The ladies opened the 2019-20 season last weekend at Santa Barbara going 2-1 in tournament play. The Panthers opened the SBCC Tournament with a loss to Butte 78-60. Newcomer Elyanna Rios had 18 points and five assists to start her collegiate career. Rios went on to rack up a team high 54 points in three games with a free-throw percentage of 87.5. Fellow freshman Harjinder Takher had 47 points total and 34 rebounds.
Head Coach Burnett recapped the weekend: "I'm very happy the way opening weekend went. In just those 3 days we learned so much about ourselves. Day 1 we got blown out and out run; so we learned that we are not in good enough conditioning, and that we weren't very disciplined. Day 2, we learned that we are fighters and when we dig deep and focus, we can make amazing plays offensively and defensively. We really had to lock down and execute to come back from 18 down. Day 3 we showed ourselves to be resilient. We had a lead, lost a lead, fought back, and did just enough to hold on. If we lock in, we should have a great season."
In game two, the Panthers came back from a 44-26 deficit at the half to beat Copper Mountain 74-73. Chaffey came back from the half to score five in-a-row and by the end of the third had narrowed CM's lead to nine points. A foul with six seconds left put Rios at the free-throw line where she made the game tying and scoring shots. Takher scored her first double-double with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Sunday, the Panthers faced off against Taft outscoring the Cougars in the first half 49-33. Taft came back in the 3rd but was unable to close the final three-points in the last minute of play giving the Panthers their second win of the weekend 71-68.
Chaffey hosts Citrus Friday night, game time 7pm. "I'm expecting the Citrus game to be fast paced and hard fought. In my six years here it's been a back and forth battle between the two of us. If we defend and rebound, and score in the paint, we should come out with a victory."