Hustle and Drive

Panthers shoot past Tomball Memorial to advance to 3rd in district play


Lizzee Winkler

Analyzing the Tomball Memorial defense, senior Point Guard Daniel Perez brings the ball down court to set up a goal. Perez read the opponent’s offense to cause turnovers and two steals. The Panthers went on to beat the favored Wildcats 49-46.

Beating the odds, the Klein Oak Men’s Varsity Basketball Team took on Tomball Memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 12, and they won even though the 21-3 Wildcats were favored. The Panthers knew they could put up a good fight and through a nail-biting second half, ended up toppling the Wildcats 49-46.

“We knew it would be a challenge, but if we kept a good mindset, we knew we could make anything happen,” junior power forward Bryson Holmes said.

Holmes and the Panthers have a new and determined attack this year. And it’s been working. They’ve been knocking down opponents left and right.

The 21-2 Wildcats have been bashing through their schedule and look to be in the discussion for best in the district but although they’ve been putting up outstanding numbers, the Panthers met them goal-for-goal and secured the win.

“We’ve been drawing up new plays for easy points,” Holmes said. “Our game plan is to stay focused, and we hold ourselves to this standard.

Under the direction of new Head Coach Josh Ervin, the Panthers believe that their team has improved and has more chemistry than ever.

“Having a new coach impacts the team greatly,” Holmes said. “Coach Ervin has done a phenomenal job at preparing us for the season, but also getting to know us as individuals. It has put us in a great place win.”

Starting off the game hot, the Panthers took the lead and hit big shots to keep ahead of Tomball Memorial.  As the flow of the game heated, the win looked promising. Senior Point Guard Daniel Perez locked in on the Wildcat defense and forced many turnovers in the first half. As the Panthers headed into the locker room with a comfortable lead, but still kept their focused mindset after the half.

“We started hitting early shots and got many stops on defense,” Perez said. “I noticed that they were getting pressured with the ball, so we held our defense.”

With the team returning confidently, the fans sensed that the Panthers would come out on top. The Wildcats kept the score tight, and tensions grew between the two teams. The teams exchanged shots, but in the final seconds of the game, the Panthers proved which team wanted the win more, and the visitors headed home with an unexpected loss.

“[We did a good job rising to the] pressure in the big moments,” sophomore Shooting Guard Courtland Guillory said. “I feel like this is when I perform the best and give the team a better opportunity to win.”

Because of this district win, the Panthers are now ranked 3rd in district play headed into a bi-week. The next home game is Saturday, Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. in the big gym against the 11-13 Tomball Cougars.