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December 09, 2008 3:49 am

Lady Panthers open with big wins

PHS notches 3-0 record at East-West Classic

The Powell High School girls basketball team apparently was ready for its first games of the year. Its opponents apparently weren't ready for the Lady Panthers.

In three games at Cody's East-West Classic, the Lady Panthers dismantled Newcastle, Rawlins, and Wheatland by margins of 26, 35, and 30 points, respectively.

“It's always nice to start with a win. Starting with three is a bonus,” said PHS head coach Luke Danforth.

Danforth was pleased with the team's balanced scoring, strong defense and rebounding.

“Everyone found a way to contribute,” he said.

All 12 of the team's varsity players scored points during the weekend tourney — including 11 of 12 chipping in against Newcastle Friday night.

In that 60-34 Lady Panther victory, they held Newcastle to 29 percent shooting and forced 26 turnovers.

However, Danforth also noted that his squad lost 23 possessions to turnovers, a number they'll look to improve upon.

The Lady Panthers put up buckets at a 40-percent rate.

“For this early in the season, pretty good shooting,” Danforth said.

Junior Savannah Donarski led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow junior Hannah Pollart led the squad in rebounds, pulling down 13 boards while putting up 10 points.

Also scoring for the Lady Panther against Newcastle were Kelsey Allen (7 points) Darcee Lynn (7) McKenzie Danforth (4), Leslie Thronburg (4), Shellie Williams (3), Katie Kipp (2), Lauren Fagnant (2) Olivia Rogers (2) and Kami Cooley (1).

Saturday morning, the Lady Panthers faced Rawlins and won 44-9. The Lady Panthers held the Lady Outlaws scoreless until about halfway through the third period. The PHS girls created 32 turnovers from the Rawlins' squad.

“The defensive pressure really stopped them up,” Coach Danforth said.

Lynn, a senior, and Donarski reached double digits in scoring with 10 points each. Pollart led with eight rebounds, and scored six points.

Also scoring for the Panthers in the Rawlins contest were McKenzie Danforth with six, Allen with three, and Fagnant and Cooley with two each.

On Saturday night, Wheatland was next in line and fell to the Lady Panthers 62-32.

Coach Danforth said the girls played their best game of the tourney against a Wheatland team he believes may compete for a state tournament slot at season's end.

Pollart chipped in with her second double-double of the weekend, scoring 20 and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Similarly, Donarski put up another 15 points and nine boards. Coach Danforth noted that over the weekend, Donarski shot a solid 13 of 14 from the free-throw line.

Other Lady Panthers contributing to the barrage were Lynn with eight points, Randi Asay with five, Allen, McKenzie Danforth and Thronburg with four each and Cooley with two.

The Powell squad contributed to a tough weekend for Newcastle, Rawlins and Wheatland, who went a combined 0-9 in the weekend tourney.

“We played some programs that are rebuilding a bit,” Coach Danforth said. “But that's not to take away from what the girls did.”

• Up next: Last week, the Lady Panthers received a No. 2 ranking in Class 3A from the Wyopreps.com Coaches and Media Poll. This weekend, they'll be taking on No. 1 — the Lady Broncs of Jackson.

But first, the Lady Panthers will head to Pinedale to take on the Lady Wranglers in a 5:45 p.m. Friday contest.
Coach Danforth said the Pinedale squad is improved from last year, and is coming off two wins at the Cody tourney.

“They'll be confident, and I think a real formidable opponent,” he said.

The Panthers (3-0) will then head north to Jackson for a big Saturday match-up with the top-ranked Lady Broncs, a squad Coach Danforth calls the “strongest Jackson team I've seen in three years — and they're two-time state champions.”

They feature six girls 5-10 or taller, Danforth said.

“We've got a lot to work on,” he added. “We've got a big trip coming up.”

Powell bull rider logs first successful ride of event

After opening with three straight scoreless bull rides, Powell's Kanin Asay notched his first successful effort at the 50th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Sunday night in Las Vegas.

Asay, during the fourth round of what is known as the Super Bowl of rodeos, recorded a score of 82.5. His effort was strong enough put him in third place during the fourth round and helped him add more than $10,000 to his earnings for 2008.

After four rounds, Asay, who is competing in his second straight WNFR, was in 11th place in the WNFR standings and 12th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's world standings with $86,100.14. Asay entered the WNFR ranked in the No. 13 spot of the world standings.

Bobby Welsh, of Gillette, finished with a score of 88 Sunday night, which proved to be the best of 15 riders competing in the event. Cody Hancock, of Taylor, Ariz., was second in the round with an 87.5.

For Asay, his Sunday performance came on the heels of three straight efforts without a scoring ride during the WNFR, which started last Thursday.

As for the PRCA's world standings, Mississippi's Chance Smart, who had a sizable lead entering the WNFR, is just more than $30,000 ahead of Welsh, who sits second. Smart, through four rounds, was third in the WNFR bull riding average with 177 points gained during a pair of point-scoring rides. J.W. Harris, of May, Texas, following Sunday night's action, led the WNFR bull riding average with three successful rides and 256 points. He was third in the PRCA's world standings at the conclusion of the fourth round Sunday night and more than $38,000 behind Smart in the world rankings.

