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Sports

PHS grapplers third in pre-season poll

Andrews draws national recognition

Denied a threepeat state championship by an unlikely late rally last season, the Powell Panthers are expected to once again be a force in Wyoming 3A wrestling this season. At least, that's the prognosis offered early on by WyoWrestling.com, which released its pre-season rankings this week.

Panthers' 2011 grid schedule announced

Plan on following the panthers? Be ready to drive.

The Wyoming High School Activities Association released football schedules for member institutions last week and Panther fans had best start humming the bars from Willie Nelson's classic. Like the country great, they, too, will be on the road again.

Similar to 2010, Powell High School will host Riverton in the first official game of the season. Week 2 will see Powell fans drive east over the Big Horn Mountains to Buffalo for a non-conference showdown with this year's 3A state runner-up.

The game also represents the shortest road trip of the 2011 season for the Panthers.

Week 3 sends the Panthers almost to Nebraska for a road game at Torrington. After returning home in Week 4 to open 3A West conference play against Jackson, the team climbs back aboard the bus for a road contest at Star Valley.

Back-to-back home games against Big Horn Basin opponents Worland (Week 6) and defending conference champion Cody (Week 7) set the stage for one final road trip as Powell closes out the regular season with a trek across South Pass to Green River in Week 8.

Depending on highway conditions and playoff games, the Panthers' new schedule features a minimum of 2,292 travel miles next season. The team will get relief the following year, however. For 2012, the schedule will feature the same opponents with only the home and away locations reversed.

The Panthers will add an unofficial Week 0 game to their schedule, similar to the games played against Miles City the last two seasons. School officials are attempting to ensure that game takes place at Powell in 2011.

Three trappers win at UW Cowboy Open

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Northwest College sophomore Jesse Hillhouse took the mat for the first time this season last Wednesday, giving the Trappers a win to start their dual against Montana State University-Northern. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

The eighth-ranked Northwest College wrestling team flexed its muscle in the upper weight divisions over the weekend, crowning three champions in the amateur brackets of the UW Cowboy Open. Freshman Keithen Cast (174) and sophomores Nick Petersen (184) and Sears Tiernan (285) each went 4-0 on the day.

“All three of our champions wrestled well,” said NWC wrestling coach Jim Zeigler. “I saw a lot of improvement just over the course of this past week from where we were at our home open event.”

Quake sweeps weekend

Wins over Butte, Billings vault team to third

The calendar read November, but the play on the ice was more indicative of February or March as the Yellowstone Quake finally broke through against the Billings Bulls with a 2-1 victory at Riley Arena on Friday night. The Quake also scored a 13-3 win at Butte over the weekend.

“The win (over Billings) was a big one for us,” said Quake coach Craig Furstenau, who watched the game from the stands while serving a one-game suspension after being ejected late in a shoot-out loss at Billings the previous Sunday. “The guys played well and kept creating opportunities.”

The Northwest College Trappers slid to 2-3 overall this women's basketball season after a pair of weekend defeats at the Snow College tournament in Utah. The Trappers lost 96-72 to Salt Lake on Friday night before falling 84-71 to the host team on Saturday.

In both cases, the Trappers were the victims of some stellar individual performances.

On Friday, it was All-American Haley Holmstead doing the damage for Salt Lake against the Trappers. Holmstead finished with 44 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals to spark a 60-percent shooting night from the floor for SLCC.

“It's not hard to score that many points when you're shooting nothing but layups and free throws,” said Trapper head coach Janis Beal, who was less than impressed by her team's defensive effort in the contest.

“When a team is shooting 60 percent on defense, you're not getting stops. In the first half especially, I thought we went away from everything we've been trying to do on defense. The intensity just wasn't there, especially in rebounding.”

The Trappers were out-boarded by a 41-21 count in the contest. Salt Lake did the bulk of its damage in the first half, building a 53-31 lead on the scoreboard by intermission.

Four Trappers reached double figures in the loss, led by Megan Goodman's 15 points. Megan Smith added 14 points and a team-high three steals. Taylor Ryan had 12 points and a team-best six rebounds while McKenzie Garrett reached double figures with 11 points.

On Saturday, Snow's Alle Finch had the hot hand against the Trappers, dropping in 30 points and also dishing out seven assists.

“I thought we played better in Saturday's game,” said Beal. “We were down just six at halftime and after they made a bit of a run on us in the second half to go ahead by double digits, we were able to fight back to within five at one point before they hit a couple outside shots on us.”

Smith's 14 points led Northwest in the contest. Garrett and Jessica Fisher each added 11 points. Lusina Ontineru pulled down seven rebounds as Northwest was able to hold its own on the rebounding glass in the contest.

“Our effort was a lot better,” said Beal. “I was pleased with how we put Friday night behind us and came out and played better.”

