Opening the conference portion of its season at home, the Powell High School girls’ basketball team picked up wins over Riverton on Friday and Lander on Saturday. The victories put the Lady Panthers’ record at 7-3 overall and 2-0 in Class 3A West’s North Quadrant.
Powell 40, Riverton 29
After the first quarter, the score was 7-4 Powell and the Lady Panthers led 19-11 at halftime.
“I thought Riverton did a really good job of slowing the tempo of the game and I thought the girls did a good job at the end of the third quarter, start of the fourth quarter of getting the tempo back in our favor,” said head coach Scott McKenzie.
Riverton made a comeback in the third quarter to trail by one, 30-29, going into the final quarter of play.
The Lady Panthers’ defense then went into overdrive, holding Riverton scoreless in the final frame to win 40-29.
“I thought we did a good job defending them defensively, despite our size mismatch,” coach McKenzie said.
From the 3-point arc, the Lady Panthers made 57 percent of their attempts while shooting 35 percent inside the arc and 48 percent at the free throw line. As a team, Powell had 15 turnovers.
Karlie McKenzie and Ashtyn Heny each had two 3-point baskets.
From inside, Rachel Bonander made six of her 11 attempts and led the team in scoring with 16 points.
On the boards, Bonander led with eight rebounds — six on defense and two on offense. Maddy Hanks added seven rebounds, six of them defensive.
Coach McKenzie said the team was “very unselfish with the basketball.”
Hanks, Karlie McKenzie and Katie McKenzie had three assists apiece, while Karlie McKenzie also led the team in steals with three.
Powell 55, Lander 45
The Lady Panthers carried the momentum of Friday’s win into Saturday, holding off the Lady Tigers 55-45.
“I thought that game was a game of runs, a game of spurts,” coach McKenzie said. “We had the final spurt.”
The Lady Panthers rebounded from their 48 shooting percentage at the free throw line the night before to shoot 73 percent against Lander.
Senior Aubrie Stenerson put her toe to the stripe 18 times and sank 15. She led the team with 19 points.
“That was great focus,” coach McKenzie said. “She [Stenerson] did a nice job attacking the basket and getting to the line.”
Bonander had 18 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. Karlie McKenzie and Katie McKenzie finished with six boards each.
From the arc, Powell shot 18 percent while shooting 46 percent from 2-point range.
Katie McKenzie scored all three of the Lady Panthers 3-point baskets and led the team in steals with four. Karlie McKenzie led the team in assists with six and Stenerson had three.
Powell had only 10 turnovers.
Coming off the bench in both games were Jasmyne Lensegrav, Brea Terry, Devon Curtis and Michele Wagner.
“They did a nice job for us coming off the bench, providing a spark for us here and there when we needed it,” coach McKenzie said.
On Friday, the Lady Panthers will travel to Cody for their next conference matchup of the season with tip-off time at 5:30 p.m.
“This is our opportunity to win one on the road,” coach McKenzie said. “Cody will be very tough.”
Cody has a 1-1 conference record and a 6-7 overall record, but coach McKenzie said that the Fillies are “better than their record shows.”
“It will be a good game on Friday night,” he predicted.
The contest will also be a “Pink Out” game, where monies will be raised for a local family fighting cancer.
On Saturday, there has been a change to the original schedule in that Powell will travel to Worland to play at 3:30 p.m.