Roll Big Red
The Park City Panther basketball squads are so far dominating 6C in convincing fashion.
Both boys’ and girls’ teams racked up two more weekend wins.
Friday night’s win was big with the Panthers taking down perennial powerhouse Harlowton Engineers.
The Panthers held the opponent to single-digit scoring for the first three quarters.
“Our defense became more aggressive as the game continued. (The Engineers) had 28 attempts from the free throw line and only made 11,” said Panther Coach Jason Federico. “We only shot 19 but made eight, so we didn’t get as many calls on our home court.”
The 3-point shooting of sophomore MacKinzie Verke (who was 2 for 3), senior Morgan Popp (who was 2 for 4) was key as Harlo used a zone against the Panthers.
Sophomore Shelby Branstetter came off the bench and got some transition points and offensive rebounds and led all scorers with 14 points. Verke had 11 points while sophomore Tehya Ray added seven.
“We have about three or four players scoring double figures and it’s usually different people every night, depending on the match-ups,” said Federico. “We have been focusing on scoring, being unselfish, rebounding and it’s paying off.”
Federico points to the rebounding junior Cara Grewell, who had 10 of the team’s 33 total rebounds, as proof. Verke finished the game with seven rebounds while senior Morgan had four and Branstetter had six.
The key was that we committed 15 total turnovers and caused 33 with our press and switching to half-court defense.
“It felt good beating the Engineers for the first time. They have been a power house for years,” said Federico.
Ferderico called Saturday’s game again Custer-Hysham the “Morgan Popp Show” with Popp scoring 11 points in the first quarter -- consisting of three 3s and a layup. Popp finished the night with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The boys started the weekend with a Friday night win against Harlowton, 57-42.
Senior Grant McNeil led in scoring with 13 points, followed senior Mason Moe with 11 points. Senior Ty Robbie and junior Zach Stutterheim each had eight points.
Saturday’s game against Custer-Hysham was closer, but ended with the same result -- a Panther victory with a score of 57-44. Moe led in scoring with 12 points followed by Robbie with 10 and McNeil with eight.
“Any time you can pick up two wins within the conference you have to be pretty happy. Both games we played very well on the defensive end of the ball,” said Coach Matt Neumann.”On the same token both days we struggled to shoot the ball at a very high percentage. We are going to have to start making shots as we head into the second half of the season to continue our success. We are heading into a another big weekend of conference games with Fromberg at home on Friday and Plenty Coup on the road Saturday.”