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No. 8 Panthers stun No. 1 Peyton, advance to semis

Posted: Friday, Mar 15th, 2013

Tomas Vigil (32) led the Panthers with 19 points in their win over the Peyton Panthers. Courier photo by Eric R. Flores

Courier Sports Editor

PUEBLO—A ferocious first quarter attack helped the Sierra Grande Panthers as they stunned and defeated the No. 1 seeded Peyton Panthers, 59-46, here at Massari Arena on the campus of CSU-Pueblo on Thursday night. Sierra Grande moves on and will play No.4 Limon, who beat No. 5 Lutheran, 45-37 earlier in the day.

“It is a big win, for these kids to come out the way they have come out and have been playing these last few games with discipline, executing and playing smart, it’s all coming together,” said Head Coach Matt Lucero. “They are realizing that five guys on the court working together are better than one or two. I’m proud of the way they came out and followed the game plan.”

Junior Adam Gomez got the scoring started for Sierra Grande as he hit five field goals and ten points in the first quarter. That, added with five points from senior Braydon Wakasugi and four from Tomas Vigil, gave Sierra Grande a 19-10 lead after one quarter.

In the second quarter, Peyton made things more interesting by outscoring Sierra Grande, 15-7 to make the half time score 26-25, Sierra Grande.

Peyton came out and made a quick 3-pointer to make the score 28-26 to start the second half. After leading, 30-28, Sierra Grande went on a 12-0 run to open up a 38-30 lead. They continued to lead, 42-34 at the end of the third quarter.

Peyton closed the gap to five, 48-43 but with just over two minutes left they decided to start fouling. In the fourth quarter Sierra Grande got seven points from free throws (7-of-10) to ice the 59-46 game.

Vigil led the Sierra Grande scorers with 19 points while Gomez was three points back with 16. Senior Victor Howard and Wakasugi each scored 12 points to round out the scorers.

Sanford fans, Sangre de Cristo fans and Sierra Grande fans all sat together making the gym electric every time Sierra Grande made good plays.

“It’s what happens with the Valley, when we go into something like this we support each other,” said Lucero of the atmosphere. “Like anything else, that’s what makes you better than the competition, and when we come here it’s just awesome.”

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