Boys basketball team’s season ends after postseason run

Blake Chadwick

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After an adversity-ridden season, the Panthers boys basketball team was able to end on a high note.

The Panthers (7-15) were hurt early by injuries to Jacob Karsak, Grant Adler and 7-foot senior Josh Osborn.

But the broken pieces were slowly mended back together by the time the postseason came along.

Losing game after game by a few points every time out, the Panthers finally clicked with a regular season finale win over Hutchinson.

But because of their record, the Panthers were seeded 15th and had to play a play-in game against Wichita North. They won 58-24 in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

The win meant a matchup against the highly-touted Topeka High Trojans, who were 18-2 and seeded second. But after taking a 19-3 first quarter lead, the Panthers continued to dominate on their way to a 62-26 that ended the Trojans’ season.

In Saturday’s sub-state championship at Lawrence Free State, a seven seed, the Panthers were ready for an upset. Despite Derby holding a nine-point second-half lead, Free State got late-game heroics from DK Middleton and Noah Butler.

The Panthers’ season ended with a 60-55 loss.