Although the Yates Center Wildcats held a 5-0 lead for most of the first quarter, the Colgan Panthers dominated the rest of the game, advancing to substate final play after their 57-35 win Thursday night.

Although the Yates Center Wildcats held a 5-0 lead for most of the first quarter, the Colgan Panthers dominated the rest of the game, advancing to substate final play after their 57-35 win Thursday night.

Colgan saw a rough start in the first, as they were 0-9 from the field, until a basket by Chris Smith. The Panthers then found their rhythm, and, with leadership from senior Andy Farmer, they ended the quarter leading 14-7.

A basket made by Yates Center’s Dalton Smith, along with three points from Paul Stockebrand at the free-throw line, slowly brought the Wildcats up in score, but the man-to-man defense was no match for the offensive aggressiveness of the Panthers. A 3-point shot by junior Christian Valdivia gave Colgan a 15-point halftime lead, 27-12.

The Wildcats then pressured Colgan with a 2-3 zone defense, and Dalton Smith at the free-throw line allowed Yates Center to double their first-half score. However, multiple Wildcat turnovers led to multiple Panther baskets, and Farmer and fellow senior Kelley Thompson helped Colgan to a 48-24 lead after three quarters.

Despite Colgan’s poor performance at the free-throw line in the fourth, the Panthers were still able to control the final eight minutes of the game.

Yates Center ends its season 15-6, while Colgan won its 19th straight game and moves its record to 20-1, one game closer to the state tournament.