Panther basketball goes 1-2 in Cody

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A win over Douglas highlighted the Powell High School boys basketball team’s opening weekend in Cody.

Playing in the East/West Classic on Friday and Saturday, the Panthers went 1-2, beating Douglas 57-54 and losing to Buffalo 84-54 and Rawlins 60-40.

Heading into the event, PHS head coach Chase Kistler said the weekend was going to highlight the team’s strengths and weaknesses.

“It highlighted a lot of our weaknesses that I know teams are going to exploit if we don’t fix them,” Kistler said.

Buffalo 84, Powell 54

The Panther basketball team began its season against Buffalo Friday afternoon.

“Players were just kind of real tentative and kind of hesitant right at the start of the game,” Kistler said. “First game jitters.”

Kistler said it wasn’t until the middle of the first quarter that the Panthers got on the board.

“Buffalo, they’re just a good shooting team that presses you full court and they just got after us right at the start and we had way too many turnovers,” Kistler said.

Powell had a total of 28 turnovers in the game.

“They made us pay for all the times we gave them the ball,” Kistler said.

As a team, the Panthers shot 63 percent from the free throw line, 21 percent on 3-point shots and 32 percent from the floor.

Carson Heinen led with 19 points, eight rebounds — five offensive and three defensive — and three steals.

Also scoring in double digits was William Preator with 10.

Dalton Woodward had five rebounds and Jace Smith had three assists.

Powell 57, Douglas 54

Facing Douglas on Friday evening, Kistler described it as a good bounce back.

“It was night and day just in our demeanor from the first game [against Buffalo] to the next game,” he said.

Kistler said the Panthers weren’t hesitant, attacked the basket and played defense relatively well — though he did say there are things that needs to be cleaned up defensively.

The team cut down on their turnovers from the previous game to 19.

“We played Douglas very well,” Kistler said. “It was a very physical [game], a lot of effort on both sides.”

He said the team won the game by way of free throws.

The team shot 61 percent from the charity stripe. From the arc, the Panthers shot 31 percent and 45 percent on field goals overall.

The Panthers also had four players score in double digits, led by Heinen with 15, followed by Smith and Preator with 12 apiece and Kaelan Groves with 10.

On the boards, Heinen was one rebound away from a double-double by collecting nine — seven defensive and two offensive.

Zach Meredith had seven boards, four on defense and three on offense.

Both Smith and Heinen had four assists each.

Rawlins 60, Powell 40

Saturday afternoon, the Panthers played their third and final game of the East/West Classic against Rawlins.

“They’re a good team; that’s a complete team,” Kistler said.

The preseason rankings from WyoPreps.com had Rawlins in the No. 2 spot.

Kistler said Rawlins has height, speed, guards who can handle the ball and guys who can shoot the ball from inside and outside.

Turnovers once again hurt the Panthers.

“They took advantage each time we turned the ball over,” Kistler said.

Powell had 23 turnovers in the game.

As a team, PHS shot 56 percent from the charity stripe, 11 percent at the 3-point line and 30 percent from the field overall.

Luke Washington was high scorer with nine points, followed by Groves with eight and Heinen with seven.

Washington also led on the boards with four rebounds — all defensive.

Next up for the Panthers is a home game against Lovell tonight (Tuesday) at 7 p.m.

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