By Jesus Cano
Antioch’s victory went beyond the court Tuesday night, as they defeated crosstown rival Deer Valley in the first round of the NCS Division 1 boys basketball playoffs. The win was dedicated to Yvette Matthews, who unexpectedly passed away this last weekend. Matthews was the wife of Antioch English teacher, Chris Matthews. Antioch players wore black armbands with the initials YM in yellow.
“We wanted to let him know that the staff players and whole school is behind him,” Antioch head coach Andrew Riva said. “You never know when things like this are going to happen so we have to appreciate the moments we have.”
After leading 20-10 at the end of the first quarter, Antioch looked to carry their momentum. Deer Valley was able to tie up the game as Dominic Pino stole the ball and handed it over to Darius Ware for the game tying layup. This all coming after Dubem Boardman and Raydale Robinson contributed with nine points to reach the Panthers.
Kirmarje Trent scored the most with 26 points in the game and Antioch retained their lead with plays from Trent and Kaleb Smith, and at halftime they led 35-31.
“Coach always tells us that we’re going to have our ups and downs in the game,” Trent said. “We made sure we had more runs than them to make sure we executed in the game.”
The third quarter was a back and forth shootout between the teams. Antioch dominated half of the third quarter but the Wolverines countered back by going on a 11-point scoring streak, as Boardman built up eight of those points but Antioch still lead 53-45 at the end.
Trent’s biggest performance came in the final quarter, as he dropped 11 points. Towards the end of the game however, Antioch kept on fouling Deer Valley, handing them points. Elijah Sturgis was the man that kept them alive by completing four free throws along with dumping two points. If wasn’t enough as the Panthers kept pounding the rim, and defeated the Wolverines 81-72.
Antioch will travel to Dublin to face the top seeded Gales on Friday, February 24th.4