Gutsy rally by Panthers falls a shade short

By Steve Moseley
Posted 1/14/20

Rumors of the Powell Panther boys’ early demise against Cody were much exaggerated Friday night.

The basketball teams met for the second time in this early part of the season, with both …

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Gutsy rally by Panthers falls a shade short

Posted

Rumors of the Powell Panther boys’ early demise against Cody were much exaggerated Friday night.

The basketball teams met for the second time in this early part of the season, with both squads taking a “W” on the road. This time it was Cody’s turn. The Class 4A Broncs (2-5) held off a furious Panther charge from way behind and held on to win 56-51 in the Powell High School Gym.

Cody was up 21-13 at the first horn and 32-19 by halftime. When the final period began, the Panthers were peering up from a 14-point hole, trailing 43-29.

That’s when this one got very, very interesting.

The Panthers, firing on all cylinders in the final eight minutes, drew within just four when an Aidan Jacobsen 3-pointer went in with 5:32 to play.

Cody pushed the lead back to 10 until a driving, finger-roll layup from Landon Lengfelder cut the deficit to eight. Jesse Brown drained a two — off an assist from Trevor Groves — and the crowd was looking at a four-pointer again, at 50-46.

Cody answered, but so did the Panthers. They kept the margin at 52-48 near the 2:00 mark on a two-man, coast-to-coast driving layup by Groves, with a slick assist from Mason Marchant.

Then a howitzer three from Lengfelder at 1:15 brought the Panther faithful to their feet in raucous approval and, just like that, Powell was a only a bucket away at 53-51 Broncs.

However, the gym was quieted with 40 ticks left when the Broncs converted a driving shot in transition before adding a free throw for good measure with 12.3 on the clock.

PHS head coach Chase Kistler said his team’s desperate rally was made necessary because, “We had mistakes the first half,” that helped Cody gain separation on the scoreboard.

As for the second half, he said, “If we can play like that, we’ll be OK. We’re finally finding what we’re good at,” in the young season.

“We have matchup problems with everybody,” he said, speaking of the height and length Cody deployed in the game. Most of all, he said, “I’m proud of how they came back.”

In the scoring columns, Coy Navakovich of the Broncs claimed game-high honors with 22 points, including five makes from 3-point range. Marchant and Lengfelder paced the Panthers with 14 apiece. Marchant added nine boards and five assists while Brown contributed six boards and three steals.

Powell, 3-3 on the season, will host the boys’ side of the Big Horn Basin Classic this Friday and Saturday in the Panther Gym.

 

Cody 56, Powell 51

Cody — Navakovich 22, Tristan Blatt 10, Hunter Hays 9, Luke Talich 9, Cody Phillips 3, Nic Talich 2, Duncan Radakovich 1.

Powell — Lengfelder 14, Mason Marchant 14, Brown 10, Groves 4, Jacobsen 3, Jayden Marchant 2, Toran Graham 2, Landon Sessions 2.

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