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PV boys look to make the most of remaining games after COVID-19 threatened their season

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista Panthers have had it rough the last couple weeks, all because COVID-19 threatened to derail their already condensed – and still winless – basketball campaign.

PV had to halt and move its last three previously scheduled games partly due to contact tracing involving the team and ultimately out of an abundance of caution. PV (0-6) returned to the court hosting La Cueva on Tuesday, its first live game since April 6, something the Panthers aren’t taking for granted.

“It felt really good, being that all this COVID stuff had shut us down in the first place. Then finally being able to come out (on) the court and play the game that I love, it felt really good. It sucked being at home not doing anything,” PV forward Robert Lane David said.

Playing against La Cueva, 5A’s third-ranked squad, didn’t soothe things either. La Cueva won, 77-34.

“It was just frustrating having to sit out and then having to come back and play one of the best teams in the state, after 10 days of no practice,” PV shooting guard Nate Heidke said.

At this point, PV’s trying to make the most of what’s left of the season in the coming days.

“A lot of us take things for granted. We can’t take things for granted anymore. Things could be snatched from us literally tomorrow with COVID,” PV coach Brady Rivers said. “Knowing what COVID has been over this last year and a half roughly, I think we had to prepare for it. We were hoping that we would dodge that bullet, but we didn’t. But hey, the guys got (an) opportunity now to come back out and hopefully finish these last five games… Now they understand that we have to be smart, we have to wear our masks, we have to do the things that we’re supposed to do.”

Rivers said PV’s first matchup against Farmington was rescheduled for Wednesday, and the Panthers’ home against versus Sandia was rescheduled for early next week. However, Rivers said PV's road game at Eldorado is likely a no-go because of the travel distance.

Rivers said it’d be exciting if PV can at least make it to 11 total games played by the time the regular season wraps up at month’s end.

 “I think if we can do that, I think we should be honestly ever grateful,” Rivers said. “With the way COVID has been, I think I’ve been realistic in thinking that anything can happen at any given time.”

Matt Hollinshead covers sports and business for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577, and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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