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Sports

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Boys struggle with new roster and hard season BY TYLER IDEMA

Sports Editor Coming off a season where they went 4-20, basketball has switched gears, kicking off with a consolation championship win at the King’s Academy tournament and a dominating performance against South San Francisco. The Panthers’ young team seemed to have promise after their early success, but after losing to Hillsdale 65-40 on Dec. 7, the Panthers have found themselves on a three-game losing streak going into a challenging matchup against Serra. “Playing Serra helps us to prepare to play the teams in our league. We are young and inexperienced but we have a lot of tough minded boys who want to be coached and want to compete at a high level and as the season goes on we will get better,” coach Jeff Dowd said.

Basketball Girls face early-season

Staff Reporter The Panther soccer team has transferred the momentum from last season’s Norcal semifinal team into a fast start, winning three of its first four games. After a wakeup call against Homestead in which they lost 4-1, the Panthers kicked it into high gear, crushing Scotts Valley 4-1, beating Santa Clara 2-1 on the road and shutting out San Mateo 3-0. The impressive early season play has led to high aspirations among the players. “It’s a new team and we’ve got high expectations,” junior defender Liam Griffin said. “We lost 12 seniors from last year’s team, but we have some exciting, energetic new players. We’re gonna win the league, just like last year.” However, adversity has already reared its ugly head, as four start-

ers—Kai Galia, Aidan Burke, David Shatsky and Matthew Lau— have suffered injuries. Also, as Griffin mentioned, the Panthers have had to overcome the loss to graduation of four 2018 PAL first team players (Gabe Hyman, Jared Johnson, Evan Glatt, and Sean Rodriguez) as well as a second team player (Marcus Lau) and an honorable mention player (Dakota Lillelund). Beginning with Friday’s matchup against a 3-1-1 Sequoia squad, the Panthers will enter league play trying to keep pace with South San Francisco, which has already amassed a 5-0-1 record, scoring 16 goals while only conceding 3. After Friday’s home game against Carlmont, who BHS beat twice last year by a combined score of 7-0, the Panthers will take a 19day break before facing Aragon at home on Jan. 9.

Three weeks into an injury-riddled season, the girls basketball team is 3-6. Though the Panthers are yet to have held a practice attended by all 12 athletes on the roster, morale is high and the team’s outlook is optimistic. “We have really good chemistry,” junior forward Brianna Grossman said. “This year especially, we’re very close-knit on the court and off the court.” That chemistry has proven vital in allowing the team to weather a storm of injuries and sickness that has seen players unable to play in games due to pneumonia, a concussion and a knee injury. “We can’t practice our offense as much and be ready for games, but it’s made us stronger as a team because we’re working harder,” said senior guard Katrina Bernabe.

Apart from having an unfortunate tendency to get injured and sick, this year’s Panther outfit is smaller and faster than teams in years past. “We look to run and then we also look to exploit other teams’ defenses as much as possible,” head coach Joe Dito said. The team’s tallest player is 5’9, so it has been playing an uptempo, quick-trigger brand of basketball that is a slight departure from how it has played in the past. As the year progresses, the team should come increasingly closer to perfecting its new style of play. Currently, the aftermath of a gritty, 12-point comeback win against Everett Alvarez on Dec. 8 has the Panthers in high spirits, and the roster will soon regain its full strength as injured players return. The team’s next game will be against Capuchino on Dec. 21, at BHS.

The team huddles up as coach Joe Ditto explains the schedule during a Monday night practice. They continues to practice regularly despite absences from injuries and illness.

Girls start on right foot

BY JACOB LUDARSKY

Staff Reporter The Girls Soccer team kicked off their season at the tail end of November, and so far, they show no signs of breaking their undefeated streak. The team, with a record of 5-0-1, started their season with victories against Capuchino (2-0), Sequoia (30) and Capuchino again (1-0). They also had one tie so far with Saratoga (0-0). But their most notable games of the season was against Hillsdale and Monta Vista, where the team shut them out with the score of both games being 7-0. The girls have since competed in their first tournament of the season against Kings Academy, and defeated them with a score of 4-2. “We are working well as a team … we have a really strong offense and defense along with a midfield that is giving our offense many opportunities [to score],” junior goalie Sophia

Young said. The team has stayed strong, despite its loss of talented seniors from last season. “We did lose a number of seniors last year,” coach Philip DeRosa said. “[However,] we did pick up three freshmen that have been very helpful this year, and that was a pleasant surprise.” So far, their chances of ad-

vancing this season are much greater than last year when the team ended with a record of 5-46, one game away from advancing to the Central Coast Section (CCS). “So far it seems like we’re a pretty strong team and this could potentially be the year that we’ll go to CCS,” Young said. PHOTO BY JACOB LUDARSKY

BY MARK HABELT

Copy Editor

Soccer PHOTO BY MARK HABELT

Junior Slater Bolstad evades a defender in a game against Homestead. The game marked the first defeat for the Panthers this season.

BY CADEN THUN

PHOTO COURTESY OF CADEN THUN

Ryan Ballout takes a shot during practice. The team practices most nights a week.

adversity from injuries

PHOTO CREDIT TYLER IDEMA

Dowd is looking to take a different approach this season, focusing on practicing a more defensive playstyle. “We are trying to be a balanced hardnosed, defensive-oriented team that looks to get the ball inside while penetrating to the basket and creating scoring opportunities off the catch,” Dowd said. Dowd believes his playstyle will work as his team endures more experience on the hardwood together. This year, the Panthers are a very young and inexperienced team on the Varsity spectrum, with Davor Koprivcic being the only player with significant minutes last year. With the addition of five freshmen and a new starting five, the Panthers will look to get better as the season continues. After Serra, the Panthers will have the home court against Capuchino, and they will look further to their second tournament, the Norcal Invitational, on Dec. 26.

Boys work with new team toward victory

December 18, 2018

Freshman Ella Macko attempts to advance the ball down the field.

Dennis J. Murphy

Your Peninsula Neighbor 415.310.7956 | dennis@dennisjmurphy.com dennisjmurphy.com

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