The Powell High School Lady Panthers faced off against the No. 1 team in the state at home Saturday, losing 53-32 to the Douglas Bearcats. With the win, Douglas now has an overall record of 11-0.
“They’re the No. 1 for a reason,” said head coach Scott McKenzie. “Douglas is a nice team. They’re a full package: They have height, they have speed, they have shooters, they have ball handlers and they just keep coming at you player after player after player. They eventually just wore us down.”
The Lady Bearcats scored the first points in the game and about halfway through the first quarter led 16–5.
Powell fought back to cut the lead to 16-12 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lady Panthers were able to tie the game at 17 with a free throw by senior Maddy Hanks, but from there the Lady Bearcats took the lead again and never let it go.
At halftime the score was 25-20 Douglas.
“I thought we had a great first half, thought we handled their pressure really well,” coach McKenzie said.
In the second half, foul trouble by Powell, combined with shots not falling, resulted in Douglas capitalizing for a 53-32 win.
Coming into the game, the Lady Bearcats were averaging 65.6 points per game.
“We didn’t shoot as well in the second half,” coach McKenzie said.
As a team, the Lady Panthers shot 32 percent from 2-point shots, 13 percent from the 3-point arc and 48 percent from the free throw line.
“Hopefully we’ll bounce from those this week,” coach McKenzie said.
Aubrie Stenerson scored in double digits with 15 points.
In the first half, Ashtyn Heny made both of the team’s 3-pointers.
Hanks led the team in rebounds with 10 — three offensive and seven defensive. Rachel Bonander had nine, three on offense on six on defense.
Karlie McKenzie had four defensive rebounds, five assists and six steals.
“She was just all over the floor for us,” said coach McKenzie of Karlie McKenzie. “[She] did a good job of making things happen for us.”
The Lady Panthers will start the conference portion of the season this weekend against Riverton and Lander at home on Friday and Saturday.
“These are the ones that really matter to us,” coach McKenzie said.
On Friday at 6 p.m., Powell will play Riverton.
“Riverton is much improved; they have very athletic girls,” coach McKenzie said.
On Saturday at 3 p.m. the Lady Panthers will tip off against the Lady Tigers.
“Lander is senior-laden — they have a lot of seniors with a lot of varsity experience,” coach McKenzie said.
The results from the conference games will determine the seeding for regionals, “so it’s important for us to defend the home court in conference play,” said coach McKenzie said.
“I’m glad that we start conference at home and not on the road,” he added. “We’ll just continue to work on our shooting and our free throws and I like where we’re at at this point in the season.”
The Lady Panthers have a 5-3 overall record and are averaging 43.7 points per game. They rank third in the state in rebounds — averaging 33.1 per game — and are second in the state for defense.
There has also been a change to the schedule: The Worland game on Jan. 27 has been switched from a home game to an away game. The Lady Panthers will now play in Worland at 3:30 p.m.