Runnin’ Panthers drop game to Shoemaker

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Josh Sudekum pulls down a rebound during the Panthers’ loss to Killeen Shoemaker Tuesday night. (Alex Rubio Photo)

Josh Sudekum pulls down a rebound during the Panthers’ loss to Killeen Shoemaker Tuesday night. (Alex Rubio Photo)

By Lauren Jette

The Panthers basketball team dropped its first game of the season to Killeen Shoemaker 71-52 at home Tuesday night.

“We got beat by a better team tonight. It’s just how it is,” said head coach Barry Boren.

“They’re very good, they won their district last year. They got them all back but one guy. Their coach does a really good job and they were good.”

Liberty Hill got down early and never could close the gap to less than three points when Carson Lowe drained a basket to cut the score to 9-12 with about two minutes left in the first quarter.

To start the second quarter, Shoemaker hit two straight three pointers to increase their lead to 24-11. The Panthers went into the break with a 34-24 deficit.

Shoemaker used long and high passes to open up space around the basket for easy points.

“We’re a 4A school and to play a complete schedule, we have to play teams that are 5A and 6A,” Boren said.

“I think we missed one free throw the whole night. That’s pretty dad-gum good. We can’t simulate in practice playing against that (type of team), so I thought we did some good stuff. We did miss some things we need to work on.

“Like I told (the team), the next time we see a team like that, we’ll be playing in some kind of a playoff situation and certainly we can use what happened tonight to help us.”

After riding a 32-0 winning streak last season, opening with a loss is disappointing, but Boren isn’t discouraged.

“At no time did I ever give up on them, nor did I feel like they gave up on me,” Boren said of his team.

“This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning. We start from here. I told them, I don’t guess we’re going to win 32 in a row unless we go 32 and 1 from here on out.

“I don’t like losing, but I want to look for the good we got out of that and work on the bad.”

The Panthers will get a chance to get into the win column when they host Leander Monday night. Varsity will take the court at 6:30 p.m. Before the Thanksgiving break, Liberty Hill will travel to China Spring Tuesday night.

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