Thomas Haverty trying to make it happen. Allen Hamrick photo.
Hunter Jones hits the lane for two. Allen Hamrick photo.
Garrett Quinn with his signature one arm shot. Allen Hamrick photo.
Isaac Workman trying to work out the bugs. Allen Hamrick photo.

The week for the Panthers started off with a bang, that’s for sure.

It was the last home game that five of the seniors would participate in; Thomas Haverty, Isaac Workman, Nate Schoolcraft, Nate Canfield and Ryan Burdette said their final goodbyes to their senior year of basketball.  This group of veteran Panthers have been a force during their years in the halls of CCHS.  They will be missed when the next season begins, but their story will just be starting whether they decide to take their skills to the next level or not. That being said, they let their skills all hang out against the visiting Doddridge team early this week. Thomas Haverty couldn’t miss inside the paint and around the perimeter,  hitting for 25 points in the game. Isaac Workman followed that up with 17, and Ryan Burdette hit for 12 of his own.

It was a great game full of high flying Panther action, and they were devastating on the court on defense and offense. The final score was Panthers 73, Doddridge 61. Then it happened. I’m not sure if the stars didn’t line up right, the moon was in the 5th dimension or Santa Claus disappeared. None the less, the game of basketball for the Panthers became as hard to play as stacking donuts on their edge. It was the much anticipated rematch pitting the Panthers against the Braxton Eagles. It is one of the biggest rivalries in the state, a game where there was no swapping of Valentine’s Day cards or inviting home for supper afterwards. The place was packed like sardines, the noise was deafening and there was standing room only. The Panthers and the Eagles took to the courts, and the Eagles took an early lead due to some rare Panther mistakes made early.

After the early lead, the wheels just kept getting stuck deeper and deeper for the Panthers.  They kept the score within five points in the first period, but late in the second period, the Eagles started pulling away. The Panthers kept it close with a couple of bursts of good luck on the boards,  and at the half, they  were just down by six. They came out after half time, and it was downhill from there. Their passing game was like passing porcupines. In the end, the Panthers were down 16 when the buzzer had mercy and ended the game. If there was a definition in the dictionary for beating yourself, it would say Panthers beside of it. The boys usually have pin point accuracy in their passing and shooting and turn the ball over very little. Not this game; the Eagles capitalized on Panther turnovers and their missed attempts at the hoops. Isaac Workman and Thomas Haverty combined for just 24 points together in the game. Nate Canfield and Garrett Quinn were held to just 13 between the two of them.  It was a tough outing for the Panthers and when the chant, “ nah na nah na, hey hey, goodbye,” by the Eagle fans was over, it was the Panthers defeated by the score of Panthers 48, Eagles 64.

The season isn’t defined by this loss, and the Panthers traveled to Williamson to take the show on the road. They only thing that can be said is ditto of the Braxton game. The normal for the Panthers is accuracy, but in Williamson the hoops must have been moving or jumping.   Scoring was at a minimum as the shots bounced off the rim and sometimes missed it completely.   It seemed that Panther basketball was in the twilight zone or the original team was taken by aliens. When the buzzer ended the game,  it was Panthers 46, Williamson 58. Isaac Workman was top shot in the game with 13.

The Panthers will hit the road this Monday and will butt heads with Valley.  They are the only other team to beat the Panthers this year, but the home team needs to get back on track.  The Panthers have a chance at going far in the Sectionals but will have to find their game again.  Go Panthers.