Just in case the first 18 games of the season didn’t drive home the following point, the last two games of the year certainly did.
The Montezuma-Cortez High School boys basketball team is not what it once was, and absent major offseason adjustments, the team’s future appears bleak.
Panthers blown out by Grand Junction
Opening the final weekend of their season at home against Grand Junction High School on Feb. 14, the Panthers were dominated from start to finish, losing 81-26.
Appearing completely overmatched to begin the contest, the Panthers fell behind 28-11 after the first quarter and 48-22 entering the half.
Unable to contain Grand Junction point guard Broderick Robinson, the Panthers defense consistently yielded easy buckets to their skilled opponents.
Robinson led all scorers with 23 points in the contest.
Punctuating the Panthers defeat of the season was a horrific fourth quarter that saw the M-CHS outscored 15-0.
Senior Jaron Carver led the Panthers in scoring with seven points.
Panthers crushed by Montrose
Hoping to bounce back against Montrose on Feb. 15, the Panthers once again ended up on the wrong end of a lopsided final score, falling 74-55 in their final game of the season.
Outplayed from start to finish, the Panthers fell behind 23-15 after the first quarter and 36-24 entering the half.
Providing a lone bright spot for the Panthers was senior Brackin Whiteskunk, who scored nine of his 13 total points in the first half.
Asked to assess his team’s performance after the contest, Whiteskunk was frank.
“Crap,” he said.
Even with the dismal performance however, Panthers’ head coach Dusty DeBoer did his best to put a positive spin on what has been a rough season.
“This season is a stepping stone,” said DeBoer. “Whenever you have a first-year coach and you are instituting something new, there are going to be hiccups.”
Overall, the Panthers finished the season with a 7-13 record.
“The big focus this offseason is going to be a lot of gym time,” said DeBoer.