U-Prep’s Trevor Jones helped the Panthers earn their first basketball section title in school history with an 11-point win over West Valley on Friday. (Photo by Eddie Saltzman)
There can only be one first time – and for the U-Prep boys basketball team, that first happened Friday, Feb. 22, 2019.
The Panthers handled West Valley 53-42 to win the Northern Section Division IV boys basketball title – the first in school history. For their historic accomplishment, U-Prep is the Astro Jump Boys Basketball Team of the Week for Week 13.
The Panthers used good defense, which helped West Valley into a frigid shooting night, and got prime time performances from Kaden Jones, Trevor Jones and Mark Stephens, in addition to tremendous role play from Jordan Miller, Logan Hawes and JV call up Kevin Cox, brought up after the season-ending injury to leading scorer Tanner Stephens.
Kaden Jones dropped a game-high 17 points, while Trevor Jones added 11 and Stephens not only chipped in 10 points, but added 14 tough rebounds. The Panthers’ defense gave the Eagles fits in the first half, leading to an uncharacteristically poor shooting night – 2-of-23 from the field – before intermission.
In addition, Miller and Hawes provided an addition low-post presence while being subbed in and out – no doubt being asked to go all out, catch a breather and then head back in. Finally, Cox, the sophomore, only scored one point on the evening, but played exception, lockdown defense on West Valley point guard Lambert Salvatierra, one of the north state’s best points and a true grinder on the court.
The first title also earned the Panthers the No. 3 seed in the Division IV state playoffs and a home date against No. 14 Ripon (near Modesto).
Astro Events boys basketball Team of the Week
Week 1 – Foothill Cougars
Week 2 – U-Prep Panthers
Week 3 – Anderson Cubs
Week 4 — Redding Christian Lions
Week 5 – West Valley Eagles
Week 6 – Shasta Wolves
Week 7 — Foothill Cougars
Week 8 – Enterprise Hornets
Week 9 — Enterprise Hornets
Week 10 — U-Prep Panthers
Week 11 — Shasta Wolves
Week 12 — West Valley Eagles
Week 13 — U-Prep Panthers
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