Five games into the 2020-21 season, the PHS ninth-grade boys’ basketball team is still undefeated. The Panthers earned their fifth win of the year Monday, defeating Cody 57-53 on the …
Five games into the 2020-21 season, the PHS ninth-grade boys’ basketball team is still undefeated. The Panthers earned their fifth win of the year Monday, defeating Cody 57-53 on the road.
Early in the game, however, PHS saw a scary moment. One of the team’s key players, Trey Stenerson, went down with an apparent leg injury.
But rather than getting flustered, the team performed well in his absence.
“It was hard to lose Trey because he brings such a calm presence to the point guard position,” PHS head coach Greg Stenlund said. “Basketball is a team sport, though, and it’s always more about the team than one player, so Gunnar [Erickson] stepped up and played that spot to the best of his ability and did very well.
“As a team, the players display toughness, both mentally and physically, in practice and were able to continue that in the game, despite the loss of Trey,” Stenlund said.
The Panthers subsequently built an early advantage, leading by double digits at halftime.
But after the break, tides turned and Cody took its first lead at the end of the third quarter. A few areas Stenlund noted as issues in that stretch included trouble with the Broncs’ press and lapses in help defense.
Trailing for the first time of the game, Stenlund emphasized playing as a team to the boys.
“My message was simply, the game is not over yet, there is still a lot of time left,” the coach said. “We need to calm down, show some patience and run through our options on the press breaker. We were trying to do too many facets of the game individually instead of relying on each other for outlets to the open man to relieve the pressure out of trapping situations.”
Powell responded well, finding success in fast breaks and re-taking the lead. A Marshall Lewis and-one play and a 3-pointer from Cade Queen helped the Panthers seal the 57-53 win.
Gunnar Erickson and Brock Johnson tied for the most points, with 14 apiece. Lewis and Jhett Schwahn also reached double figures, each adding 10 points.
Next up, PHS hits the hardwood on the road Monday against Lovell, with the game slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.