The bull riding event at the WNFR was scheduled to resume Monday night and after the Powell Tribune's press time. Round six of the WNFR is slated for today (Tuesday) and rounds seven through 10 will be conducted throughout the remainder of the week.

WNFR Leaderboard for Bull Riding (as of the conclusion of round four): J.W. Harris, 256.0/3; Bobby Welsh, 177.5/2; 3. Chance Smart, 177.0/2; 4. Cody Hancock, 170.5/2; 5. Douglas Duncan, 170.0/2; 6. Shawn Proctor, 169.5/2; 7. Spud Jones, 146.5/2; 8. Steve Woolsey, 87.0/1; 9. Mike Moore, 86.0/1; 10. Colin McTaggart, 84.0/1; 11. Kanin Asay, 82.5/1; 12. Wesley Silcox, 81.0/1; 13. Zack Oakes, 80.5/1; 14. Seth Glause, 0.0/0; 14. B.J. Schumacher, 0.0/0.

PRCA World Standings for Bull Riding (as of the conclusion of round four): 1. Chance Smart, Philadelphia, Miss., $179,917.24; 2. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, $149,348.31; 3. J.W. Harris, May, Texas, $141,640.32; 4. B.J. Schumacher, Hillsboro, Wis., $135,191.86; 5. Wesley Silcox, Payson, Utah, $115,705.86; 6. Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah, $115,461.54; 7. Colin McTaggart, Las Vegas, Nev., $101,645.58; 8. Douglas Duncan, Huntsville, Texas, $95,232.95; 9. Cody Hancock, Taylor, Ariz., $94,334.56; 10. Shawn Proctor, Tooele, Utah, $93,461.97; 11. Seth Glause, Rock Springs, $92,537.97; 12. Kanin Asay, Powell, $86,100.14; 13. Zack Oakes, Elk, Wash., $84,402.63; 14. Mike Moore, Kankakee, Ill., $83,286.74; 15. Spud Jones, Tohatchi, N.M., $70,971.76.

December 09, 2008 3:33 am

Cow tax would stink in Wyoming

Farmers and ranchers nationwide are fuming over the possibility of the federal government taxing methane-emitting livestock.

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to levy new taxes on cows and pigs that emit air-polluting gases, according to Rick Krause with the American Farm Bureau. Krause spoke in Sheridan last month on the issue, calling it “no laughing matter.”

According to the Wyoming Farm Bureau, a cow tax could amount to annual fees of $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per beef cow and around $20 per pig.

If such a tax actually transpires, local farmers and ranchers have every reason to be upset.

Fortunately, it looks like the EPA is not planning to propose a cow tax.

That's good news for local farmers and ranchers.

EPA officials said Friday the proposal does not include a livestock tax, according to the Associated Press. They said the report had been oversimplified, even distorted.

Instead of taxing hardworking cattle growers, agencies concerned about methane-producing livestock should propose ways to use cattle as a source for alternative energy.

In the past couple of years, some U.S. farms have begun running generators powered by methane gas extracted from cow manure.

It would be more productive to use methane to generate energy rather draining farmers' and ranchers' bank accounts with ridiculous taxes.

December 09, 2008 3:22 am

Tour of homes Sunday afternoon

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During Sunday's Tour of Homes, Janet Porn of Powell, known as the “Queen” of the Red Hat Society, will show her collection and the home she shares with her husband, John. Seven other homes will be featured in the tour, a Country Christmas tradition. Tribune photo by Toby Bonner

For the 22nd year, the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Christmas Tour of Homes in and around Powell.

Eight families have opened their residences to visitors this year for the tour, which is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Visitors may begin at any of the homes after 1 p.m. and tour at their own pace, finishing before 5.

Arson, apparently prompted by burglary, is the cause of the fire that destroyed a large garage owned by Steve and Meg Nickles early on the morning of Nov. 12, investigators have determined.

An investigator ruled out gas, electrical or vehicle malfunctions or a possible lightning strike due to the wind storm that night, Police Investigator Dave Brown said Wednesday.

“They're saying it was arson,” Brown said. “What they're really telling me is, it was a man-made fire.”

December 04, 2008 4:26 am

Hairy for your hometown

Beard-growing contest slated

John Wesley Powell had one, big and thick like a bird's nest.

So, in honor of the Powell founder's flowing whiskers, the Powell Centennial Committee is encouraging a beard-growing contest.

Entering is easy. Leave the razor on the bathroom sink and read.

Because the new Frannie-Deaver fire district is having difficulties meeting some requirements to reach its end-of-the-year deadline to initiate fire protection, the Powell fire board on Tuesday granted the new district an extension to retain equipment the Powell Volunteer Fire Department provided.

The newly-formed Big Horn County Fire District No. 5, carved from Park County Fire Protection No. 1 district of Powell, has experienced difficulties meeting certain requirements. One major holdup is getting assessed valuation funding the new district is due from both Big Horn and Park counties — the two counties where No. 5 would provide fire protection.

