Before a huge crowd of blue and gold clad fans who occupied a bank of Dreamstyle Arena, aka “The Pit,” the Peñasco Lady Panthers attempted to break a second-place streak and bring home the school's fourth state title in any sport March 9.
The Lady Panthers ultimately fell to the Fort Sumner/House Vixens, 49-38 and instead had to settle for a fourth runner-up trophy in girl's basketball – a notable achievement nonetheless.
Peñasco struggled to hit shots from the perimeter and found themselves surrounded by much taller Vixen personnel in the middle. The Lady Cats were just 13-for-53 (25 percent) from the field, and 1-for-16 (6 percent) from three point range. The 39 total points were the lowest output from a Lady Panther team in the last 47 games dating back to January 7, 2017 – when Peñasco lost to the Mora Rangerettes, 47-24 in the championship game of the Northern Rio Grande tournament.
The loss ended a 14-game win streak the Lady Panthers have enjoyed since falling to the Robertson Lady Cardinals Jan. 10. Peñasco finished their stellar 2017-18 season with a 26-5 overall record. Estrella “Star” Gonzalez is the lone senior on the roster and will be graduating in May.