Saratoga Panther Gavin Bartlett puts up a one-handed floater against Encampment on Thursday in Saratoga.

SARATOGA — The atmosphere was intense Thursday night in the full gymnasium they call “The Panther Den.” With the girls’ game being a close, hard-fought battle, the crowd was already full of energy heading into the boys’ game.

What seemed to bring everyone together before the game was a moment of rejoicing as the school recognized the outstanding achievements of the state champion joint Panthers-Tigers cross country team on the court. Then, in a flash, the ball was tipped off and the claws were out.

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