The Panthers were on the road last weekend going 0-2 against two state leaders at the Citrus College Neil Edwards Tournament. In the first round of tournament play, Chaffey matched up with their rivals to the west and tournament host Citrus College. Citrus is ranked #3 in the state and were held off by the Panthers until the final minute of play. At the half, Chaffey led 44-37 after dominating the court the first half. With 29 seconds left on the clock, the Owls took their first lead of the game 75-74. From Coach Klein: "Chaffey put the ball in the hands of Soph PG Darren Williams 22 pts / 9 assists / 2 steals. Darren drove right to the hole with 9 seconds on the clock. What appeared to be a clear foul became a no call. Citrus recovered the ball and was fouled immediately. The Owls made both free throws and a long three pointer by Williams fell short to end the game."
Soph Kehasson "Manu" Oulai contributed 22 points/14 rebounds and sophomore Aaron Johnson filled up the stat sheet with 10 points/11 rebounds before fouling out in the closing seconds. Freshman Mateo Blocker was the fourth Panther in double figures with 16 points. The Panthers were only 4/6 from the free throw line and shot zero free throws in the 2nd half.
Saturday, the Panthers took on Santa Monica trailing the Corsairs at the half by 2 points. The game continued back-and-forth in the second half. "Down the stretch Kehasson "Manu" Oulai (21 pts / 15 rebs) was fouled in the act of shooting with 8 seconds left in regulation (68-66 Corsairs). He calmly sank both pressure free throws tying the contest at 68-68. Santa Monica called a time out and set up a game winning play. At the buzzer, Oulai blocked Chastin Mouton's point blank jump shot sending the game into overtime. The Panthers battled in OT, but fell to a very talented and experienced Santa Monica squad." For the Panthers, Darren Williams finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists and freshman Nikola Ivkovic had his best game as a Panther contributing 11 pts hitting on 3/3-pointers.
The Panthers play their first home game of the season Friday night at 7pm against Antelope Valley College.