too much. “
Key to Montrose’s victory was a balanced scoring attack led by senior Angelo Youngren, who scored 12 points. In all, six Montrose players scored at least six points.
“Montrose is a very disciplined team,” said DeBoer. “They are tough.”
Panthers blown out in Grand Junction
Hoping that things might get easier on Dec. 25, the Panthers ran into another tough league foe, losing to Grand Junction 65-42 in what turned out to be a lopsided contest.
Doing their best to contain talented Grand Junction senior Broderick Robinson, the Panthers hung tough during the first half, trailing 29-20 after two quarters.
“The first half, we played great,” said DeBoer. “We played with them very well.”
Looking flat to begin the second half however, the Panthers were outscored 22-8 during the third quarter and trailing 51-28 entering the fourth, the game was all but over.
“The second half, we ran out of gas,” said DeBoer. “We have times where we go into spells and lose our composure.”
With the loss, the Panthers fell to 5-8 on the season and 1-3 in the Southwest League.
Next up for the Panthers will be a Jan. 30 home match-up against the Durango Demons in a game that promises the usual excitement that accompanies one of the Southwest’s great rivalries.
“It’s a huge one,” said DeBoer of the upcoming matchup. “This is what these kids live for. “We’re going to give it everything we have and if our kids execute, we’re going to come out on top.”