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February 12, 2009 3:45 am

Panther wrestlers hammer Cody

Top-ranked PHS registers 72-6 victory over rivals

In a dual meet conducted at Cody High School Tuesday night, the top-ranked Powell Panthers quickly dismantled the Broncs and picked up a 72-6 victory.

During the contest, nine of the Panthers victories came in the form of pins. They also registered two victories by decisions and two more via forfeits. Cody had just one outcome go in its favor, a pin in the 215-pound bout, and it helped the Broncs avoid being shut out.

“The guys just went out there and took care of business,” said PHS head coach Nate Urbach. “We had some guys go up against some good kids, and I was pleased with the way we got after them.”

PHS opened the dual meet by winning its first 12 bouts. Freshman Charles Wittick opened the event by claiming a forfeit victory at 103. Wittick's win was followed by a pair of decisions that went in favor of his teammates, senior Ren Utter and freshman Olie Olson. Both Utter and Olson moved up one weight class for the night.

Utter, who is actually ranked No. 2 at 103 in the WyoPreps.com rankings released Wednesday (yesterday), competed at 112 and claimed a 12-6 decision over sophomore Tommy Emery. Olson, ranked No. 2 at 112, filled in at 119 Tuesday and won a 9-6 decision over Cody freshman Bobby West.

At 125, PHS sophomore Colt Nix recorded a victory over sophomore Kyle Dewey. Nix, ranked No. 5 in his weight class, pinned Dewey at the 1:11 mark.

PHS standout freshman Randy Andrews followed suit in the bout at 130. Andrews, who sports a No. 3 ranking, pinned freshman Ben Graves at 1:57.

In the 135-pound bout, senior and second-ranked Cory Eden recorded a pin against CHS sophomore Kory Jansma at 3:02.

Top-ranked junior Auston Carter, who wrestles at 140, gave the Panthers their fourth pin of the night during his matchup against freshman Drew McMillan. Carter's pin took place at the 3:22 mark.

PHS junior Cole Kary kept the streak of pins alive for the Panthers when he faced Bronc sophomore Devin West at 145. Kary, ranked second, notched his pin in 1:08.

Senior Trevor Donarski, who just last week earned the distinction of being a repeat champion at the Ron Thon Memorial Tournament in Riverton, easily defended his No. 1 ranking at 152 by pinning Cody's Seth Edwards at the 1:55 mark.

At 160, second-ranked Cody Kalberer faced a strong challenger, Urbach said. The PHS senior squared off against senior Sam Werner and came away with a victory after recording a pin.

Panther sophomore Danny Harris stepped on the mat and claimed a forfeit victory at 171, and PHS junior Joe Lujan continued his strong comeback effort from a knee injury by pinning Bronc sophomore Tyler Stebbins just 53 seconds into the bout at 189. Lujan, who moved up a weight class for Tuesday's meet, is ranked sixth at 171.

In the 215-pound bout, PHS freshman Kurt Bullinger drew the tough task of facing senior Brad Hanes. Hanes went on to claim the victory with a pin against the less experienced Bullinger.

Tuesday's action closed with Panther sophomore Trevor Griffeth pinning 10th-grader John Sax in the heavyweight division.

February 12, 2009 3:42 am

Stimulus: Take time to get it right

Americans have experienced a lot of unprecedented moments in the last few months, from the stock market plunges in the fall to the election and inauguration of our first African-American president.

On Monday night, as President Barack Obama gave his first prime-time press conference, he spoke of another unprecedented step: A stimulus bill to spend more money than ever before on reviving America's faltering economy.

The bill advanced in the U.S. Senate Tuesday without the support of Wyoming's Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, who both objected to the amount of spending and its rushed passing.

Obama is right that something needs to be done and soon. He inherited the current economy in its ramshackle state, and in the early days of his presidency, Obama's priority is to get America back on track.

However, as Enzi pointed out on the Senate floor Monday, is the bill being passed simply for the sake of urgency?

“The American people want Congress to act now, to act with urgency. We don't have time to wait. That's what the party in charge is telling us. My reply is, do we have time to get it right?” Enzi said. “The American people don't want us to go fast for the sake of being fast — they want us to solve the problem, and they want a solution that makes sense to them.”

