In the Powell High School girls’ 10-point loss to Thermopolis on Friday, six points of the deficit came right away via a slow-start first period. The Bobcats clung to that small early cushion …
In the Powell High School girls’ 10-point loss to Thermopolis on Friday, six points of the deficit came right away via a slow-start first period. The Bobcats clung to that small early cushion and won 49-39 at the Panther Gym.
On Saturday at Worland, the Panther basketball team could not stay with the Warriors in the middle periods and lost 67-43.
However, “We are starting to put more things together,” said PHS head coach Chelsea Buher. “I’ve got one player each game stepping up in the scoring aspect of the game. Once that becomes two or three players stepping up to score and we cut down on turnovers, we will get more wins.”
Junior Rose Graft hit a three for Powell’s first points against Thermopolis and followed up with a 2-pointer in the final minute of the opening period. That was it, however, and the Panthers found themselves down 11-5 at the buzzer.
Coach Chelsea Buher’s squad trailed at halftime 25-19 and 35-27 after three.
Graft’s 17 points — 12 by halftime — carried Powell on a night when no other Panther netted more than four. Aspen Jensen paced the Bobcats with 21.
Graft also notched a double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds. As a team the Panthers rebound total was 36, including 13 on the offensive end.
Powell shot 14-for-32 from 2-point range, 1-for-8 from three and did themselves no favor at the line where they were an anemic 8-for-21, 38%.
“Thermopolis has a lineup full of seniors and we were able to keep it a close game for the entire game,” Buher said. “The problem is, we dig ourselves in a hole then have to fight so hard to get out of the hole it becomes a roller coaster of a game and those are tough games to win.”
On Saturday, the Panthers played the homestanding Warriors within a single point in the first and fourth periods. It was a different story in the second and third, though. That’s where Worland took control, with a combined scoring cushion in those 16 minutes of 43-20.
On this night it was Hailee Hyde who stepped up to lead scoring with 12 points. The Panthers put up 46 field goals in all and hit 18 for 39%. It was even tougher sledding at the free throw line, with four makes in 16 chances for 25%.
Sidney O’Brien pulled down eight rebounds and Graft five. The Panthers were credited with a dozen offensive rebounds in their total of 34.
Maddie Campbell and Graft handed out three assists each. Maddie Campbell and Sabrina Shoopman stole the ball four and three times each.
“We must stop having spurts of taking care of the ball and getting great shot opportunities, to then having spurts of turning the ball over [and] allowing them to score three straight times easy,” coach Buher said. “It seems like we have to work so hard to get one score, then we have lulls of them getting a few quick ones.”
“I’m really proud of the positives we did in both games,” she added, “but we have to do it for longer than two or three quarters.”
Improving in that area is going to be a focus in practice in the coming days, along with working on how to better track and respond to opponents’ best players.
The Panthers have three games coming up this weekend in Lander: playing the Tigers at 5:30 p.m. Friday, then facing Pinedale at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by Pinedale at 2 p.m.
“... I’m excited to see how the girls respond after [last] weekend’s games,” Buher said. “While we didn’t win Senior Night versus Thermopolis, the seniors expressed how fun that game was to play. I’ve told them games are always so much more fun when you lay it all out there and compete.”
Thermopolis — Jensen 21, Bomengen 10, Devries 7, Jensen 3, Brooks 2.
Powell — Graft 17, O’Brien 4, Hyde 4, Campbell 3, Rylynn Valdez 3, Paije Johnson 3, Sabrina Shoopman 2, Madi Fields 2, Kortny Feller 1.
Powell — Hyde 12, Graft 7, Valdez 6, Shoopman 6, Feller 5, Fields 3, Johnson 3, O’Brien 1.
Worland — Scoring unavailable.