By Leroy Chavez, Sports Writer
CIMARRON — The Peñasco Panthers utilized superior depth to run past Cimarron 75-55, in a contest that was closer than the final score indicated Friday (Nov. 20) in the CHS gymnasium.
“I was proud of the effort, but being shorthanded, fouls became an issue as the game progressed,” said Rams Coach Daniel Vigil. “They pressed us throughout the game and were able to throw 15 different players at us. It was typical Northern New Mexico basketball, fast paced and physical, and it took a toll.”
The Panthers managed to scratch out a 14-12 lead after the initial period, then outscored the Rams 17-13 to take a 31-25 lead at intermission.
In the third stanza, the Rams made several runs at the Panthers, but Penasco’s depth and pressure defense started to pay dividends. The Panthers outscored Cimarron 22-15 in the third period to up the advantage to 53-40 at the three quarter mark. The final quarter was more of the same with Cimarron making runs and Penasco answering the runs with their own. Penasco took another 22-15 advantage to take the contest 75-55.
“We were competitive in every quarter, but just ran out of steam,” said Vigil. “I like our work ethic and the fact that we didn’t quit.”
Only five Rams hit the scoring column with Thomas Jeffers nailing 20 points, while Matthew Dean added 11 points, Jonah Coca 10 points, Dylan Freidt 9 points and Jacob Garcia 5 points.
“The game was closer than the final score, we just let it slip out of our hands,” Vigil noted. “We’ll do better next time, we just have to hone our skills, refine our skills and compete.”
The Rams will be idle this week, then travel to the Peñasco Valley for a rematch with the Panthers on Saturday (Dec. 5).
“Between now and then, we’ll work on handling the pressure defense they run, work on conditioning and work on fundamental skills,” concluded Vigil.
For the Dec. 5 games, the Rams junior varsity team will tip off at 3 p.m.; then varsity girls hit the hard court at 4:30 p.m. and varsity boys at 6 p.m.