GARDNER — Finishing out the regular season with three straight losses isn’t exactly where the PikeView boys’ basketball team hoped to be, but as they say, everyone’s record is 0-0 when it comes to tournament time.
The Panthers played three tough games in a row this week due to rescheduled games. On Monday, they lost a close one at home to No. 8-ranked Webster County, 52-60. Seth Wood and Jason Weitzel led PikeView with 15 points and eight rebounds each. Bradley Flinchum added 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. The Panthers led most of the game, but couldn’t hold the Highlanders back as they took control in the third quarter and never looked back.
Tuesday, the boys traveled to Liberty-Raleigh to face the Raiders. Despite a slow start to the game, down 20-10 after the first quarter, the Panthers played close with the Raiders the rest of the game, losing 71-59. Sophomores Austin Cordell and Bradley Flinchum led PikeView with 13 points each. Jason Weitzel scored 10 points and had seven assists.
Wednesday night rounded out the regular season, with a loss against visiting Wyoming East. The Warriors, currently ranked No. 4 in the state poll, won 61-47. The first half was a back-and-forth game, ending with Wyoming East in the lead by 5. The third quarter, however, belonged to the Warriors, as they outscored PikeView, 21-10. The fourth quarter was evenly played, but the Panthers couldn’t overcome their poor shooting from the third quarter. Logan McKinney led PikeView with 11 points and Jon Burrell added 9.
Due to various injuries, the Panthers have had a different starting lineup in four of the last five games. The remaining injured player still out is starting sophomore Zach Meadows, who hurt his ankle in Monday night’s game. He is not expected to return until after the first round of sectional play.
PikeView head coach Lindsey Jones said, “A positive of playing three games in three days this week is hoping that it prepares us for tournament play. Despite the losses, I see improvement in our team and we will continue to strive to get better each day.”
PikeView (6-16), is scheduled to play Mount View (13-6) in the first round of the Class AA, Region 3, Section 2 tournament. PikeView and Mount View have met 3 times this season, with PikeView taking the first win, 50-49, and the Knights winning the next two games, 64-60 and 62-56. With the season on the line, this game will no doubt come down to the end.
“We expect it to be a really competitive game,” Jones said of Mount View. “They know what we have and we know what they have. All three games we’ve played them have been decided by 13 combined points. We hope to do a better job of executing our offense and not letting them dictate what we do. We need to play excellent team defense and clear rebounds.”
The game will be played on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Princeton High School at 8 p.m. James Monroe and Bluefield will play the first game at 6 p.m.
The PikeView girls’ basketball team survived the first round of their sectional tournament play on Tuesday with a 44-36 win over the Mount View Golden Knights. Hope Nester paced the team with 20 points and Lauryn Hatfield added 10. Mount View’s Jordan Younger led all scorers with 23 points.
The Lady Panthers (12-10) advanced to the sectional championship game Thursday night to play Bluefield and clinched a spot in the regional tournament. Both PikeView and Bluefield will play in the regional game, with the winner of Thursday’s game hosting a Region 3 co-final next week, while the loser will go on the road for a regional co-final game against the champion of Section 1.