The Panguitch High School Bobcats cruise by the Valley Buffalos, 63 to 39 VICTORY. This was the Bobcats 6th State Championship, dating back to 1924, when there was only one class of schools. This was the 4th Cat Victory over Valley, this year.
When Senior Trey Barney walked off the court for the last time he was met by his father Coach Barney who gave him a big hug. The Championship had eluded the pair for four years, and the victory was oh so sweet.
Like all year long the Cats used a killer defense to shut down the Buffalos, perimeter attack, holding Valley to only 5- 3 pointers, half what they did against Rich the night before. Kobe Reck from the Buffalos scored 7-3 pointer in the double overtime game earlier in the season, but was shut out with 3’s, but ended up with 17 points.
The decisive win over the Buffalos was due to a yearlong quest, that included lots of hard work, that saw the team just as strong in the 4th quarter as in the start of the game, according to Coach Barney.
The Cats opening game was against Piute and for the 3rd time came away winners, 52 to 33. Trey Barney poured in 22 to power the cats to an easy first round victory, Trey had 7 rebounds and 6 assists to go with his score.
In the second round the Cats dominated Merit Academy 70 to 33. Jace Eyre scored 21 and Acey Orton had 14 and many of the team players got in the game and scored.
In the semifinals the Cats went up against another region 20 team, Bryce Valley and again won 63-48, for the third victory over the Mustangs this year. Bryce gave the cats a good scare in the first half and only trailed 25 to 24. The Bobcats came out scratching in the third quarter outscoring the Stangs 18 to 5. Jace Eyre got in foul trouble early on in the game and Acey Orton saved the day, with a career high of 21 points. Acey had 8 rebounds and 2 assists to go with his best day in his young career. Bryce Valley has some really good young players and will be tough competition next year.
In the final game against Valley, Jace Eyre had 21, to go with his 10 rebounds and Acey chipped in 15 to lead the Cats to the Championship 63-39. This game was a real team effort, with the starting five all playing their best game of the year. A real scrambling defense shut down the high scoring buffalos.
Again Region 20 dominated the State Championships taking 3 of the top 4 spots. This tournament is long, with many of the teams playing 5 games in as many nights. The fan base in these small towns is really great and that adds to the fun and excitement. It is only 9 months till next season, we will miss playing against Wayne, Milford and Parowan next year, best of luck to you in your new regions, show them what basketball is all about.
Up next is track, we don’t have a timer (cost $5,000) so we won’t have any home meets again this year. However Region will be held here so not all is lost. Coach Norris, hopefully will have two good teams again this year.