An $800 billion stimulus and recovery package is so vast that it's beyond comprehension for the American taxpayer.

A New York Times editorial Monday urged swift action, but also shared Enzi's sentiment of getting it right: “A bill that is merely better than nothing won't be nearly good enough. The economy is too fragile. And the numbers are too huge.”

With a declining stock market, increasing unemployment and stagnant economic growth across the United States, it's clear that action is necessary.

As the bill now heads to a House-Senate conference, it's crucial that members of Congress negotiate the best version of a stimulus package, even if it takes a little more time.

February 12, 2009 3:23 am

First National Bank sold to Glacier

$17.5 million deal closes in May

First National Bank and Trust, founded in Powell in 1912, has entered into a $17.5 million merger agreement with Glacier Bancorp, Inc.

The boards of Glacier and First Company (the bank's holding company) approved the sale, which includes all three bank locations in Powell, Cody and Lovell, earlier this month. The bank will continue to operate as First National Bank and Trust for the time being.

February 10, 2009 4:47 am

Road 8 work kicks off

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As of Monday, Road 8 south of U.S. 14-A is closed to traffic, as reconstruction work began at the intersection. On Monday morning, Koby Herd (front) and Jordan Bear of Capstone Construction remove guard rails from the bridge at the intersection. The road closure is expected to last 35 days. Tribune photo by Toby Bonner

February 10, 2009 4:45 am

Far-off hackers cause local problems

Banks forced to reissue cards

Imagine 10 million credit card numbers falling into the hands of criminals. Every day. For weeks.

Now, stop imagining — it likely happened last year.

February 10, 2009 4:44 am

Wyoming House sketching wolf bill

A Wyoming House of Representatives committee has killed four of five wolf-related bills. The sole surviving one, House Bill 32, would retain most of the predator zone in Wyoming and protect domestic and wild ungulates from wolves. It also would help ensure genetic connectivity of Wyoming wolves with those in the region, if the federal government delists wolves in Wyoming.

It's not everyday that Cody is featured in a motion picture.

Click for audio

But it's pretty much unprecedented for the area to serve as the setting for a zombie/cowboy flick.

As of last Tuesday, you can catch a zombified Cody area on DVDs sold nationwide in the locally-produced “Dead Noon.”

February 10, 2009 4:39 am

PHS topples No. 1 Jackson

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Jackson's Sydney Leichliter (42) reacts as Lady Panthers (left to right) Kelsey Allen (hidden from view), Katie Kipp (22), Shellie Williams, Robin Thronburg, McKenzie Danforth, Kami Cooley (10), Hannah Pollart (hidden from view), Darcee Lynn and Savannah Donarski celebrate PHS's 35-34 victory last Friday. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Second-ranked Lady Panthers now 14-1

An eight-point, third-quarter deficit against the two-time defending state champions might seem insurmountable to some basketball teams.

But not the Powell High School Lady Panthers.

Pinedale also hands Panthers loss during weekend action

A six-game winning streak by the Powell High School Panthers was brought to an end last Friday during a 46-43 loss to the Jackson Broncs at PHS.

The game marked the fourth time in a row that the two teams have gone into overtime, and unfortunately for the fifth-ranked Panthers, their record in those games stands at 1-3. The day after that loss, PHS stumbled again and fell to Pinedale by a score of 42-34. Both contests were Class 3A, West Conference battles.

“We shot 35 percent or less in both games,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand. “It was a case where we didn't make a lot of the shots we had made in the previous six games.”

Against Jackson, it was evident early on that the Panthers (8-7 overall, 4-5 West Conference) were in for a hard-fought contest as the Broncs built a 12-11 lead after one period of play. In the second stanza, the Panthers were able to outscore the Broncs 9-5 and took a slim, 20-17 advantage into the halftime break. That lead was short lived as the Broncs pushed ahead in the third period after putting 15 points on the scoreboard compared to just nine for the Panthers.
In the final quarter, it looked as if PHS was gaining the upper hand, thanks in part to a technical foul called on the Jackson bench. That call sent point guard Jordan Brown to the free-throw line, where he hit a pair of shots to push the Panthers ahead 35-34. PHS followed with a 2-point basket to go ahead 37-34.

