Boys Basketball: The Panthers (3-5 overall, 1-1 Mid-Willamette Conference) came out strong against West Albany (0-7 overall, 0-3 MWC) in their matchup on Dec. 18, winning 56-48.
“Wednesday was a good first win for us in league,” said head coach Tim Kreta. “We came out strong and built up a nice sized lead.”
The team opened the third quarter with a 2-point lead.
“The third, we found ourselves struggling to get back on track with what we found working in the first quarter,” Kreta said. “Kids battled hard to retake the lead in the fourth, and were able to stay the course for the last four minutes of the game. I was really proud of our guys for holding on and competing till the end. Some younger kids really stepped up and helped out.”
On Friday, Dec. 21, the Panthers battled against Philomath (6-2 overall, 0-0 Oregon West Conference) on the courts at Western Oregon University, ultimately losing the onslaught 56-50.
“Our game versus Philomath was a little bit of a bummer,” Kreta said. “I really thought we matched up well against them. I liked how our younger kids played in the first quarter and gave us the lead going into half.”
Opening up the second half, Philomath stepped up their game and overpowered the Panthers in terms of energy, pulling up the lead from a two point deficit.
“Our kids fought hard,” he said. “Junior Nunez came off the bench and shot the ball well, and Brooks Ferguson kept the ball moving by attacking the middle of the 1-3-1 zone they used against us. This game will be a good one for us to learn from. At this point we are getting really close to having pieces together to finish our games. We have the last of our preseason or non-league games this coming week at Crescent Valley versus Ashland and Willamette. I am very excited to see our kids compete. I know they will be ready to embrace league competition and bring in the new year with a focused effort.”
The Panthers competed in the Crescent Valley Tournament on Friday and Saturday, after press time.
On Jan. 4, they travel to Crescent Valley at 7 p.m.
Swimming: On Dec. 20, the Panthers went up against the North Salem Vikings in a duel swim meet.
On the girls squad, the Panthers clinched second place, with 71 points, while the Vikings swam away with a victory with a 94 points.
In the girls 100-yards Breaststroke, Olivia Cooper came in first with a personal best of 1:19.97 from her seeded time of 1:21.54.
In the 200 Freestyle, Grace Holstad came in first with a personal best of 2:11.81 and broke the school record by 7.5 seconds, previously held by K. Hill in 2008 with the time of 2:19.31. She also clinched a PR in the 100 freestyle with 59.10, breaking her own school record of 59.27 from the Mid-Willamette conference district meet last season.
In the 200 freestyle relay, the Panthers came in first with a final time of 2:04.88, with Lynze Bradley (29.97), Cooper (30.00), Guilia Venturi (36.06), and Holstad (28.28) completing the quartet.
On the boys team, Central nabbed a first-place victory with 88 points, and North Salem pulled up with 44 points.
In the 100-yeards breast stroke, David Glade came in first place with a personal best of 1:13.64.
In the 400 freestyle relay, the Panthers came out in first place with a final time of 4:20.16, with Kyler Kasnick (1:08.37), Trent Nash (1:09.30), Glade (1:03.16) and Sean Stephenson (1:03.16) completing the relay team.
In the 100 freestyle, Nash came in first place, clocking in at 1:04.33, and Kasnick came in second place with a personal best of 1:07.13
In the 500 freestyle, Stephenson swam to first place with a personal best pf 6:20.43.
The team competes again on Jan. 11 against Crescent Valley and Dallas at Crescent Valley at 4 p.m.
Boys Basketball: The Dragons participated in the Capitol City Classic from Dec. 19 to the 22 at Willamette University, where they lost all four contests: 59-34 against Dutchtown, 68-55 against Crook County, 85-40 against Liberty, and 79-54 against La Salle Prep.
The team resumes league play on Friday, hosting Corvallis at 7 p.m.
Girls Basketball: The Dragons split games during the Cascade Holiday Tournament on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, losing in their first contest against Gladstone, 44-39, but turning around for a 19-7 victory against McLoughlin.
They travel to Corvallis on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m.