Just a year ago the Powell Panther girls’ basketball team was heading into the regional tournament with one win in 3A Northwest play. This year the No. 5-ranked Panthers are going into the 3A …
Just a year ago the Powell Panther girls’ basketball team was heading into the regional tournament with one win in 3A Northwest play. This year the No. 5-ranked Panthers are going into the 3A West Regional Tournament in Mountain View with an undefeated record in the 3A Northwest after escaping with a 39-37 victory over Lovell on Thursday and a resounding victory Saturday over Thermopolis 52-25 on senior day.
POWELL 39, LOVELL 37
Heading over to Lovell on Thursday the Panthers (13-8 overall, 6-0 3A Northwest) tried starting quickly to take the series lead for the season over the Bulldogs (14-8 overall, 4-2 3A Northwest).
Maddie Campbell got the scoring going for the Panthers on a jumper, but those were the only points either team scored over the first six minutes of the contest.
Powell pushed the lead out to 6-0, but a 3-pointer just before the end of the quarter made it 6-3 heading into the second.
Early in the second the game was tied 9-9 and Lovell took a brief 11-9 lead before a quick 6-0 run sparked by sophomores Saige Kidd and Catelynn Floy gave Powell the 15-11 lead.
Powell maintained its advantage and took a 16-12 lead into the half.
The Panthers came out strong in the third quarter, building a strong lead and pushing it out to as many as 16 points.
“We made some adjustments at halftime and the girls did a good job of executing those,” coach Chelsea Buher said. “We got back to playing our game.”
That lead held and the Panthers took a 33-19 lead into the fourth quarter. That is where the game turned on its head.
Lovell charged out in the fourth quarter, gaining momentum through forced turnovers from the Panthers and knocking down shots.
“We threw a different defense out and made some errors we don’t usually make and gave them a couple open shots,” Buher said. “We just started to get a little uptight and allowed them to claw back into it.”
The Bulldogs quickly closed the gap and kept the Panthers from regaining their footing, making it a two point game at 35-33 with just under two minutes left.
After getting a stop, Waycee Harvey finished off an inbounds play to give Powell a four point lead late.
A 3-pointer on the next possession cut the lead to one, and Powell attempted to survive at the free throw line.
Coy Erickson was fouled after the ball got pushed forward, but missed the front end of the bonus.
A battle for the rebound resulted in a travel for the Bulldogs and another possession for Powell.
Addy Thorington was intentionally fouled after the Panthers were able to run some clock, but missed the pair off the back of the iron.
On the rebound Harvey fouled and sent the Bulldogs to the free throw line.
Summer Teter missed the front end of the double bonus but made the second to tie the game at 37.
The inbound pass went to Thorington who threw it over the top to a streaking Harvey at midcourt.
Harvey made the pass to Erickson on the right block, who put a shot up over pressure and made it to give Powell the lead.
“Lovell is a difficult place to play,” Buher said. “Good on the girls for finishing off the tough game that shouldn’t have come down to that … I was proud of them for finishing that job and Coy for knocking down that tough layup at the end.”
Lovell raced down and got off a shot, but a timeout was called with four seconds left.
After timeouts were exchanged the Panthers were able to force a contested final shot, and Powell escaped with a 39-37 victory.
Floy and Kidd led the way in scoring with 12 and 10 respectfully, with Floy adding four steals in the win.
POWELL 52, THERMOPOLIS 25
After securing the top seed Thursday, the Panthers returned home Saturday for senior day — hosting Thermopolis (3-18 overall, 1-5 3A Northwest) in the final regular season game of the season.
Powell jumped out quickly against the Bobcats and took a 6-0 lead over the first three minutes of the game.
Thermopolis answered with a 7-0 run, and the two teams exchanged baskets until the game was tied 9-9 heading into the second quarter.
The Bobcats continued to battle in the contest throughout the second, but Powell took a step towards pulling away in the game with a 23-17 lead at the half.
“They had too many easy buckets,” Buher said. “They ran a new press break at us … We didn’t execute on transition well enough in the first half.”
A renewed focus defensively allowed the Panthers to quickly push the lead out, making it 35-19 before the midway point in the quarter.
The lead continued to grow and Powell led 43-21 heading into the fourth.
Powell finished off the game with a 52-25 victory, finishing 6-0 in the 3A Northwest.
“There wasn’t pressure on us to win that game but obviously the girls wanted to get a win for the seniors,” Buher said.
All but one Panther scored in the contest — Thorington and Campbell led the way with nine each — while the Panthers dominated on the boards led by Floy with 11 rebounds including six offensive.
Powell now takes a long journey to Mountain View for the 3A West Regional Tournament starting on Thursday.
Powell opens up against Lander (6-15 overall, 0-6 3A Southwest) in the opening game of the tournament at 9 a.m.
“They are better than the last time we played them and they are shooting with confidence,” Buher said. “You can’t overlook anybody. I don’t care if you have beaten them.”
Dependent on that result, the Panthers will play either Lyman (17-5 overall, 4-2 3A Southwest) or Worland (4-16 overall, 1-5 3A Northwest) at 9 a.m. or 4 p.m. on Friday. Teams need to win two games at regionals to advance to state.
“These seniors are a special group because they were freshmen when I took over and this rebuilding process started,” Buher said. “Here we are with an opportunity to double our win total from last year and it is so cool for that group to see the hard work pay off.”
POWELL 39, LOVELL 37
Total rebounds then offensive rebounds in ()
Points — Catelynn Floy 12, Saige Kidd 10, Coy Erickson 4, Maddie Campbell 4, Waycee Harvey 3, Addy Thorington 3, Megan Jacobsen 3
Rebounds — Addy Thorington 6 (3), Saige Kidd 5 (3), Megan Jacobsen 5 (2), Waycee Harvey 3 (2), Catelynn Floy 3 (2), Kami Jensen 2, Maddie Campbell 1
Assists — Alexa Richardson 2, Waycee Harvey 2, Megan Jacobsen 2, Addy Thorington 1, Maddie Campbell 1, Saige Kidd 1, Catelynn Floy 1
Steals — Catelynn Floy 4, Waycee Harvey 2, Addy Thorington 2, Maddie Campbell 2, Alexa Richardson 1
Blocks — Addy Thorington 1
POWELL 52, THERMOPOLIS 25
Points — Addy Thorington 9, Maddie Campbell 9, Catelynn Floy 7, Waycee Harvey 6, Saige Kidd 5, Coy Erickson 4, Kami Jensen 4, Alexa Richardson 2, Kenzie Fields 2, Lauryn Bennett 2, Megan Jacobsen 2
Rebounds — Catelynn Floy 11 (6), Addy Thorington 8, Maddie Campbell 8 (2), Kami Jensen 4 (3), Saige Kidd 3 (2), Megan Jacobsen 3, Waycee Harvey 2, Kenzie Fields 2, Coy Erickson 1, KoKo Baba 1 (1)
Assists — Maddie Campbell 4, Catelynn Floy 4, Kami Jensen 2, Alexa Richardson 1, Coy Erickson 1, Addy Thorington 1, KoKo Baba 1, Megan Jacobsen 1
Steals — Addy Thorington 3, Maddie Campbell 2, Megan Jacobsen 2, Saige Kidd 1, Catelynn Floy 1
Blocks — Addy Thorington 1