Mathew Brock

Pilot Staff Writer

The Panthers boys basketball team saw many ups and downs this season, ultimately settling at third place in the Sunset Conference with a 5-5 record, tied with the Waldport Irish. They ended the season at rank No. 23 in the OSAA rankings at 12-10 overall.

The Panthers came out ahead at 7-5 while they worked to find their bearings in the non-league season. They ended non-league play ahead after defeating Harrisburg and Rogue River, but the beginning of league play would be a rude awakening for the Panthers.

Their first opponent of the year was the Toledo Boomers, who would go on to become the undefeated league champions. The Boomers took no prisoners as they slammed the Panthers with a 80-41 loss to start their season.

Despite a rocky start, the Panthers quickly bounced back by beating Bandon and Myrtle point in a couple of modest wins. They then played a close game against Reedsport, but were ultimately left with a 59-51 loss. They ended the first half of league play strong, as they switched things up with a 59-51 win against the Waldport Irish.

The Panthers went into the second half of league play optimistic and with their sights set on securing a place near the top of the league.

Unfortunately, they still struggled to find their footing. After losing their rematch against Myrtle Point they managed to beat Waldport a second time at a close 57-55. From there they faced second-place Reedsport and the undefeated Toledo once again for another two losses.

To wrap up their season, the Panthers played their final game against the Bandon Tigers, who they bested at a clean 48-35 to end their season on a high note.

“It was a good way to finish such a rough season,” said Coach Jay Trost. “There were some key moments that really defined the season, and it’s a shame that we’re one of the only leagues that don’t do conference playoffs.”

Though they ended the year in the middle of the pack, the Panthers were still recognized in the All-Conference awards.

Todd Halcumb received first team honors while Brandon Seuser-Smith was awarded second team honors and a spot on the All-Defensive team. Eli Halcumb and Trevor Walker received honorable mentions.

The Panthers graduate Mike Dalton, Taylor Mather, Trevor Walker, Todd Halcumb, Luke Gilbert, Alex Carpenter and Zac Denney.