The Trappers return to action this Saturday in a 5:30 p.m. contest against the Northwest All-Stars. The game is part of the First National Bank Shoot Out tournament hosted by NWC.

Quake take one of three

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Defender Chad Braun battles for position in front of the Quake net during recent action against the Billings Bulls at Riley Arena. The two teams meet again at 7:30 p.m. this Friday in Cody. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Yellowstone Quake head coach Craig Furstenau is convinced his hockey team has started to turn the corner that had eluded it for a couple of weeks. Now, he just wishes they'd get a little more in the win column to show for it.

The Quake split games at Missoula, falling by a 4-3 count Friday before winning 4-2 on Saturday. The squad also suffered its fourth one-goal loss to Billings in as many meetings this season, losing 4-3 in a shootout against the Bulls.

Two Lady Trappers named to All-Region

Lesu earns libero of the year

Northwest College sophomore Valerie Lesu and freshman Sandrina Hunsel were named members of the All-Region team following the conclusion of the Region IX North volleyball tournament in Glendive, Mont., this past weekend. Hunsel, along with Trapper teammate Gianesi Tarafa, were also named to the All-tournament team.

Jones named most valuable 2010 swimmer

Four Powell Lady Panther swimmers were recognized by their teammates as the team celebrated their awards night Monday evening.

Senior Maddy Jones was named the Most Valuable Swimmer by her teammates. Jones, a four-year letter winner for the Lady Panthers, led Powell in team points during the season, and finished her career with two top-10 finishes in the state championships.

Fellow senior Monique Zorgati received the Coaches Choice award. Also a four-year letter-winner, Zorgati was the second highest point winner for the season.

She recorded the highest finish at state for the Lady Panthers, seventh place in the 200-yard freestyle, and earned 11th place in the 100-yard freestyle as well.

Senior Jessica Wurzel was chosen by her teammates as the Most Inspirational swimmer. Wurzel has been with the team all four of her high school years, and qualified for state the past two years.

The Most Improved award was given to freshman diver Hannah Sweet.

Jones, Zorgati, Wurzel, along with seniors Brittany Christensen, Alyssa Smith and Claire Wetzel were all recognized for serving as team captains during the season.

Three Trapper wrestlers place

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Northwest College freshman Keithen Cast had an oustanding debut for the Trapper wrestling team this past Saturday, capturing the title of the 174-pound division. NWC hosts Montana State University-Northern on Wednesday night. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Cast wins at 174, TIernan second at 285

Freshman Keithen Cast captured the 174-pound title at the Northwest College Open on Saturday, headlining a list of three Trappers to finish in the top four of their respective divisions. Sophomore heavyweight Sears Tiernan also reached the championship round.

“Keithen did an outstanding job coming in as a freshman and winning the title in his first meet,” said Northwest College wrestling coach Jim Zeigler. “He came out and wrestled well.”

Trapper women split games

Colorado Northwestern nips NWC

The Northwest College Trappers tasted their first defeat of the 2010-2011 women's basketball season, falling 80-76 to Colorado Northwestern on the first day of the Gillette College tournament on Friday. The Trappers recovered to down Dawson Community College by an 81-46 count on Saturday.

“Friday's loss was kind of a tough one,” said NWC head coach Janis Beal. “We held a 47-40 lead at the half and led most of the second half as well. It was one of those games that could have gone either way, but we made a couple mental mistakes on defense, turned the ball over at key times late and missed a few layups.”

Megan Smith led the way for NWC with 23 points. She was joined in double figures by Mariah Duran, with 14 points, and Mckenzie Garrett, who finished with 11. Additional stats were unavailable at press time for the Gillette tournament games.

“It was one of those games where a couple little things that we could've done differently made the difference,” said Beal. “Plus they were able to out-rebound us.”

That wasn't the problem on Saturday. The Trappers held an eight-board advantage on the rebounding glass and were never threatened on the scoreboard en route to a 35-point margin of victory.

It was a great night to be named Megan as Megan Smith again paced Northwest College in scoring with 16 points. Megan Goodman added 10 in support. Not to be outdone, Meagan Butler closed the game with 11 points as the trio were the only players to reach double figures in the scorebook.

“We did a good job of coming back and playing a lot better than we had the day before,” said Beal. “It's hard when you're on the road playing that first tournament game of the day and you don't have much of a crowd. A lot of times you have to create your own energy, and I think we were able to do that in this game.”

As with Friday's game, additional stats were unavailable at press time from the game.

The Trappers, 2-1 overall, travel to Utah this Friday and Saturday for an appearance at the Snow College tournament. NWC opens play against preseason No. 26 Salt Lake on Friday. The Trappers face host Snow College on Saturday.

“We'll have to play better than we did this weekend,” said Beal. “It will be a fun road trip for our team though. A lot of the kids are from Utah. They have family and friends out there that will be able to come and watch and we'll be up against two very tough opponents.”

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