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January 13, 2009 4:05 am

Lady Panthers keep rolling

Written by Tribune Staff

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Powell High School's Leslie Thronburg (20) is fouled by Kemmerer's Kim Cattelan (24) during Friday night's matchup at PHS. Thronburg made the shot and earned a trip to the free-throw line on the play. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Squad runs record to 7-1 overall

For most basketball teams, a pair of 21-point victories would be a season highlight.

It seems more like a typical weekend for the Powell High School Lady Panthers.

In their first action since the Christmas break, the girls dismantled Kemmerer, 48-27, and Lyman, 37-16, on Friday and Saturday.

The home victories put the Lady Panthers' record at a solid 7-1. PHS head coach Luke Danforth said practices and teamwork are paying off.

“The girls aren't selfish, and they're playing hard. We work hard all week, and it's nice to see them have success on the weekends,” he said.

During the two games, the Lady Panthers held their opponents to a combined 12.5 percent shooting percentage.

“I think the tone of the weekend was definitely our defensive effort,” Coach Danforth said.

The PHS girls shot at a 38-percent clip in the pair of contests, which he described as “still a little rusty.” He said the long layoff and slightly taller opponents may have been factors.

“Defensively, both Kemmerer and Lyman played pretty well,” Coach Danforth said.

However, in spite of tougher shooting, Danforth credited his squad for finding ways to share the ball.

In the Friday win over Kemmerer, nine different Lady Panthers scored.

“A lot of people contributed,” the coach said.

Their contributions were put to especially good use in the final two periods. After struggling in the second quarter, the PHS girls came out of halftime on fire — putting the game well out of reach of the Lady Rangers with a 20-2 third quarter.

Overall, sophomore Leslie Thronburg led the team in scoring, knocking down nine points. Junior Hannah Pollart brought a well-rounded performance with a team-best 10 rebounds and seven assists, while also adding eight points. Senior Kelsey Allen swiped a squad-leading four steals, and contributed five points.

Also scoring for the Lady Panther were senior Darcee Lynn (8 points), junior Savannah Donarski (7), sophomore Olivia Rogers (4), senior McKenzie Danforth (3), and juniors Katie Kipp and Kami Cooley (2 each).

On Saturday, for a minute or two, it looked like things might be a bit closer.

The Lady Panthers found themselves in a 2-0 hole after Lyman sunk an early basket. However, the Lady Eagles would not make another basket from the field during the game, coming up empty on their next 22 shots. Soon after the lone Lyman bucket, McKenzie Danforth responded with a 3-pointer, and a rout was on. Lyman added just 14 free throws during the remainder of the contest.

The Lady Panthers dominated in nearly every statistical category, including a 35-15 advantage in rebounding.

The PHS offense wasn't clicking on all cylinders, but even when shots weren't dropping, the girls were coming up with second and third chances by “attacking the basket,” said Coach Danforth.

Their effort translated into more PHS offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds for Lyman — something coach Danforth said is a continual goal for the squad.

“That's a hard one to get, but we did that day,” he said.

Donarski paced the team with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 boards. Pollart joined her in double digits, scoring 11, while stealing the ball five times.

McKenzie Danforth dished a team-best six assists and added three points.

Also scoring for the Lady Panthers were Lynn and Thronburg (4 apiece), and Cooley (3).

Coach Danforth said the girls enjoyed getting to play at home, and they can look forward to another match in friendly territory on Friday.

At 7:30 p.m., they'll host class 4A Riverton, looking for a measure of revenge.

The Lady Wolverines dealt the Lady Panthers a 50-43 defeat in the 2007-08 season.

“We kind of owe them a bit from last year,” said Coach Danforth.

On Saturday, they'll head to Lovell to tangle with a winning Lady Bulldog squad that Danforth describes as young, but athletic. Tip-off time for that matchup is scheduled for 5:45 p.m.