The boys’ basketball team played in the Fredericksburg Holiday Hoopfest during the Christmas break, and followed that up with a game in Center Point. By far the smallest school participating, the Panthers went winless in four games at the Fredericksburg tournament. They turned things around by Friday, though, coming away from Center Point with a victory.
The Panthers opened the tournament with a loss to host Fredericksburg, as the Billies harassed the Panthers into multiple turnovers in the second quarter and built a comfortable halftime lead. The Panthers came out firing in the second half, but were never able to fully climb back into the game. Tanner Rogers led the team with 12 points and added four assists.
In the second game of the morning, Blanco fell to state-ranked New Braunfels Christian. Ian Ray and Kyle Sauceda pounded NBCA inside throughout the contest to the tune of 14 and 18 points respectively, but the NBCA shooters were on fire as well. NBCA jumped out to a big lead before the Panthers chipped away, cutting the lead to 8. However, a quick succession of turnovers were converted into NBCA points to allow them to pull away for good. NBCA would eventually go onto lose in the finals of the tournament.
On Wednesday, the Panthers got a rematch with Canyon Lake in the morning game. Blanco used its usually-tough defense to stay with the Hawks throughout the game, before falling by one, 33-32. Tanner Rogers had 11 points, all in the second half. Kyle Sauceda had eight rebounds, and Colton Childress added six.
The hard-luck Panthers lost another heart-breaker in the afternoon contest to Bandera, 59-58, in overtime. The Panthers hung in despite an early injury to point guard Sam Isenberg. Ian Ray scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting before fouling out in overtime. Brett Champion hit a shot at the buzzer to put the game into overtime for two of his ten points, but also added three rebounds, four blocks, four assists and four steals.
The team regrouped by Friday, as they knocked off the host Center Point Pirates, 45-39, despite the absence of Ian Ray and Sam Isenberg to injuries. Brett Champion got the start and rang up 16 points to lead the Panthers, including a reverse layup that gave the Panthers an eleven point lead and sealed the game. Kyle Sauceda fought foul trouble early, then poured in ten of his fourteen points in the second half. Tanner Rogers led the team with nine rebounds, while Sauceda snagged seven. Colton Childress, Quinn Dillard, and David Ramirez played outstanding defense throughout the game.
Blanco will host JV and Freshman Tournaments on Thursday and Saturday, with a game with Johnson City on Friday. District play will start for the boys on January 13 in Comfort.