PHS's momentum, however, didn't last for long. With just more than two minutes left in regulation, Brown fouled out. Not long after, Gavin Mills, regarded as one of the top defensive players on the team, joined Brown on the bench after picking up his fifth foul.

“That was a big key in the game,” Hildebrand said of Brown's fifth foul. “He's a big part of what we do, and it's tough for us when we don't have him on the floor.”

With roughly two minutes left on the clock, PHS had increased its lead to four points. But unlike they have done so often in the past two seasons in close games, the Panthers weren't able to get the baskets or free throws they needed to seal the outcome.

“We've typically done pretty well in that situation,” Hildebrand said. “We've found a way to protect late leads, but against Jackson that didn't happen.”

Jackson pushed ahead 41-39 with time winding down, but Galen Mills was able to knot the score at 41 before the end of regulation. The Broncs did have time to launch a potential game-winning shot before the buzzer after PHS tied the score, but the attempt failed.

In overtime, the contest remained close. Jackson's Rob Caeser put the Broncs ahead with a 2-pointer, but PHS's Galen Mills quickly tied the game at 43 with a pair of free throws. Jackson's Colin Thiel answered with two free throws of his own at the other end of the court to put the Broncs ahead 45-43.

With 56 seconds remaining, the Panthers endured a costly turnover, and Jackson was able to add one more successful free throw down the stretch to end the scoring at 46-43.

PHS finished the game with a 34-percent shooting mark from the field, where it hit two of eight from 3-point land and 13 of 36 from 2-point range.

“You have to give Jackson credit,” Hildebrand said. “They have a scrappy team, and they did a good job on the defensive end. They made it difficult for us when it came to shooting the ball.”

The Broncs didn't fare much better, hitting two of 10 from behind the arc and 15 of 31 from 2-point range. However, their 41-percent shooting percentage proved to be just enough to push them past the Panthers.

At the free-throw line, both teams struggled as well. The Panthers hit just 11 of 26 shots from the line, and Jackson connected on a mere 10 of 25 attempts.

“We were able to get to the line, but we weren't able to convert,” Hildebrand said. “Prior to that game, we had done a pretty solid job at the free-throw line. But we just couldn't get those shots to fall Friday night.”

Brown finished as the game's top scorer with 19 points. Ryan Brandt added 12 points and was the only other Panther to notch a double-digit point total. The remainder of the scoring was handled by Galen Mills (6 points), Matt McArthur (3), Gavin Mills (2) and Dallas Robirds (1). Brandt also posted a team-high 13 rebounds and six steals.

Jackson was paced by Caesar's 18-point effort, and Grant Rogers added 10 points.

Against Pinedale last Saturday, the Panthers' shooting woes continued in a 42-34 loss. PHS went zero for 11 from 3-point range, which played into Pinedale's use of a zone defense. From 2-point range, the Panthers managed to hit 13 of 26 shots, and at the free-throw line they connected on eight of 12 attempts. Overall, PHS finished with a 35-percent mark from the field.

“They zoned us for the majority of the game,” Hildebrand said. “We weren't able to hit shots from the perimeter, and we never were able to loosen up their defense.”

Six Panthers scored in the contest, but none of those were able to post double-digit point totals. Galen Mills led the way for PHS with nine points and was followed by McArthur (8), Brandt (8), Brown (6), Matt Kifer (2) and Gavin Mills (1). Brandt was PHS's top rebounder with seven boards. Gavin Mills added five rebounds, six assists and one steal, and Brown contributed with five rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Pinedale was paced by Keaton Cross' 11 points and Wilson Rogers' 10-point performance.

• Up next: The Panthers have two conference games scheduled this week and both are road matchups. The first will be against Lyman at 7:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, PHS will face Kemmerer at 2:30 p.m.