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Powell High School junior Auston Carter (top) goes through practice drills with teammate Cody Kalberer earlier this week. Carter will attempt to become a three-time state champion this season. Kalberer, a senior, will be gunning for his second state title during the 2008-09 slate. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Encore performance

It happens without fail when a team wins a state championship. Inevitably, whether it's within minutes of a team's title-clinching performance or during the days after it, someone always poses the question, “So are you guys going to repeat?”

That question has been presented to Powell High School head wrestling coach Nate Urbach and his team members plenty since their title effort during the 2007-08 school year, and considering the number of returning individual title winners and state placers, it's understandable why wrestling fans from Powell eagerly lob that question at Urbach and his Panthers.

December 04, 2008 4:19 am

PHS girls kick off season Friday

Looking to build on success

A youthful, but experienced Lady Panther basketball team will kick off its 2008-09 season Friday night in Cody. At 5 p.m. in the Sweitzer Gym, they'll begin a quest to better last year's fourth-place finish.

“We're looking forward to getting out there on the floor,” said PHS head coach Luke Danforth, following three weeks of practice.

The team will be led by three returning seniors — Kelsey Allen, Darcee Lynn and McKenzie Danforth.

McKenzie Danforth received honorable mention for the 3A West All-Conference team last season. She and Allen were among class 3A's sharpest three-point shooters.

Rounding out the starting five are juniors Hannah Pollart and Savannah Donarski. Pollart led the team in scoring and rebounding last season, picking up All-Conference and Class 3A All-State honors along the way.

Donarski also was a top rebounder for the squad last year, earning honorable mention for All-Conference.

They'll be joined on the varsity squad by fellow juniors Kami Cooley and Katie Kipp, who also had significant playing time last season. The Lady Panthers also will add junior Lauren Fagnant into the mix, who sat out last season with an injury.

Rounding out the varsity roster are sophomores Shellie Williams, Leslie Thronburg, Olivia Rogers and Randi Asay.

“We have a strong sophomore contingency that is going to help us a bunch,” Coach Danforth said.

He noted that the squad has 10 returning letter-winners.

“I think we're a little young, but we've got good experience,” he said.

Five sophomores will make up the Lady Panthers' junior varsity squad — Shelby McIntosh, Tamara Brown, Hannah Groves, Trisha Skelton, and Marquette McArthur.

Danforth said he's got a “very good group of girls” this year.

In the 2007-08 season, the Lady Panthers went 19-9 overall, and 9-5 in the 3A West Conference.

At the conference tournament, they took third place, earning them a trip to Casper for the 3A state tourney.

There, the Lady Panthers took down Newcastle, 60-49, then fell to the 3A champion Jackson Lady Broncs 49-33, before ending their season with a 61-49 loss to Worland. That put them fourth of the 16 teams in class 3A.

“We'd like to build on that,” Danforth said. “It was nice to go to Casper.”

The Lady Panthers will have their work cut out for them. They lost three solid starters to graduation — Briana Jeffs, Katie Patterson and Abby Pollart, and Danforth expects nearly every team in the conference to improve.

“There aren't any bunnies on our schedule,” he said. “It's a very meaty conference, so we're going to have to show up every night.”

However, Danforth is looking forward to the challenge.

“I'm very confident in the ability of this team,” he said.

Danforth said opponents can expect to see a fast Lady Panther offensive.

“We're going to try to keep it up-tempo,” he said.

On defense, Danforth said the plan is to keep things “very aggressive.” He said with this year's team a little shorter than last's, the defensive game plan will call for lots of pressure on opposing ball-handlers.

The squad averaged 53.2 points per game last season, while yielding only 44.6 to their opponents.

Danforth said practices have gone well, adding that the Cody tourney will be a good measuring stick for the squad.

The Lady Panthers take on Newcastle at 5 p.m. on Friday, then face Rawlins at 11:30 Saturday morning. They'll finish off Cody's 2008 East/West Classic with a 6 p.m. match-up against Wheatland. All varsity games will be in Cody's Sweitzer Gym.

Every December, locals can count on a few things — holiday music playing on Bent Street, dropping Wyoming temperatures, eggnog available at local grocery stores and Country Christmas.

The Country Christmas Celebration, in its 22nd year, has become a holiday tradition for Powell.

This year, in addition to the standby festivities, local residents will have an opportunity to hear about holiday traditions in other cultures. For the first time, Country Christmas will include other countries in the weekend celebration.

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Plaza Diane during Holidays Around the World, Northwest College international students will share what Christmas or other seasonal celebrations look like in their home countries.

Powell is blessed to house dozens of international students hailing from all over the globe. This student population is an asset to the community.

Although international students are here to learn about American culture, they often serve as teachers.

Throughout the year, they give residents of rural Powell a firsthand account of their country's flavors, songs, traditions, beliefs and languages.

During Saturday's program, the community has an opportunity to learn about ethnic celebrations in South Korea, Brazil, Vietnam, Chile, Austria, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan.

In addition to marking Country Christmas in the traditional way this weekend — with a visit from Santa Claus, holiday music, Christmas trees, food, crafts, a lighted parade, entertainment, the Tour of Homes — Powell folks are fortunate to celebrate diversity as well.