Powell, WY


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PHS wins in three-for-all

Hot outside shooting keys Lady Panther wins

Deadly shooting from behind the 3-point line helped the Powell High School girls’ basketball team pull away from Star Valley (43-26) and Jackson (67-35) on Friday and Saturday.

Between the two contests, the Powell girls (now 12-4 overall, 8-1 in Class 3A West) sank 14 shots from beyond the arc out of 30 tries. That’s a 46.7 percent success rate. For context on how good that is, consider no Wyoming team is averaging better than 40 percent per game.

“I guess that’s living up to our theme of bringing the heat, huh?” said PHS head coach Scott McKenzie.

The Lady Panthers have now won five straight.

“It was another good weekend,” McKenzie said.

PHS started slow in both road games.

Star Valley (7-9 overall, 5-4 in Class 3A West) led 17-14 at the half.

“We were kind of playing right into Star Valley’s hand. We thought it was kind of a slow game,” McKenzie said, adding, “At halftime, we just talked about trying to push tempo and (how) we need girls to hit some shots.”

The girls responded against Class 3A’s statistically stingiest defense with some long-range shooting.

A 3-pointer from junior Jenni Ebersberger gave Powell a 19-17 lead early in the third quarter. In the minutes that followed, Ebersberger, sophomore Breanna Donarski and senior Brooke Lensegrav drained three more 3-pointers to help give Powell a 30-20 advantage. Star Valley never got within single digits again.

The Lady Panthers — who’d made just 3 of 8 free throws in the first half — sank 9 of 10 in the second half to shut the door on the Lady Braves.

Powell’s defense came up with 15 steals while, to the delight of their coach, the girls turned it over only 11 times.

Ebersberger led PHS with 21 points, including going 8 of 10 from the free throw line.

Donarski scored 12 points by going a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the foul line. She also led the team with five rebounds.

The team got another five points from Lensegrav, three from senior Jada Swires and two from freshman Kalina Smith.

Powell made 12-of-31 (38.7 percent) of their shots in the contest.

The Lady Panthers again started slow against Jackson (2-15 overall, 2-7 in Class 3A) on Saturday.

The Lady Broncs led 15-11 after one quarter. But a 3-pointer from Swires early in the second period set the tone for what was to come.

Ebersberger made a 3-pointer of her own on the next possession, then Swires canned another long ball and followed it up with a basket.

It was the start of a 40-5 PHS run between the second and third quarters. Powell piled up 27 points in the second period alone.

The dominant spurt concluded with Powell up 52-23 late in the third period.

Swires has one of the best 3-point shooting percentages (29 percent heading into the weekend’s contests) in Class 3A West and McKenzie reminded her of that fact prior to the weekend’s games.

“Boy, she took it to heart and you know, she has four 3’s on the weekend for us,” McKenzie said. That included going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc against Jackson en route to 11 points.

Donarski led the team with 14 points, going 5-of-7 from the field. Senior Shawnea Harrington scored 10 points, while Ebersberger and junior Megan Wagner each scored nine points. Smith followed with eight points, while Lensegrav, senior Tori Sleep and sophomore Danna Hanks each had two.

“It was just good team basketball all weekend for us,” said McKenzie.

Harrington led PHS’ rebounding, grabbing seven boards. Ebersberger had six assists and four steals.

Powell went 26-of-57 (45.6 percent) from the floor and was 8-of-20 from the free throw line. The Panthers’ offensive performance included making 7-of-13 shots from 3-point range.

The wins keep Powell at the top of Class 3A West, one game ahead of Cody (8-9 overall, 7-2 in conference play).

“Good weekend for us to stay at the top of the stack,” said McKenzie.

On Friday at 5:45 p.m., the Lady Panthers will host Lyman (10-7, 4-5) before hosting Mountain View (11-6, 6-3) at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday. The Powell girls will look to avenge a Jan. 10 loss in Mountain View.

“Big games for us and the boys,” said McKenzie.

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