“We have to bounce back as a team, and we have to play with the energy we had during our six-game winning streak,” Hildebrand said. “Obviously, we need to do a better job shooting the ball, and we'll work on eliminating the turnovers that hurt us against Jackson and Pinedale. We had 20 turnovers against Jackson and 17 against Pinedale. We need to at least get that number below 15 so we can get those extra opportunities on the offensive end.”

February 10, 2009 4:08 am

Panthers sixth at Riverton Tourney

Donarski claims title at 152

At the 10th annual Ron Thon Memorial Tournament at Riverton High School last Friday and Saturday, Powell High School notched a sixth-place finish in the team standings and had one wrestler walk away with an individual title.

PHS's sixth-place finish was the strongest effort of the Class 3A teams in the event. Campbell County won the overall championship, giving the team from Gillette its second consecutive Ron Thon Memorial Tournament title. Places two through five went to Natrona County, Green River, Rock Springs and Star Valley.

“It was a mixed bag for us,” said PHS head coach Nate Urbach. “I thought the guys that placed wrestled pretty well throughout the tournament. We had some others that were up and down, so we need to work on our consistency with regionals and state coming up.”

As for the individual title winners, senior Trevor Donarski was able to pin down the only first-place effort for the Panthers.

For Donarski, who recorded a 4-0 mark in the 152-pound weight class, his title came on the heels of a first-place effort in last year's tournament at 130 pounds.

Donarski capped his championship showing by defeating Campbell County's Telbe Storbeck by a score of 5-3 in the finals. Storbeck entered the bout as a two-time state and Ron Thon Memorial Tournament champion.

Among Donarski's other victories was a 16-7, major decision over Cokeville's Hadley Harmon in the first round. Donarski followed that outcome by registering a technical fall (18-3) over Star Valley's Brandon Anglesey and a victory by injury default against Douglas' Pat Lehnen.

PHS's five placing performances were rounded out by Ren Utter at 103, Cory Eden at 135, Auston Carter at 140 and Cody Kalberer at 160. Utter, Carter and Kalberer each recorded 3-2 marks, and Eden completed the tournament with a 4-2 record.

n Up next: The Panthers are scheduled to be in action today (Tuesday) against the Cody Broncs at CHS. The junior varsity dual meet is slated for 6 p.m., and the varsity matchup will follow at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, the Panthers will entertain Worland at PHS. Junior varsity action is slated for 6:30 p.m. and varsity action has a scheduled 7 p.m. start time.

Ron Thon Memorial Tournament

Individual Results:

• 103: Ren Utter (3- 2, 4th Place)
Won vs. Andrew Gardner, East, Fall 1:58
Won vs. Kalen Hill, Cokeville, M-Dec 12-3
Lost vs. Josh Claye, Star Valley, Fall 5:14
Won vs. Josh Hillhouse, Kelly Walsh, Fall 1:45
Lost vs. Alex Klopp, Lander, M-Dec 10-2

• 103: Luke Wozney (2-2)
Lost vs. Josh Claye, Star Valley, Dec 11-9
Won vs. Austin Vye, Central, Dec 8-6
Won vs. Bailey Young, Campbell Co., Fall 2:59
Lost vs. Josh Hillhouse, Kelly Walsh, Dec 13-11

• 112: Olie Olson (1-2)
Won vs. Casey McKim, Campbell Co., Dec 7-3
Lost vs. Jared Leithead, Worland, Dec 8-1
Lost vs. Joe Best, East, Dec 8-3

• 125: Colt Nix (2- 2)
Lost vs. Burke Burgess, Campbell Co., Fall 3:59
Won vs. Ezra Coleman, Campbell Co., Dec 3-1
Won vs. Nate Gossens, Greybull, Dec 8-4
Lost vs. Chance Maddock, Cokeville, Fall 4:04

• 130: Randy Andrews (2- 2)
Lost vs. Marc Madsen, Campbell Co., T-Fall 18-3(3:00
Won vs. Xavier Padilla, Rock Springs, Fall 2:32
Won vs. Kendall Nuss, Central, Fall 5:52
Lost vs. Brode Bullington, Lander, M-Dec 13-4

