On Tuesday, February 4th, the Panthers came back refreshed and strong to fight the Centennial Bulldogs at their last game of the season, and for the last conference home game ever for the seniors.
Students and parents alike came along to support the Panthers, as well as cheerleaders and the dance team. The Panthers worked hard and with heart for a winning score of 70-65.
Antonio Maillaro scored the first lay-up of the game putting the Panthers ahead, while contributing six points to the team’s final score.
“My favorite part about basketball is competing, just going out there knowing that one team is going to lose and doing everything I possibly can to make sure it’s not mine. I’ll miss playing it after this season,” Maillaro said.
Maillaro has played basketball for the past 13 years since he was five years old. He plans on going to UNR to major in health sciences with an emphasis on kinesiology as he wants to be a physical therapist in the future.
Harlan Nichols scored eight points for the Panthers. Nichols plans on majoring in computer science or engineering in college, and if the opportunity raises he’d love to continue playing basketball throughout his college career.
“My best memory I’ve made at Palo was playing in the Hope Game this year as a senior. It had the greatest crowd and it felt great beating [Bonanza] in honor of Coach Clark. I’m going to miss my teammates the most because we all have such a strong bond with each other, it’ll be like splitting up a family.”
Kade Madsen scored a total of nine points for the Panthers with one three-pointer. Madsen started out as a basketball player when he was three years old.
He looks forward to possibly playing basketball in college and hopes to major in either law or business.
“I would love to thank my head coach, Coach Condron gives me a lot of freedom and lets me play to the best of my abilities. My parents, of course, contributed a ton as they always support me and I could never thank them enough. My middle school coach, Ernie Domanico has helped me a ton even after I left,” Madsen said.
Connor Peterson contributed a total of 17 points for the final score with two three-pointers. Peterson has been playing basketball for six years now, but isn’t sure if he wants to continue playing in college.
Peterson plans to major in business and is looking forward to the new chapter of his life.
“My favorite part of playing basketball is the good feeling I get after a great team win. I’m going to miss playing with the family we’ve created,” Peterson said.
Ethan Marcus has been playing basketball for the past seven years and contributed 21 points for the Panthers with four three-balls. Marcus plans on focusing on his academics and does not plan on continuing basketball.
“My favorite memory is probably being able to play with the same guys I’ve played with since the sixth grade. I’m going to miss the family environment the team has created. All the guys on the team are my second family,” Marcus said.
This was Ty Neely’s second year playing competitive basketball, but the sport has always been a favorite of his. Neely is going to attend UNR and major in business management, but does not plan on continuing basketball in college.
“Playing basketball for Palo has taught me more about the sport from the coaches to my teammates and has allowed me to become a better athlete. I’m going to miss my teammates and the positive energy they bring on and off the court,” Neely said.
The boys get ready to say goodbye and head into the next chapter of their lives. They’ll always be remembered as the great Panther athletes they were.