Basketball finding its groove before rivalry game


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The Battle of Val Vista will hit the hardwood as the Puma’s boys basketball team will take on Basha High Dec. 21 in a pivotal matchup heading into the playoffs.

“It’s a big region game, it’s a big rivalry game,” head coach Sam Duane said. “We got to come in ready to compete. It’s going to be tough game, it’s going to be a great atmosphere.”

The atmosphere at Basha will be electric as is typical in a rivalry game.

“In those types of games you want to control your composure,” he elaborates, “You want to stay composed with everything that is going on and focus on what you need to do.”

In a high energy game, staying in control will be key for the Pumas as they head into a hostile environment at Basha.

In last years contests, Perry took down the Bears by scores of 55-34 and 69-46, but Duane warned that this is a new year and new teams.

“They have a lot of change in their team and we have a lot of change as well.”  

In the Bears state championship run in 2017, the Pumas were the only team to hand them a loss.

“The previous matches are always intense. It’s a rival game,” Duane said.

The Pumas lead the all-time series against their rivals down Val Vista 7 games to 6.

This game will not only feature two fixtures in the playoff picture, but the rivals will also team up for annual Team Emery bear toss: an event where fans will toss stuffed animals on the court to be donated to local children’s hospitals.

The Pumas will head into the game with their sights set on the playoffs. Boasting a record of 8-4 (0-0) the Pumas seem to have set themselves up well for the playoffs as they look to capture the programs first state title.

After opening up the season at 2-2, PHS seems to have found their stride as they strung together a four game winning streak. Wins over Mesa, Desert Ridge, Corona del Sol as well as a 23-point victory over North High School pushed the team to 6-2.


The winning streak was followed by a losing streak that began with a 23-point loss the Modesto Christian (CA) that was followed by another as the Chaparral Firebirds defeated the Pumas by 13.


Led by seniors Jalen Williams and Kyle Patterson, the Pumas will look to continue the programs success in the school’s most heated rivalry.

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