(SPORTS PREVIEW) Panther Varsity Basketball few but mighty

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Maxwell High School’s varsity boys basketball team set the bar high for the 2019-2020 season, establishing a league championship title last season in the Mountain Valley Division VI league.

This year, the team will have fewer players.

“We will need quick defenders,” said senior Isaiah Cardenas, a frontrunner for the Panthers last season, averaging 20 points per game.

Gustavo Rangel returns as the Panthers’ head coach for a second year. Rangel will rely heavily on Cardenas and senior Trent Hendrix, the only two returning starters, to be an integral part of Maxwell’s offense.

“Point guard, at this point, will be Cardenas, with juniors Tony Lopez and Carlos Guerrero in the shooting guard positions,” Rangel said. “Trent and Wyatt Hendrix will play power forward, small forward, or center depending on personnel on the court. We also have juniors Jesus Cisneros and Filemon Torres filling in positions accordingly.”

With just a week of practice under their belt, Maxwell shows a six-man roster compared to last years 13 players.

Plenty of vacancies on the Panther team could prove troublesome this year, with the loss of depth in the post and guard positions by graduated seniors, Daniel Lara, DJ Windsor, Greg Rangel.

“I’d be lying if I said it’s gonna be easy,” Range said. “Bouncing back from the loss of a lot of key players from last year will be hard, but my men are just as hungry this year and willing to put in the extra work to be a tough team again this year.”

Maxwell opens up their season on their home court against Los Molinos on Dec. 2, at 6:30 PM. ■