Trailing by just eight points at halftime of Saturday’s game against Kemmerer, PHS girls’ basketball coach Chelsea Buher knew her team wasn’t out of it. At halftime, the coach told …
Trailing by just eight points at halftime of Saturday’s game against Kemmerer, PHS girls’ basketball coach Chelsea Buher knew her team wasn’t out of it. At halftime, the coach told her squad to increase its defensive pressure.
The girls responded when play resumed.
PHS outscored the Rangers 23-9 in the third quarter to take a 40-34 lead at the end of the period. The Panthers built on their advantage in the fourth quarter and cemented a 56-38 victory, their third of the year.
“We started playing defense,” Buher said. “We were getting steals and finishing them. The basket got bigger when they started hitting shots.”
Despite facing an early deficit, PHS was able to earn its most lopsided win of the 2020-21 season. When the girls took their lead, Buher’s message to the girls was simple: Don’t get complacent.
“As shots started to fall, I called some timeouts to get them some breathers,” Buher said. “I told them not to let up, and they didn’t.”
Maddie Campbell, a sophomore, led the Panthers with a career-high 17 points, while Addy Thorington also reached double figures with 14. Seven of Powell’s 10 players scored in the come-from-behind win.
The night before, Powell showed similar fight, even though the Panthers were unable to secure a win against Pinedale.
After falling into a 17-4 hole early, PHS bounced back in the following quarters, outscoring the Wranglers the rest of the game to lose by just seven, 52-45.
Powell’s defense improved after switching from zone defense to man, a change Buher wished she’d made earlier. Still, the coach was proud of her team’s fight against a tough opponent.
“It’s not a new place for us,” Buher said. “Our girls never give up.”
In Friday’s game, senior Rose Graft posted a career-high 21 points, while Rylynn Valdez hit three 3-pointers for nine points.
Now 3-9, PHS has already matched its win total from last season. The Panthers will have a chance to surpass it this weekend when they face Thermopolis on the road and Worland at home.
“The hard work is paying off,” Buher said. “Our record doesn’t necessarily show it, but we’re getting a lot better and we can be a force to be reckoned with when regionals come around.”
“I don’t feel like we’re done,” she said.
Pinedale 52, Powell 45
Points — Rose Graft 21, Rylynn Valdez 9, Addy Thorington 4, Maddie Campbell 4, Hailee Hyde 3, Madi Fields 3, Megan Jacobsen 1; Rebounds — Graft 4, Hyde 4, Jacobsen 4, Thorington 3, Kami Jensen 3, Campbell 2, Valdez 2
Powell 56, Kemmerer 38
Points — Campbell 17, Thorington 14, Graft 6, Jensen 6, Jacobsen 5, Hyde 4, Valdez 4; Rebounds — Thorington 13, Graft 8, Campbell 5, Hyde 3, Valdez 3, Abigail Urbach 2, Jensen 1, Jacobsen 1; Steals — Campbell 4; Assists — Campbell 5