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Girls gear up for season’s second phase

PHS sophomore Breanna Donarski (left, black jersey) shoots over junior Rebecca Pratt and sophomore Annisa Warner while senior Alex Good prepares to rebound during Tuesday evening’s practice. PHS sophomore Breanna Donarski (left, black jersey) shoots over junior Rebecca Pratt and sophomore Annisa Warner while senior Alex Good prepares to rebound during Tuesday evening’s practice. Tribune photo by Dante Geoffrey

Powell’s, Mountain View’s and Lyman’s girls’ basketball teams enter this weekend’s competition with unblemished records in Class 3A West.

That will have to change Friday and Saturday when Powell (6-2 overall, 2-0 in 3A West) tangles with Mountain View (6-2, 1-0) and Lyman (6-2, 2-0), respectively.

The girls certainly won’t get to ease into the second phase of their season following the long holiday break.

“Somebody will fall,” said PHS head coach Scott McKenzie. “We hope to do well.”

McKenzie’s pleased with the progress his squad has made so far this season.

“The girls have really made huge strides in playing tenacious defense,” the coach said.

Statistics compiled by WyoPreps.com show the Lady Panther defense has been one of the stingiest in Class 3A.

Giving up just 38.5 points a game, the Powell defense ranks third among Class 3A’s 16 teams.

Averaging 45.9 points on the offensive side of things, the Lady Panthers rank eighth.

Though that’s a touch above McKenzie’s goal of 45 points a game, “We are still looking for more offense from the girls,” he said. “You can never have enough offense in a coach’s opinion.”

Junior Jenni Ebersberger is averaging 15.3 points a game — tops in Class 3A West and fifth in the class overall — followed by 7.9 a game from senior Shawnea Harrington and six from senior Brooke Lensegrav.

“We need a few more double-digit scorers in addition to Jenni’s efforts for the rest of the season,” McKenzie said. “And we are confident that we have the girls that can do that for us.”

Junior Megan Wagner leads the team with an average of seven rebounds a game (good for fifth in Class 3A West/10th in 3A overall), followed by 5.8 boards a game from Harrington. Ebersberger leads the entire 3A class with 4.5 assists a game — nearly a full assist above the next-closest competitor.

McKenzie said there’s a few more pieces of the puzzle to put in by mid-season. He hopes to implement some new looks to the team’s full-court pressure.

“The level of effort from the girls has been tremendous and it is fun to watch them push each other in practice. We are getting better every night,” McKenzie said.

Counting this weekend’s games, the Lady Panthers have 14 contests remaining (13 in Class 3A West) before the start of the regional tournament on March 6 in Mountain View.

“We plan on being contenders at the end of the season,” McKenzie said.

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