Trailing by five at the first-quarter break against Rocky Mountain, coach Chelsea Buher called on her varsity girls’ basketball team to increase its tenacity on Saturday. And shortly after, the …
Trailing by five at the first-quarter break against Rocky Mountain, coach Chelsea Buher called on her varsity girls’ basketball team to increase its tenacity on Saturday. And shortly after, the team responded.
After instituting a full-court man defense in the second quarter, PHS closed the gap to just one at halftime. This increased pressure on defense fueled an all-around competitive effort in the game’s middle stages.
“We’ve been working on being more competitive on defense,” Buher said. “We incorporated some presses and did really well with them.”
PHS built on the success in the third quarter, outscoring the hosting Grizzlies 12-5 in the period to take a 33-27 lead heading into the fourth.
But the advantage slipped away in the final period, as Rocky Mountain ended the game on an 18-7 run, sealing a 45-40 Grizzlies win.
This loss came just a few weeks after Rocky Mountain defeated Powell 43-32 on Dec. 19. The Panthers were far more competitive this time around than in the previous double-digit defeat.
“The hard work that they’ve been putting in is really starting to show,” Buher said. “Now we have to just tweak some things and keep working.”
Buher traced much of Rocky Mountain’s fourth quarter success to Powell’s number of hand-check foul calls, which sent the Grizzlies to the line frequently. The Panthers’ struggles from the charity stripe were also costly. PHS finished the game 10-of-33 from the line.
“It’ll be a continued focus,” Buher said. “We have to learn to knock those down in pressure.”
Individually, Rose Graft was the Panthers’ standout, leading the team with 16 points.
“Rose had a great game and played really well under pressure,” Buher said.
Madi Fields, Maddie Campbell and Hailee Hyde also added multiple field goals each, with nine, five and four points, respectively.
The girls’ next contest is at home Friday evening against Shoshoni. It is set to begin at 5 p.m. in the main gym.