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January 27, 2009 3:51 am

PHS runs down Cody teams

Written by Tribune Staff

PHS tops Broncs 32-20

In a game where points were hard to come by, the Powell High School Panthers topped rival Cody 32-20 last Friday at CHS.

With the victory, the Panthers extended their winning streak to four games.

“It was an ugly game both ways,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand, who noted that both teams struggled when it came to shots from the field. “I think a lot of that can be attributed to how excited the kids get and how much emotion is there for both sides when it comes to this rivalry. We knew going in that Cody was going to give us their best effort, and they played well on defense. Fortunately, we were able to get some crucial plays and make some big free throws when we needed them.”

The first quarter proved to be a preview of just how difficult scoring would be throughout the contest. By the end of the opening period, the two teams had combined for only nine points, and Cody held a 6-3 advantage.

In the second period, both teams continued to rely largely on their defensive efforts. The Panthers outscored CHS 7-5 in that period but still trailed 11-10 at the break.

At the start of the fourth period, Powell held a slim, 20-17 advantage, thanks in part to a 3-point, buzzer-beater by point guard Jordan Brown in the previous stanza. That shot sparked the Panthers, who went on to outscore the Broncs 12-3 in the final eight minutes.

During the fourth quarter, Hildebrand said the Panthers' free-throw shooting was a major factor.

“We hit eight of 12 free throws in the fourth,” Hildebrand said. “That really helped us down the stretch. By hitting those, we were able to build a small lead. Those were big, especially when you consider how much we were struggling with our shooting from the field.”

For the game, PHS hit 14 of 22 from the free-throw line. That helped offset the Panthers' shooting woes from the field, where they hit just two of 18 3-pointers and six of 22 from 2-point range.

Cody went zero for eight from behind the arc and connected on just six of 22 shots from 2-point land. At the free-throw line, the Broncs hit a mere one of nine in the fourth period and finished 10 of 21 overall.

“Obviously, we didn't play as well as we did during our previous three games,” Hildebrand said. “Though we struggled shooting the ball, we still did things in other areas of the game that allowed us to get the win.”

Six Panthers found their way into the scoring column last Friday, including Galen Mills and Brown, who each finished with eight points. Ryan Brandt and Matt McArthur added six points each, and Gavin Mills and Dallas Robirds chipped in with two each.

Brandt also led the rebounding effort with 14, including five on the offensive end. McArthur added nine rebounds.

• Up next: The Panthers (6-5 overall, 3-3 West Conference) have two games scheduled this week and both will be at PHS.

The first will be Friday against Worland and part of the Hoops for Hope event, which will promote breast cancer awareness. Hildebrand noted that the Panther boys will play the 5:45 p.m. game and the Lady Panthers will compete in the 7:30 p.m. slot that night.

On Saturday, the Panthers will host Rocky Mountain High School at 7:30 p.m.

Lady Panthers run down Fillies

Tribune Staff Writer

If the Powell High School Lady Panthers felt any extra pressure taking on regional rival Cody High School Friday night, it sure didn't show.

The basketball game ended as the last six PHS games have — with the Powell girls victorious.

The Lady Panthers topped the Fillies in a 50-37 win on the road.

“It's always nice to beat Cody,” said PHS head coach Luke Danforth.

The win put PHS' record at a solid 10-1 (5-1 in Class 3A) on the season.

Only Jackson High School (12-1, 6-0 in 3A) has a better record in the class.

The Panthers jumped out to a dominating 16-2 first quarter lead, and seized a 28-10 advantage at the half.

The Fillies outscored Powell by five in the second half, which Coach Danforth attributed to some adjustments by Cody and a bit of an emotional letdown for PHS after two big opening quarters.

But, he added, “The girls hung in there and finished the job at the end.”

The Lady Panthers had a hot night shooting the basketball. The team sunk a sizzling 58 percent of their attempted field goals.

The Lady Panther defense, meanwhile, clamped down on Cody's offense, limiting the Fillies to 38 percent shooting from the floor.

The statistical domination by the Panthers spilled over into the rebounding category as well. PHS snagged 25 boards to Cody's 20.

As is often the case, junior Hannah Pollart led the way in scoring for the Lady Panthers, knocking down 20 points. She also was tops on the squad in rebounding and assists, contributing six of each.

Fellow junior Savannah Donarski joined Pollart in double figures. Donarski netted 14 points on six-of-seven shooting.

“Savannah (Donarski) and Hannah (Pollart) did a great job with their post play, both offensively and defensively,” Coach Danforth said.

He also praised the solid play of senior Kelsey Allen, who chipped in six points, and swiped a team-best three steals.

The coach also heralded the ball-handling of senior McKenzie Danforth, who contributed four points, and the defense of senior Darcee Lynn, who scored two.

The Lady Panthers also received strong bench support. Coach Danforth singled out junior Kami Cooley, and sophomores Olivia Rogers and Leslie Thronburg (who scored four points).

Overall, the game was “what has kind of been our mainstay — girls coming in and finding a way to make an impact,” the coach said.

The Fillies and Lady Panthers will meet again in Powell on Feb. 27 — the last regular-season contest.

This weekend, the Lady Panthers will play host to the Worland Lady Warriors and the Lady Grizzlies of Rocky Mountain High.

The Lady Warriors will bring a 5-5 record (2-4 in 3A) to the Friday night match-up. They most recently dropped a 60-54 overtime decision to Lovell.

The prime-time 7:30 p.m. contest will also be a part of a “Hoops for Hope” fund-raising event for breast cancer awareness.

During the game, a pink bucket will be passed to collect donations for Women's Wellness, and there will also be a raffle for sports memorabilia.

PHS officials are asking Panther fans to wear pink clothing at the contest. Both Worland's and Powell's jerseys will incorporate the color for the night.

If you don't own anything pink, t-shirts sporting the hue will be available for $8.

Coach Danforth is looking forward to the special contest — especially since it's against another regional foe.

“It's fun beating Cody, but I don't know if it's any more fun than beating Worland,” he said.

On Saturday, the Powell girls will take on the Class 2A Lady Grizzlies of Byron. The Rocky Mountain squad brings a 6-7 record going into this weekend's action. They battle the Lady Panthers in a 5:45 p.m. matchup.