Triple R Report’s Game of the Day: John Mall Panthers @ Rocky Ford Meloneers (2A Santa Fe League Basketball)

We’re one week away from all sports breaking for Christmas Break. We have a huge early season Santa Fe League matchup happening at the “Melon Dome” tonight. The Panthers of John Mall travel down to take on Rocky Ford. The Meloneers will finish before Christmas Break with a 3-game home stand. And if history says anything the Meloneers are tough to beat at home.

It’s been a good first few weeks of the season for both Panther teams. They each begin the season 3-1. All of which have been key non-conference matchups. They each competed in the tough Trinidad State Tournament and did well for a 2A team. Each of their losses came from that tournament. The Lady Panthers fell to the tough Trinidad Lady Miners who also defeated the La Junta Lady Tigers. Then the boys ran into powerhouse Manitou Springs, which also defeated the La Junta boys.

At the Trinidad State Tournament, each team went 2-1. The Lady Panthers were knocked to the consolation bracket after a 57-35 loss to the Lady Miners of Trinidad, while the boys advanced to the semifinals after defeating Trinidad in a close 71-68 game. In the consolation semi-final, the girls defeated Springer (NM) 41-38, while the boys were defeated by 3A powerhouse Manitou Springs in the championship semi-final 84-53. In the 5th place game the Lady Panthers defeated Raton (NM) 52-43, the boys took 3rd at the tournament with a 74-45 victory also over Raton. Then both teams played Dolores Huerta, with the girls winning 47-17 and the boys winning as well 70-64.

In what has been an early season of success the Panthers have proved they can compete in the Santa Fe League. The question remains; can they keep it up? In my opinion I don’t think so. The league is going to be tough, well it always is. There has been one thing I’ve learned over my years of playing in and covering high school sports; don’t ever count any team out until the final horn sounds.

It’s been an early season of struggles for both Meloneer Basketball teams. The girls have begun the season with an 0-3 overall record and they’re 0-1 in the Santa Fe League. But they have run into three tough teams to begin the season. The boys’ have begun 1-2. Just like the girls’, it’s been a tough 3 game stretch for the Meloneers.

It all began when both teams traveled to Crowley County for an early league matchup. The Lady Meloneers lost a close one 40-38, while the boys did the opposite they defeated the Chargers 56-44 in overtime. They then traveled to Florence to take on the 3A Huskies. It was once again the same result for the girls, they lost big to the Lady Huskies 48-16. The boys also lost to an always tough Florence team, 49-29. To end the first 3 games of the season Rocky Ford hosted Center at the “Melon Dome”. IT was much of the same as both teams went down in defeat. The girls by a score of 41-25 and the boys by a score of 51-26.

The good thing for Rocky Ford is it’s early in the season, and there is plenty more games to come. For the girls, it’s going to be a tough league schedule for them. The Lady Grizzlies, Lady Lions, and Lady Chargers it’s going to be interesting to see who comes out on top. On the boy’s side of things, it’ll be a 3-team race: The Chargers, Grizzlies, and Meloneers all have excellent shots to earn the #1 seed in District 6 come late February.


Here’s how each team stacks up heading into tonight’s matchup:

John Mall Lady Panthers:

  • (3-1) Overall, has yet to play a SFL game
    • Tied for 3rd in SFL (only because they haven’t played a league game)
  • Outscoring opponents 165-155
    • Lost to Trinidad 57-25
    • Defeated Springer (NM) 41-38
    • Defeated Raton (NM) 52-43
    • Defeated DHPH 47-17
  • 3-game winning streak
  • Offense is averaging 41.3 points/game, Defense allows 38.8 points/game
    • Leading scorer is Erika Bradsby averaging 11.3 points/game
  • Players to Watch For:
    • Erika Bradsby (Senior)
    • Jacqueline Santistevan (Senior)

Rocky Ford Lady Meloneers:

  • (0-3) Overall, (0-1) in SFL
    • 2nd in SFL (Only teams to play league game are CC & RF)
  • Opponents are outscoring them 129-79
    • Lost to Crowley County 40-38
    • Lost to Florence 48-16
    • Lost to Center 41-25
  • 3-game losing streak
  • Offense is averaging 26.3 points/game, Defense allows 43 points/game
    • Leading scorer is Emi Romero averaging 8.7 points/game
  • Players to Watch For:
    • Stephanie Frantz (Senior)
    • Chantae Rodriguez (Sophomore)

Triple R’s Bold Prediction of the Game:

“Rocky Ford has struggled early but this is going to be the game where that all turns around. The offense for the Lady Meloneers shows up and the defense gets the stops they need. It starts out with a halftime lead for John Mall but the Lady Meloneers come back in the 2nd half.”

Triple R’s Game Prediction:

“Lady Meloneers defeat Lady Panthers 36-30.”


John Mall Panthers:

  • (3-1) Overall, has yet to play an SFL game
    • Tied for 3rd in SFL (only because they haven’t played a league game)
  • Outscoring opponents 268-261
    • Defeated Trinidad 71-68
    • Lost to Manitou Springs 84-53
    • Defeated Raton 74-45
    • Defeated DHPH 70-64
  • 2-game winning streak
  • Offense is averaging 67 points/game, Defense allows 65.3 points/game
    • Leading scorer is Felix Ruiz averaging 20.7 points/game
  • Players to Watch For:
    • Jayson Santistevan (Senior)
    • Elijah Sandoval (Senior)

Rocky Ford Meloneers:

  • (1-2) Overall, (1-0) in SFL
    • 1st place in SFL (only teams to play league game are CC/RF)
  • Opponents are outscoring them 144-110
    • Defeated Crowley County 56-44 OT
    • Lost to Florence 49-28
    • Lost to Center 51-26
  • 2-game losing streak
  • Offense is averaging 36.7 points/game, Defense allows 48 points/game
  • Players to Watch For:
    • William Valdez (Junior)
    • Derrick Lucero (Senior)

Triple R’s Bold Prediction of the Game:

“Losing back-to-back games is unfamiliar territory for the Meloneers, that streak ends here. It has been awhile since John Mall has defeated Rocky Ford at “The Dome”. Tonight, is no different, everything is clicking for the Meloneers and they improve to 2-0 in the SFL.”

Triple R’s Game Prediction:

“Meloneers defeat Panthers easily 60-42.”