On January 24, 2018 our Hartnell Men’s Basketball team fell against bitter county rival MPC 79-64 in front of the home crowd. Hartnell was looking to bounce back against the Lobos after their previous lost on the road and even with their solid start towards the final minutes the Panthers just burned out and couldn't bring the score within reach. The Panthers kept their season average of 64 point but were unable to hold the Lobos offense attack, allowing them to shoot over 63 shot for a 42% field goal percentage. Even with the Panthers better 43% shooting they gave up 9 three pointers and 16 points from the foul line that proved to be the deciding factor towards the end when the Panthers picked up their intensity. Sophomore guard (#22) Spencer Conrad racked up 19 points, 5 assists, and 9 rebounds in a great effort to turn the game around but MPC never let up resulting in Hartnell’s second conference loss for the season (4-2).
On January 26, 2018 our Panthers went on the road against Cabrillo College and unfortunately loss for the third straight game in a row 81-73. Even with the Panthers offense clicking in all gears to pour in 73 points on Cabrillo’s home court, they failed to get done on the other side of the ball as they allowed 81 points to a team that recorded over 19 turnovers. Hartnell who had started off on the right foot after winning their first 4 conference games have now dropped 3 straight to bring their overall record to (12-9) and their conference record to (4-3). The Panthers are still in a position to be a contender but they are going to have to make a quick and powerful turn around with only 5 games left in the season, 3 of which are at home. Hartnell supporters can find hope as the Head Coach Vasher’s style of play for the team doesn't rely on one or two guys making play but the whole unit working together to achieve victory.