• 135: Cory Eden (4- 2, 4th Place)
Won vs. Nathan Johnston, Laramie, Fall 5:40
Won vs. Mark Van Slyke, Star Valley, Fall 1:47
Won vs. Wesley Slaugh, Rock Springs, Dec 3-2
Lost vs. Jon Child, Cokeville, Dec 6-2
Won vs. Garth Ginder, Natrona Co., M-Dec 8-0
Lost vs. Wesley Slaugh, Rock Springs, Dec 4-2

• 140: Auston Carter (3- 2, 4th Place)
Won vs. Ben Anson, Greybull, T-Fall 16-1(4:00
Won vs. J.T. Cattelan, Kemmerer, Fall 5:57
Lost vs. Austin Breckenridge, Central, Dec 14-8
Won vs. Sullivan Teichert, Cokeville, Dec 11-7
Lost vs. Devon Tutor, Campbell Co., Fall 3:54

• 145: Cole Kary (2- 2)
Won vs. Mac Madsen, Campbell Co., Fall 2:56
Lost vs. Andy McCulley, Rock Springs, Fall 3:57
Won vs. Cody Parke, Natrona Co., Dec 4-2
Lost vs. Andrew Petersen, Cokeville, Dec 8-5

• 145: Jimmy Seckman (2- 2)
Lost vs. Jeff Redland, Worland, Dec 16-13
Won vs. Mac Madsen, Campbell Co., Fall 2:32
Won vs. Ryan Lay, Wheatland, Dec 5-3
Lost vs. Michael Hogan, Douglas, Dec 5-3

• 152: Trevor Donarski (4- 0, 1st Place)
Won vs. Hadley Harmon, Cokeville, M-Dec 16-7
Won vs. Brandon Anglesey, Star Valley, T-Fall 18-3
Won vs. Pat Lehnen, Douglas, Def INJURY
Won vs. Telbe Storbeck, Campbell Co., Dec 5-3

• 160: Cody Kalberer (3- 2, 4th Place)
Won vs. Jordan O'Dowd, Campbell Co., M-Dec 14-6
Won vs. Hayden Jones, Central, Dec 3-1
Lost vs. Bret Klopp, Lander, T-Fall 18-3
Won vs. Jordan O'Dowd, Campbell Co., Dec 9-2
Lost vs. Hayden Jones, Central, M-Dec 8-0

• 171: Joe Lujan (0- 2)
Lost vs. Colton Marrow, Lander, Fall 5:14
Lost vs. Taylor Pownall, Campbell Co., T-Fall 18-0

• 189: Monte Nickles (2- 2)
Lost vs. Dave Dorsett, Hulett, Fall 1:48
Won vs. Jared Asay, Lovell, Fall 2:24
Won vs. Tanner Cornwell, Thermopolis, Dec 7-1
Lost vs. Colter McNare, Douglas, Dec 7-1

• 215: Tyler Showalter (1- 2)
Won vs. Matt Hettchen, Rawlins, Fall 4:40
Lost vs. Leland Pfeifer, Hulett, Fall 1:25
Lost vs. Cheyton Vermillion, East, Fall 3:40

Team Results:

1. Campbell County, 215.50
2. Natrona County, 170.50
3. Green River, 159.00
4. Rock Springs, 149.00
5. Star Valley, 144.00
6. Powell, 124.00
7. Central, 122.00
8. Lander, 113.00
9. Wheatland, 100.00
10. Cokeville, 94.50
11. Douglas, 84.00
12. Kelly Walsh, 72.00
13. Evanston, 70.00
14. Riverton, 69.00
15. Hulett, 64.00
16. Rocky Mountain, 59.00
17. East, 44.00
18. Worland, 41.00
19. Sheridan, 39.00
20. Greybull, 26.00
21. Moorcroft, 20.50
22. Shoshoni, 20.00
23. Big Piney, 19.00
23. Rawlins, 19.00
25. Jackson, 15.00
25. Glenrock, 15.00
27. Wind River, 13.00
28. Kemmerer, 12.00
29. Laramie, 9.00
29. Thermopolis, 9.00
31. Lovell, 4.00
32. Cody, 0.00
32. Upton, 0.00
32. Pinedale, 0.00
32. Dubois, 0.00