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Men’s basketball makes a comeback during the Hope Game

The Panthers were down by two points and senior Ja Morgan made a three pointer giving the Panthers the lead on their home court on Jan. 29.

by Michaela Jackson, Sports Editor

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The Hope Game was Thursday, Jan. 29 to honor the school’s first basketball coach, Coach Clarke Sr. During Clarke’s last game before he passed, his team won the State Title. They were the only basketball team in Palo Verde’s history to have won a title.

“If you are successful in the classroom, you will be a success in life,” said Coach Clarke Sr.

The Panthers faced Legacy on Thursday, and throughout the game the score was very close. During the first quarter the Legacy was leading the score 13-11.

“The Hope Game was usually the biggest game of the year of the year and had the biggest crowd, so we didn’t want to lose. [We could work on] tightening up our defense and catching more rebounds,” said junior Taylor Miller.

Throughout the second quarter, senior and captain Ja Morgan was dribbling around the Longhorns making two pointers and three pointers. Morgan earned 28 points total during this game and he was the highest scorer.

“[We kept fighting] because we really wanted the win. It was a conference game, which means if we lose it counts towards whether we get into playoffs or not. We just needed to work on our defense and communication more,” said Morgan.

The Panthers stayed on their toes as they continued to fight against Legacy. At the end of the first half the Panthers were leading by three points with a score of 27-24.

The Longhorns came back during the third quarter against the Panthers. They were leading with a score of 44-42. The Panthers did not give up and continued to fight. Before the fourth quarter started Coach Sanchez gave an inspirational speech to his players.

The crowd was cheering for their fellow classmates throughout the game. At the end of the game, Legacy kept on calling time outs because they were down by three points. The ref blew the whistle and the Panthers had the advantage and made three pointers.

They beat Legacy with a score of 70-62, the Panthers came back and won it for their school. Their hard work and dedication paid off; they did not give him and made the shots that count.

Miller contributed to the final score by collecting 21 points during the entire game. Senior Graeson Vereen contributed to making seven points.

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Men’s basketball makes a comeback during the Hope Game