State bound: Girls third at regionals

Posted 3/5/24

The Powell Panther girls needed four games in three days, including three against 3A Southwest opponents, to secure a third place finish at the regional tournament and a ticket to state. Powell …

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State bound: Girls third at regionals


The Powell Panther girls needed four games in three days, including three against 3A Southwest opponents, to secure a third place finish at the regional tournament and a ticket to state. Powell defeated Lander in the opening round 58-52 and lost to Mountain View 45-42 before rebounding and defeating Lovell 53-38 and Lyman 49-30.



Opening the weekend as the top seed from the northwest the Panthers (17-7 overall) took on the Tigers (11-12) looking for revenge after two regular season losses on the road.

Early on the Panthers built a lead behind Addy Thorington, but ran into foul trouble at the guard position as Waycee Harvey and Coy Erickson picked up two fouls early.

That lead shrunk to 13-11 heading into the second, when the Tigers took the lead.

Strong 3-point shooting made it an 18-17 advantage for Lander, before Thorington and Emery Hernandez spurred Powell to end strong with a 23-20 lead at the half.

“She (Hernandez) almost hit double-digits but she does so much more than just points,” coach Chelsea Kistler said.

Fouls continued to mount for both teams in the third, but the Panthers got breathing room through an Alexa Richardson 3-pointer and a Hernandez jumper to make it 32-22.

Harvey picked up her fourth foul late in the quarter, but Erickson hit a 3-pointer before stealing the ball and getting fouled on another just before the horn.

Unfortunately, she went 0-3 during that trip to the line but Powell took a 38-28 lead into the fourth.

Throughout much of the fourth the Panthers held Lander at arms’ length, but a late run and free throw problems nearly sank Powell.

Two lane violations alongside subsequent misses allowed the Tigers to tighten the scoreline, but the Panthers finished with the 58-52 victory.

“We only had 10 turnovers and we forced Lander to have 23,” Kistler said. “They shot so well against us. They were 5-9 from 3-point range and they always played so well against us.”

Thorington led with 24 points and nine rebounds. Harvey added nine.

Hernandez had nine off the bench and tied with Ivy Agee for the lead in steals with three and Richardson had six assists.



Advancing to the semifinals on Friday the Panthers matched up with the Buffalos (20-5).

A strong start is not what the Panthers got.

Mountain View came out on fire on both ends, holding a 15-0 lead after the first and eventually holding a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter.

“It never comes down to one play, the main thing is we couldn’t spot them 17 points,” Kistler said.

Hernandez finally got Powell on the board with a 3-pointer a minute into the second, before Powell started chipping away.

Defensively Powell shifted into a zone, while the Panthers got going offensively from the free throw line.

By the end of the half the Panthers had battled back, trailing 23-21 behind an 8-8 start at the line from Harvey.

“They very easily could have folded and they didn’t. They came back and were down two at halftime,” Kistler said.

Powell took the lead for the first time after a Catelynn Floy layup to make it 26-25 with 4:45 left.

Both teams battled back and forth, with Mountain View regaining the lead 34-33 going into the fourth.

That lead grew in the final frame to five early.

Powell continued to stay in it, keeping the game within a possession throughout most of the fourth but unable to take the lead.

An Erickson 3-pointer was followed by a charge taken by Thorington to give Powell the ball with 13 seconds left down two.

Unfortunately, the Panthers turned the ball over and Mountain View went to the line making one free throw.

A last second heave by Thorington was short as Powell lost 45-42.

“We shot 22%, they shot 44% and we lost by three,” Kistler said. “My girls could have quit, could have given up but I am beyond proud of them for not quitting and not giving up on each other. They fought tooth and nail to get back and that says a lot about them.”

That marked the second time the Panthers lost to the Buffalos by one possession, moving to 0-5 in such contests this year.

Harvey led with 14 points and three assists after going 10-14 at the free throw line. She was the only scorer in double-figures.

Thorington led with six rebounds and Hernandez had four steals.



Heading into a loser out game on Saturday the Panthers matched up with a familiar foe in the Bulldogs (15-8) with a spot in the state tournament on the line.

“It was the same as last year, Lovell was our loser-out game,” Kistler said. “My girls went into that game with a lot of confidence and with the mentality that they aren’t going to lose.”

A slow start had the Panthers trailing midway through the first quarter before a 9-0 run ended the quarter and gave Powell an 11-4 lead heading into the second.

The lead hit double-digits early in the second after a Thorington basket at 17-6, as Powell started pulling away up 26-13 at the break.

The lead swelled to as many as 16 in the third quarter, as the Panthers kept it in double-digits the remainder of the second half and finished with a 53-38 win.

Thorington led with 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Saige Kidd had 11 points and tied for the team lead with three assists alongside Richardson.



One last game had the Panthers battling for the third seed at the state tournament, squaring off with Lyman (14-11).

A slow start by Powell and a strong shooting start by the Eagles had the lower seed with a 12-8 lead after the first quarter.

“They came out firing,” Kistler said. “You’re both playing your fourth game of the tournament, things start to get a little sloppy.”

Powell took the lead on a deep floater by Erickson 15-14, and did not look back.

A strong second quarter was capped off with an Agee 3-pointer just before the buzzer to make it 25-16 at the half.

Early in the half a putback by Thorington pushed it to double-digits, and the Panther defense held the Eagles scoreless for six minutes of the third quarter.

The lead held at double-digits for a majority of the second half, with the Eagles only cutting it down to nine as the Panthers finished with a 49-30 win.

“I didn’t feel like we ever put them away,” Kistler said. “I felt like it was a game we took care of business and did what we needed to do.”

