Tournament MVP Evan Grimes led the way, but the Panther attack was spread out and all players contributed to the victory. The biggest setback for the Panthers came in pregame warm-ups., when they earned a technical foul by dunking. So instead of the traditional jump ball, the game started with an Alhambra technical free throw followed by an Alhambra possession. But the 1-0 deficit was the only time the Panthers trailed all game. Antioch led 13-5 after the first quarter and kept that lead or larger the rest of the game.
“It was good,” said Panther Coach John Woolery. “We were missing a couple of guys, but I thought the guys that were in there stepped up and played well. Our guard play was really good. I thought Jamaal Davis played really great tonight. He was sick; he had a 102 fever.”
Woolery noted that his team needs to improve its rebounding, but he’s optimistic about the upcoming season despite tough competition from Deer Valley and Freedom and despite losing All-League player Emmanuel Bradford and Ramsey Nijem to graduation. “I think we have a good leader in Evan Grimes,” said Woolery. “I think he’s ready to take on that role. He’s the best guard in the league. And I think we have really good role players.”
In addition to his team’s play, Grimes was happy about his own performance. “I played good,” he said. “My team really helped me … We have a very good team. We play with a lot of teamwork and camaraderie. We’re going to be very good this year.”
Antioch’s next home game is Wednesday, Dec. 16 against Granada. This weekend the Panthers compete in the Granada Holiday Tournament.