Paola finishes the season among the top eight teams in Class 4A | Paula
SALINA — The Paola Panther boys’ basketball team faced off with the Andale Indians in the first round of the Class 4A State Tournament at Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina.
The score was tied twice and the lead changed hands only once as Paola (15-8) lost to Andale (17-6) by 10 points, 62-52 on Thursday March 10.
Paola center Trey Moala had one of the best games of his career in his final high school game, posting a double-double with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Moala played a team record 31 minutes, 19 seconds. He added five interceptions, four blocked shots and an assist.
Paola led by four points, 6-2, with 3:30 left in the first quarter. Andale closed the quarter on an 8-2 run.
The Indians opened the second quarter on an 11-2 run and the Panthers would battle from behind the rest of the way.
Moala fired an inside shot with 59 seconds left in the half to make it an eight-point game, 25-17. Postman Caden Rhamy got an offensive rebound with 37 seconds on the clock. The Panthers had a chance to cut the deficit to six points, but turned the ball around and the Indians responded with a 3 at the other end to make it an 11-point game at intermission, 28-17.
Moala made Paola’s first three baskets in the second half as the Panthers cut the deficit to eight points, 31-23, with 6:49 left in the third quarter.
Paola struggled in the second half. The Panthers had a 13-12 lead in the third quarter. Both teams had 22 points in the final eight minutes. The 11-point half-time deficit proved too much for Paola to overcome.
Seniors ending their high school basketball careers for the Paola Panthers were: Carson Boehm, Joel Feldman, Caden Marcum, Trey Moala, Ayden Morris, Logan Newkirk, Dalton Picek, Caden Rhamy and Jonas Sanders. The nine seniors have been playing together since middle school.
Marcum scored 10 points. He added four rebounds and a steal.
Rhamy finished with eight points. He had three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Picek also scored for Paola. He added three rebounds and an assist.
Newkirk had two rebounds and two assists. Morris had a steal and an assist. Landon Taylor got an assist. Sanders grabbed a rebound.
The Panthers outshot the Indians in the paint, 40-18.
The Andale bench dominated the Paola bench 14 to 8.
Fouls proved to be a problem for Paola. The Panthers committed 23 fouls, compared to 12 for the Indians.
Andale outscored Paola 23-2 from the free throw line.
The Panthers struggled to shoot from beyond the 3-point line, making two of 13 attempts from downtown. The Indians sank five of 12 attempts from 3-pointers.
Paola has won the last two games on their home ground for the seniors.
The Paola Panthers defeated the Tonganoxie Chieftains by a 51-37 final in the Class 4A Substate Championship game on Saturday March 5.
Paola qualified for the title match with a 56-36 win over Chanute on Wednesday, March 2.
Members of the Class 4A Champion Paola Panther Basketball Team are: Carson Boehm, Joel Feldman, Caden Marcum, Trey Moala, Ayden Morris, Kale Murdock, Logan Newkirk, Jett Osbern, Max Perry, Dalton Picek, Patrick Reeder, Caden Rhamy, Eli Richmond, Jonas Sanders, Noah Stringham, Landon Taylor and Fisher Woolsey.
Paola is coached by Ryan Oshel, Kyle Patrick and Tommy Morris.
The team leaders are Delaney Johnson, Kara Helms, Jayla Derrell and Matthew Skeens.