The Panthers had a difficult night keeping possession with 25 turnovers, the most of the weekend, but defensively Powell forced 34 by the Eagles.

Harvey led with 16 points, Thorington led with nine rebounds while Agee had nine points and six steals.



Heading into the final weekend of the season the west No. 3 seeded Panthers will face an opponent for the second time this year, the east No. 2 seed Buffalo Bison (20-3).

Powell lost to Buffalo 52-49 on Feb. 10 in Powell, with the rematch scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper.

“It’s always nice playing a team you’ve played before that takes away some of the nerves,” Kistler said. “We’ll have to be able to handle their ball pressure. It will be an up-tempo game which is what we play. It’s not like we are playing somebody very opposite of us, we are very similar I feel. We just have to know where their shooters are.”

This will be the first matchup at state against the Bison since 2019 when Powell lost in the third place game, and the first quarterfinal matchup between the teams since 2011.

If Powell wins it will advance to the semifinal Friday night at 6 p.m. either against the No. 1 seed out of the west Pinedale (20-3) or the east No. 4 seed Wheatland (16-9).

If Powell loses it will drop to the consolation bracket at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. Both contests on Friday will be at Casper College.



Total rebounds then offensive rebounds in ()

Points — Addy Thorington 24, Waycee Harvey 9, Emery Hernandez 9, Coy Erickson 6, Alexa Richardson 5, Saige Kidd 4, Catelynn Floy 1

Rebounds — Addy Thorington 9 (1), Saige Kidd 5 (3), Emery Hernandez 3 (1), Coy Erickson 2 (1), Waycee Harvey 1, Ivy Agee 1 (1)

Assists — Alexa Richardson 6, Coy Erickson 3, Coy Erickson 2, Catelynn Floy 2, Alexa Richardson 1, Addy Thorington 1, Saige Kidd 1

Steals — Ivy Agee 3, Emery Hernandez 3, Coy Erickson 2, Alexa Richardson 1, Addy Thorington 1, Saige Kidd 1

Blocks — Addy Thorington 2



Points — Waycee Harvey 14, Catelynn Floy 6, Ivy Agee 5, Coy Erickson 5, Emery Hernandez 5, Addy Thorington 4, Saige Kidd 3

Rebounds — Addy Thorington 6 (1), Waycee Harvey 4 (3), Emery Hernandez 3 (1), Saige Kidd 2 (1), Alexa Richardson 1 (1), Coy Erickson 1 (1), Catelynn Floy 1

Assists — Waycee Harvey 3, Coy Erickson 2, Alexa Richardson 1, Ivy Agee 1, Addy Thorington 1, Emery Hernandez 1, Saige Kidd 1, Catelynn Floy 1

Steals — Emery Hernandez 4, Ivy Agee 3, Addy Thorington 3, Waycee Harvey 2, Coy Erickson 2, Catelynn Floy 2, Saige Kidd 1

Blocks — Addy Thorington 2



Points — Addy Thorington 14, Saige Kidd 11, Emery Hernandez 7, Waycee Harvey 6, Catelynn Floy 6, Coy Erickson 5, Ivy Agee 4

Rebounds — Addy Thorington 7 (2), Saige Kidd 5 (2), Alexa Richardson 3 (1), Catelynn Floy 3 (1), Ivy Agee 2 (1), Coy Erickson 2 (2), Emery Hernandez 2 (1), Waycee Harvey 1 (1)

Assists — Alexa Richardson 3, Saige Kidd 3, Waycee Harvey 2, Coy Erickson 2, Addy Thorington 2, Catelynn Floy 2, Emery Hernandez 1

Steals — Addy Thorington 3, Ivy Agee 2, Emery Hernandez 2, Alexa Richardson 1, Waycee Harvey 1, Coy Erickson 1, Saige Kidd 1

Blocks — Emery Hernandez 1, Catelynn Floy 1



Points — Waycee Harvey 16, Ivy Agee 9, Coy Erickson 7, Addy Thorington 7, Alexa Richardson 4, Emery Hernandez 2, Saige Kidd 2, Lauryn bennett 2

Rebounds — Addy Thorington 9 (3), Saige Kidd 6 (5), Alexa Richardson 4 (2), Waycee Harvey 3 (1), Ivy Agee 3, Emery Hernandez 2 (1), Catelynn Floy 2 (2), Coy Erickson 1, Lauryn Bennett 1

Assists — Saige Kidd 3, Coy Erickson 2, Addy Thorington 2, Catelynn Floy 2, Alexa Richardson 1, Waycee Harvey 1, Emery Hernandez 1

Steals — Ivy Agee 6, Alexa Richardson 3, Waycee Harvey 3, Addy Thorington 2, Saige Kidd 2, Coy Erickson 1, Emery Hernandez 1, Catelynn Floy 1

Blocks — Ivy Agee 1, Addy Thorington 1




(All games at Ford Wyoming Center)

Game 1 — 9 a.m. No. 2W Mountain View vs. No. 3E Torrington

Game 2 — 10:30 a.m. No. 1E Douglas vs. No. 4W Lyman

Game 3 — 4:30 p.m. No. 2E Buffalo vs. No. 3W Powell

Game 4 — 6 p.m. No. 1W Pinedale vs. No. 4E Wheatland



(All games at Casper College)

Game 5 — 9 a.m. Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2

Game 6 — 10:30 a.m. Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 3

Game 7 — 4:30 p.m. Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

Game 8 — 6 p.m. Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4



Game 9 — 9 a.m. Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 (Consolation final at Kelly Walsh)

Game 10 — 10:30 a.m. Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 (Third place game at Kelly Walsh)

Game 11 — 3:30 p.m. Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 (Championship game at FWC)