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Panther hoop teams return from recess

PHS looks to stay atop 3A West race

After almost three weeks off, the Powell High School basketball teams return to the hardwood this Friday for the start of a four-game homestand. Three of those four games will involve clashes with opponents from the 3A West.

Both Powell’s boys’ and girls’ teams currently boast 2-0 conference marks, making it even more important to hold serve on their home floor.


The 2011 basketball calendar begins with a bang as the Powell girls, 3-4 this season, begin the new year with a showdown against 3A No. 1 Mountain View, 7-1. The Buffaloes are led into the contest by Stephanie Smith, who has averaged a double-double this season with 14.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per contest. Smith has also averaged 6.8 blocked shots per game.


Two other Buffaloes are also scoring in double figures for the team. Tawny Bugas adds 13.4 points per night while Emily Smith averaged 12.4 points per game over the course of the first semester.

Combined, the trio forms a three-headed monster that is responsible for roughly 80 percent of the team’s offense this season.

Powell comes into the game receiving 10.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per night from Olivia Rogers. The team could also receive a boost from the return of Leslie Thronburg, who missed the final four games of 2010 with an injury. Thronburg averaged 11.7 points during the Panthers’ opening three-game weekend. Kendra Ostrom adds 8.3 points per game for Powell, which will be at a size disadvantage in the game.

On Saturday, the Panther girls face Lyman, 3-5. The Eagles are led by Shai Russell’s 13.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Conner Limoges adds just over nine points per game and knocked down an average of two 3-point buckets in the team’s first eight games.

Meanwhile, the Panther boys, 2-5 overall and also looking to defend their place atop the 3A West standings, draw a 1-6 opponent in Mountain View to begin the new year. The Panthers played much of the first semester in survival mode, but are hopeful all the pieces of their anticipated varsity lineup will start to fall into place.

The team received a boost from the return of Chase Partridge, who averaged 20 points and eight rebounds in the final two games of 2010. Jake Beuster adds 12 points and 9.3 rebounds while Zane Bushnell ranks among the state leaders with 2.7 steals per night.

As a team, the Panthers are forcing 10 steals per contest.

Powell is also hoping to see the return of Josh Cragoe in the second semester. The junior was predicted to be a key role player on the 2010-2011 team, but missed six of the team’s first seven games with injury.

For Mountain View, Justin Maldonado is the only Buffalo averaging in double figures with 13 points per game. Tanner Brown chips in with 9.3 points per contest, but the team has been hindered by a 29.8 shooting percentage from the floor for the first semester.

On Saturday, the Panthers face the only 3A West team to make it through the first semester without a losing record. Lyman, 4-4, boasts the conference’s best overall mark.

The Eagles feature a balanced attack, led by Cisco Taylor’s 12.3 points per game. Nathan Jaggi (13 3-pointers this season) adds 10.3 points per game while two other Lyman players average more than nine points per contest.

Junior varsity action begins at 4 p.m., Friday, with the girls’ varsity game following at 5:45 p.m.  On Saturday, the Panthers tip at 11 a.m. for JV action and 12:45 p.m. for the girls’ varsity game. The boys’ contest follows the girls’ varsity game both days.

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