The Benicia High School Panthers faced off against the Vacaville High School Bulldogs Tuesday night. Both schools had Freshmen, JV, and Varsity teams, so there were three matches throughout the evening.
The freshmen ran onto the court first. Benicia High took control of the game at the start and never let go of it. They won the tip-off, scored the first points, and from there, just carried on with the momentum. They outplayed Vacaville in rebounds, steals, and most importantly points. Although Vacaville was able to close the gap a little bit before the game ended, Benicia was able to hold them off and walk away with a clean 44-41 victory.
Following the freshmen team win, JV looked to continue their success. Once again, Benicia started off strong and did not let off the gas. Benicia clearly outmatched Vacaville in every aspect. Their strong play throughout the game led to a 15 point lead in the third quarter. However, even with this comfortable lead, Vacaville persevered, and nearing the end of the game, Vacaville had closed down the point gap to five. With just a few minutes left to play, both teams left everything on the court but Benicia was able to maintain their lead and walk away with a 47-43 victory.
With one final game left, the Varsity team tried to leave the match with a clean sweep for all 3 teams. This game was quite different from the other two, though. The game started off quite close, with no team really appearing to have the upper hand. However, by the second quarter, Vacaville started to distance themselves from Benicia. Entering the half, Benicia was facing a ten point deficit. Looking to turn things around coming out for the second half, BHS turned up their pace. They slowly closed in on their opponents lead until they were tied up with just a few minutes left in the game. With shots going back and forth between the teams, the score stayed tied at 40-40 all the way until the final buzzer went off, forcing the game to enter overtime. For the first two minutes of overtime, due to many fouls and turnovers, nobody scored, leaving the score at 40-40. With just 2 minutes to go, Vacaville scored, and then Benicia matched it, followed by another made Vacaville shot, and then another made Benicia shot. Due to a Benicia foul, Vacaville was sent to the free throw line and made one of the two shots. Down 45-44 with just over 20 seconds left, Benicia hurried to score but was not able to capitalize on either of the two shots that they attempted. The Benicia Panthers fell to the Vacaville Bulldogs 47-44 after two more made free throws by Vacaville.
If you want to see more pictures from the game, make sure you check out the photo gallery on the front page.