Rotary Golf 2024

Plano East picks up pieces after heartbreaking loss, gears up for playoff run

by | Feb 7, 2023 | Sports

As Plano’s Justin Buenventura’s final shot sank through the hoop at the buzzer, Plano East’s players collapsed to the floor in agony while their rivals celebrated on their home court.

A battle between the No. 8 Plano Wildcats and No. 12 Plano East Panthers for the second time this season came down to the final possession. Plano went the length of the court in 4.5 seconds to sink the game-winning 3-point field goal as time expired, winning the game 52-50.

Head coach Matt Wester quickly had to pick up the pieces for his team.

“I told the guys that the difference between our locker room and their locker room is one play,” Wester said. “One mistake, one shot is all the difference between winning and feeling great and losing and feeling down. We’ve played some of the best teams in the state and competed with them and I think we proved again we can do just that.”

It was a quick change of emotion after Plano East took a 50-49 lead on an alley-oop layup and foul from Jordan Mizell with 25.5 seconds left. It was a play the team had run a few times earlier in the game and earlier in the season but capitalized on the Plano defense losing Mizell at the rim.

“We had run it before and sometimes as the season goes along you have to adjust plays as teams begin to scout you a little more,” Wester said. “We didn’t think the lob would be there for us, so the plan was to have Jordan pop back out and reverse the ball around the perimeter for a shot, but it was good recognition from Isaiah [Brewington] to make the pass and great on Jordan for finishing it.”

Despite the momentary high, Plano East missed two free throws down the stretch that could’ve helped seal the game and opened the door for Plano late. The Wildcat’s win put them at 10-1 in the district, one game ahead of the Panthers who they have now defeated twice by a combined score of three points.

Despite the loss, the Panthers continue to impress as one of the surprise basketball teams of the season, climbing the state rankings as they continue to win games. They’re currently 27-4 on the season and 9-2 in District 6-6A after the loss, good enough for second in a competitive district. The high win numbers aren’t for a lack of being battle-tested either, as a look across the state rankings would see Plano, Lake Highlands, San Antonio powerhouses Brennan, Veterans Memorial and Reagan, along with several other competitive programs. While the Panthers have managed to scrap a few wins against some of the best, they’re ready to take the next step and make a playoff run this season.

“Whatever it takes to make the next step, I think we have it and we just have to prove it,” Wester said. “We’ve proven we’re very good and it’s one of the most highly-rated teams in school history. We’ve lost four games to teams ranked in the top eight, but we’ve competed and we’re hoping to rebound from the disappointment of that game.”

Plano East wraps up the regular season with two more games, hosting Hebron this Friday before traveling to Flower Mound next Tuesday, Feb. 14. With just a couple of games left to recover before the end of the regular season, the Panthers have already clinched a playoff spot but are battling for district seeding.

“It’s a tough battle for playoffs, with some competitive teams ahead of us,” Wester said. “The last time we lost to Plano, I was really impressed with how the players responded and played well in their next game. I’m hoping we can do that again this time.”

For the full story, subscribe here.

For more sports pictures, see here.

Photos online

0 Comments

Public Notice - Subscribe

Related News

PESH takes home district crown 

PESH takes home district crown 

The Plano East boys track team won the District 6-6A title at Marauder Stadium on Thursday, April 4. The Panthers edged out Coppell by a score of 129-113, with Marcus placing third (108 points) (Courtesy Photo) The Plano East track teams had quite the showing at the...

read more
40-0! Plano East completes perfect season with title 

40-0! Plano East completes perfect season with title 

The Plano East Panthers are the Class 6A State Champions after defeating Round Rock Stony Point 53-41. After opening the state tournament with a 61-45 victory over Lake Ridge, the guys earned their 40th victory of the season by winning the rematch with Stony Point to...

read more
Plano East continues to cruise into regionals

Plano East continues to cruise into regionals

At 35-0, the Panthers have looked every bit like one of the nation’s top ranked teams to open the playoffs. PESH opened the postseason with lopsided wins over Rock Hill (88-51) and Highland Park (74-45) to advance to the regional bracket. Roosevelt Joubert/Murphy...

read more
Panthers cruise to bi-district title against Rock Hill

Panthers cruise to bi-district title against Rock Hill

The Plano East Panthers won the Bi-District Championship on Monday, Feb. 19 with an 88-51 victory over Rock Hill. The win pushes Plano East to 34-0 as the advance to the area round. Roosevelt Joubert/Murphy Monitor  The top-ranked Plano East Panthers opend the...

read more
Perfect Panthers set to open playoffs with Rock Hill

Perfect Panthers set to open playoffs with Rock Hill

The Plano East Panthers closed out the year with a record of 33-0, currently standing as the favorites to take home a title in Class 6A. That journey begins Monday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. against Rock Hill.   Roosevelt Joubert/Murphy Monitor  The Plano East boys basketball...

read more
East defeats West, places second at Cougar Classic

East defeats West, places second at Cougar Classic

Francisco Comacho gets his nose doctored up after getting it bloody during the Battle of Plano. The Panthers have one meet left before the team competes in the District Meet on Saturday, Jan 27.  Roosevelt Joubert/Murphy Monitor It was a busy week for the Plano East...

read more
Trio of Lady Panthers garner All-State honors

Trio of Lady Panthers garner All-State honors

 Megan Nguyen (1) had quite the year as one of Plano East’s primary setters on the team. For her efforts, she was given honorable mention on the Blue Bell/Texas Sports Writers Association All-State Volleyball Team. File Photo While the volleyball season is well in the...

read more
Public Notice - Subscribe