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February 17, 2009 3:39 am

Panthers go 1-1 in weekend action

Written by Tribune Staff

PHS tops Lyman, falls to Kemmerer

Last weekend saw the Powell High School boys basketball team make the long road trip for matchups with Lyman and Kemmerer, and head coach Troy Hildebrand's squad notched a 1-1 mark.

The weekend started on a strong note for the Panthers as they cruised to a 58-38 victory over the Eagles Friday night. With the win, PHS completed a regular-season sweep of Lyman.

“We really pushed the ball well in this game and put a lot of pressure on them in transition,” Hildebrand said. “A key possession came with 1:35 left in the first half. We ran the clock all the way down and Jordan Brown hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put us up by 12, 37-25, at the half.

“We did a very good job of getting to the free-throw line and converting in this one. We also blocked nine shots, which was a season-high for the team.”

Powell's offensive attack was led by Brown's 16-point performance. Others scoring for PHS were Matt McArthur (12 points), Ryan Brandt (9), Gavin Mills (6), Galen Mills (5), David Starcevich (4), Brandon Sullivan (4), Dallas Robirds (2).

The Panthers' rebounding effort was led by Brandt and McArthur. Both players finished with 11 rebounds. Brown added six rebounds to go along with five assists, three steals and one block. Gavin Mills registered three of PHS's nine blocks.

As a team, the Panthers hit 19 of 25 shots from the free-throw line.

On Saturday, the Panthers looked to notch an upset victory over third-ranked Kemmerer but eventually fell in overtime by a score of 65-57. PHS opened the game with an almost perfect first half, according to Hildebrand.

In the first two periods, PHS hit 11 of 16 shots from 2-point range and three of four from 3-point land. Individually, McArthur had 12 points at the break while Galen Mills had eight. Nine of McArthur's first-half points came on successful 3-pointers.

At the break, the Panthers led 34-18. They pushed that lead to as many as 19 points midway through the third period. But Kemmerer slowly began to chip away at PHS's lead and closed the third period with an 8-2 run.

The fourth period began with the Panthers ahead 47-34. By the 1:38 mark, KHS trailed by only seven points, 56-49. At that point, the Rangers hit a free throw and then got a putback on the ensuing miss on the following shot from the line to cut their deficit to 56-52.

Brown added a free throw near the one-minute mark, and that would prove to be Powell's final basket of the contest. Kemmerer answered with a 3-pointer. The Rangers, forced to foul, then sent the Panthers to the free-throw line and PHS came up empty on both attempts with 40 seconds remaining in regulation. On the Rangers' next possession, Keeton Tucker, a 6-8 standout, tied the score with a basket inside.

In the overtime period, the Rangers outscored Powell 8-0 to seal the victory and avoid the upset.

“It was very disappointing to not close out a game in which we played so well for three and half quarters,” Hildebrand said. “But each of our players did some great things Saturday that we can build on as we head toward regionals.

“Even though we did enough to give ourselves a chance to win, I know I would like to go back to the last three minutes and do a few things differently. And in visiting with our players after the game, they all had some parts from the end of the game they would like to go back to as well. Unfortunately, we just came up short in this one.”

Three Panthers finished the contest with double-figure point totals, including McArthur (16), Brown (15) and Brandt (10). The rest of the scoring was handled by Galen Mills (8), Gavin Mills (3), Starcevich (2), Robirds (2) and Sullivan (1).

Brandt and McArthur led the rebounding effort with 10 and eight boards, respectively.

Defensively, Hildebrand noted the play of Gavin Mills, who covered Tucker throughout the contest until foul trouble put him on the bench late in the game.

“A major setback for us in the fourth quarter was Gavin only getting to play about eight seconds,” Hildebrand said. “He had four fouls to start the quarter, so we sat him until the three-minute mark. He was then whistled for his fifth foul on the ensuing Kemmerer possession. He does a very good job on Keeton Tucker, and Gavin's loss really changed our defensive matchups and overall makeup.”

• Up next: The Panthers (9-8 overall, 5-6 West Conference) have just one game on the schedule this week, and it will take place Friday at home against Lovell. Start time for the contest is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Prior to the game and at approximately 7 p.m., PHS officials will conduct a special ceremony to introduce PHS's Hall of Fame Corner. At that time, three PHS Hall of Fame banners will be unveiled to recognize the achievements of Panther greats Eddie Kawano, Dennis Havig and Jesseca Cross. Also that night, PHS will officially retire Panther sporting legend Keith Bloom's No. 57 basketball jersey.