Pine Valley boys basketball drops season opener

The Panthers (0-1) tipped off their season at home against the Red Dragons, in a non-league Section VI boy’s basketball matchup. Maple Grove (1-0) came out ready to play as they stormed to a 79-48 victory.

Pine Valley’s season started fast as the Red Dragons welcomed them into it with an electric pace.

“Maple Grove came out ready to play,” said Pine Valley coach Chris Buczek. “They came out with five three’s in the first quarter. Here’s the first game get ready for it.”

As the game wore on, Pine Valley picked up the pace and shook off their first game jitters.

“We had trouble with their defense at first,” said coach Buczek. “Maple Grove played really good basketball, it took us a while to get ready for their speed and athleticism.”

The Panthers offense was led by Christian Ortiz with 12 points and nine rebounds, and Bayley Finch contributed nine points.

“Positives, we didn’t quit. We came out ready at halftime, kept working hard, battling and fighting,” said Buczek. “There were a lot of lessons learned tonight.”

The Red Dragons were led by a trio of scorers including Peter Auer with 26 points, seven assists and five steals; Carson Crist with 22 points; and Tyler McPherson with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Pine Valley will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Cassadaga Valley.