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January 20, 2009 3:32 am

PHS girls win two more

Written by Tribune Staff

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Powell High School's Darcee Lynn (right) drives for a basket during the second half of the Lady Panthers' victory over Riverton Friday night in Powell. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Run record to 9-1

The wins just keep coming for the second-ranked, Class 3A Lady Panthers basketball squad.

The Powell High School team picked up its eighth and ninth wins of the season on Friday and Saturday, beating Riverton, 45-33, and Lovell, 55-46.

“The girls are playing well,” said PHS head coach Luke Danforth. “We had tough competition again this week, and I thought the girls stepped up.”

By “the girls,” Danforth means the entire 12-player varsity squad. He praised the contributions of his reserve players in spelling starters, grabbing steals, and pulling down rebounds over the weekend.

In both of the matchups, nearly every single member of the bench was called upon for aid.

The two victories put the Lady Panthers at 9-1 overall, and 4-1 in Class 3A West Conference competition.

Danforth called the Riverton game a tough, physical match, featuring a lot of man-to-man defense.

The physicality was evident in the numbers of fouls — the Lady Panthers were fouled 25 times.

The PHS squad hit 21 of their 32 free throws, which made the difference in the game. Riverton, a Class 4A team, made five of only eight attempts at the free-throw line.

There were a combined 51 turnovers between the two teams — 25 belonging to the Lady Panthers.

Coach Danforth said the majority of his squad's turnovers were self-inflicted — such as forcing the ball into tight passing lanes.

The Lady Panthers and Lady Wolverines played to an 11-11 stalemate after the first quarter. PHS opened a seven-point lead by halftime, but after three periods, Riverton was still lurking, just six points back.

The Powell team put things away in the fourth by sinking nine of 12 free throws.

“The girls came together and were disciplined, and did the things we needed to do down the stretch,” Coach Danforth said.

Junior Hannah Pollart led the way with 14 points. Senior Darcee Lynn followed with nine.

Savannah Donarski, a junior, added in a team-best nine rebounds while notching eight points and three blocks. Senior

McKenzie Danforth handed out five assists to go with five points.

Also scoring for the Lady Panthers were sophomore Olivia Rogers (5 points), junior Kami Cooley (2) and sophomore Leslie Thronburg (2).

On Saturday, the team traveled to Lovell and beat the now 5-3 Lady Bulldogs in a West Conference contest.

“I thought it was a better shooting night for us,” said Coach Danforth.

The Lady Panthers shot at a 46-percent clip, while Lovell hit 38 percent of their attempts.

PHS went up 31-23 at halftime and built a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter. They outlasted a late Lovell charge to hang on for the win.

Lovell nabbed 17 offensive rebounds in the contest, which Coach Danforth described as “more than we'd like to give up.”

The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Wolverines may be feeling similar sentiments. The PHS girls, in both contests, grabbed more offensive rebounds than their opponents grabbed defensive boards.

Donarski led the team in rebounding against Lovell, grabbing 16 rebounds. She also had 13 points.

Pollart again led the squad in scoring, breaking out for 23 points, while adding eight boards.

Pollart and Donarski shot a combined 14 of 20 (70 percent) from the floor.

Coach Danforth said opposing teams notice their consistently strong performances.

“I think teams are going to challenge them (Pollart and Donarski), and right now they are rising to the challenge,” he said.

McKenzie Danforth dished out a team-best five assists.

Also scoring for the PHS girls were Lynn (6 points), Cooley (5), Rogers (4), and senior Kelsey Allen and junior Katie Kipp added two points each.

Overall, Coach Danforth said the wins made for another nice weekend. But, he added, “We've still got things we're going to be working on.”

n Up next: The girls will have only one matchup this weekend, but it'll be a tough one. Friday night, the Lady Panthers will head to Cody for a battle against the fourth-ranked Fillies (8-3).

Coach Danforth said this year's Cody squad is improved from last year's. He also noted that games against the regional rival tend to be a little more intense than other matchups.

“It's going to be loud,” said the coach.