STORY AND VIDEO BY MATT SIMON
The Millikan boys’ basketball season came to an end Wednesday night as the Rams ran into a streaking Peninsula team in the first-round of the CIF Division 2A playoffs.
With 24 points and seven rebounds, Caleb Hall led the Panthers to a 64-39 victory over the Rams.
It was a strong performance from the Panthers (19-10) as they outhustled Rams on the glass on both ends of the court and didn’t give up any easy shots.
“It’s a disappointing end,” Millikan coach Nate Berger said. “Especially from last week as well. To have a good year and we did a lot of good things and to have the letdown we had the last two weeks is kind of a bitter taste of how the season ends.”
After Hall hit a buzzer-beater to give the Panthers a 19-8 lead after the first quarter, Peninsula didn’t let up as they took a commanding 39-22 lead at halftime.
Part of Peninsula’s game plan was to limit Millikan’s Rob Diaz and it worked as Diaz was held scoreless in the first half.
“The game plan for us the last couple of weeks was win the rebound advantage, get on the free throw line and win the loose ball advantage and get to the free throw line,” Peninsula coach Ryan Quinlan said. “We wanted to stop (Diaz) and Jordan Pineda did a great job defending him and contesting shots.”
In the third quarter Diaz scored five points, but Peninsula continued to make shots as they took a 54-32 lead into the final period.
Millikan’s Elijah Leonard scored 12 points to lead the Rams.
Although the team lost, Berger thinks the team can use this game as a learning experience when they look back and see what they need to work in the offseason to move forward.