The Cinderella story that is the Panthers’ postseason continued on the hardwood of Casper College tonight: Powell High School's boys' team upset No. 1-ranked Buffalo 66-64 in the semifinals of the 3A State Basketball Tournament.
“We’re going to the dance,” PHS head coach Chase Kistler said in a jubilant locker room. “Just one more game.”
The Bison came into the tournament with a 20-3 record, and won the previous meeting between the two teams 63-53 back in December. Few gave the 10-12 Panthers a chance in the rematch, especially with the PHS squad shorthanded.
But after falling behind 7-0 early, Powell matched Buffalo almost shot-for-shot, led by sophomore Mason Marchant. He netted 20 points, including going 4-of-4 from the foul line. William Preator followed with 15 points, and just missed a double-double, grabbing nine boards.
Kaelan Groves finished with nine points, Landon Lengfelder chipped in eight and Jesse Brown scored seven — including three foul shots late in the game that helped seal the PHS win.
The Panthers shot an impressive 65 percent from the floor in the second half and 53 percent for the game.
Powell will play Lander for the state championship at 3:30 p.m Saturday in the Casper Events Center, setting up a rematch of last week's 3A West regional tournament title game.