Needing a win to vastly improve their playoff chances, the Lufkin Panthers stepped up in a big time way, striking for four early goals and rolling from there on the way to a 5-1 win over the Montgomery Bears in 12-6A action at John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium Tuesday night.
Lufkin entered the night in a tie for fourth place with the Conroe Tigers in the district standings. On Tuesday, it took a step in the right direction against a Montgomery team still seeking its first point in 12-6A play.
Eddie Guardado, Edgar Anaya, Brian Pineda, Gustavo Garcia and Rodrigo Molina each scored a goal for the Panthers.
The Panthers got on the board the early going with Guardado scoring for a 1-0 lead. That lead grew to 2-0 when Anaya quickly added a score.
Pineda made it 3-0 with a goal of his own and Garcia added a score to make it 4-0 just before the halftime break.
Montgomery was finally able to break through for a goal in the second half.
However, that momentum didn’t last long with Rodrigo Molina scoring a goal to make the final 5-1.
The Panthers will be back on the road on Friday night for a pivotal district contest as they travel to take on the Oak Ridge War Eagles.
On the girls side, the Lady Panthers shook off a slow start to deliver some late fireworks to salvage a 2-2 tie on the road against Montgomery.
Montgomery scored a goal in the first 10 minutes of the game then added another one midway through the first half for a 2-0 lead.
It looked like the Lady Panthers may take a loss before they turned it on in the second half.
Ashly Walker scored a goal and Katelyn Knowles added another one midway through the second half to preserve the tie.
The Lady Panthers will be back at home on Friday night as they take on the Oak Ridge Lady Eagles with the JV starting at 4 p.m. and the varsity starting at 6 p.m.
In JV boys action, Lufkin rolled to a 3-0 win over Montgomery. Lufkin scorers were Leo Acevedo, Bryan Banda and David Cisneros.
The Lady Panthers won by an identical 3-0 score with Diana Orta, Janette Roriguez and Karen Garza each finding the back of the net.