We’re a real young team. We were even younger last year and we got here and beat the first day of the state tournament. The experience has really helped. —Panguitch head coach Curtis Barney
RICHFIELD — Youth, speed and experience.
These are the three ingredients that make up the 2014 edition of the Panguitch girls basketball team, a squad that has barreled through 1A competition all season.
And on Thursday evening, Panguitch continued its undefeated streak with a commanding victory over Whitehorse, 70-42, in the quarterfinals of the 1A state tournament at the Sevier Valley Center.
“We’re a real young team,” said head coach Curtis Barney, whose starters include three sophomores, two juniors and not a senior on the roster. “We were even younger last year and we got here and beat the first day of the state tournament. The experience has really helped.”
After being sent home early a year ago, Barney and his team dedicated last summer to logging as many game minutes as they could.
“We spent a lot of time in the summer traveling around, gaining experience,” he said. ”So we kind of feel like we’re experienced even though we’re young because we’ve played a lot of games together.”
The practice time was evident Thursday, as the Bobcats opened the game with a 26-3 first quarter. They allowed just eight points in the entire first half while scoring 47, with most of them coming in their fast break offense.
“We’ve got a lot of speed this year,” Barney said, noting that most of his guards were part of the 2013 1A state championship cross-country team last fall. “The quickness allows us to get up and down the floor quick and hopefully turn a quick play into something good.”
With the win, Panguitch advances to the semifinal round to play Rich at 6 p.m. Friday.
“Got through the first two days, which is better than last year, and looking forward to the semifinal game,” Barney said. “Rich always has a good team and we’ll have to be playing well, but we’re glad we’re here with the opportunity.”
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.