Sunday, March 18, 2018

Panther boys stun Red Lodge, girls drop two, but remain No. 1

The Park City Panthers kicked last weekend off with what Coach Matt Nuemann called a “good little redemption win” against Class B Red Lodge Rams last Friday.
The Rams beat the Panthers earlier this season.
“It was nice to know that we have made improvements in a lot of areas and were able to come out and get a good non-conference win versus a solid opponent at their place,” Neumann said.
The final score was 65-58. Panther freshman Jaren McNeil led all players in scoring with 18 points followed by seniors Grant McNeil with 14 and Mason Moe with 12.
Saturday’s game against the Broadview-Lavina Pirates brought two of the top 6C teams together.
The Pirates took the win 61-47.
“Saturday was definitely one we had been looking forward to for a while and we played our hearts out... just couldn’t seem to get any baskets to go down when we needed them,” said Neumann. “We did very well defensively just not good enough offensively.”
Jaren McNeil led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points while senior Dakota Westman added 11 and Moe had 10.
However, Neumann is optimistic at the prospect of getting another chance at the Pirates at districts.
“I feel if we get another shot at them at districts good things will happen,” said Nuemann.
The Panthers play Reed Point-Rapelje and Fromberg this weekend. The boys currently sit third in 6C standings with a 11-2 conference record.
The Lady Panthers had a tough go of things, dropping both games to tough teams, including a non-conference match against the Red Lodge Rams.
In prepping for battle against the Rams, the Panther’s plan was to pinch down Jill Purcell and tightly guard Natalie Hilderman to allow “supporting staff to score,” said Panther Coach Jason Federico.
“Purcell had two fouls and zero points in the first half. We had them confused and in panic mode just the way I visioned,” said Federico.
But the Lady Panthers struggled to score, something that has not happened to the team all year. The Rams out-rebounded the Panthers 23-16 with Park City committing 20 turnovers in the half offense.
“The positive side is that we played a great class B team very tough. It was basically an 8-point game the entire fourth quarter and if we would have attacked and finished, we might have had a chance to beat a good well coached team,” said Federico.
Junior Cara Grewell led the Panthers in scoring with 10 points while sophomores Teyha Raye and Shelby Branstetter combined for 10 rebounds.
The final score was 78-112.
In the conference game against the Broadview-Lavina Pirates, the Panthers suffered a second loss of the weekend but by a much closer score of 34-42.
It was the first conference loss of the season for the Panthers and a somewhat lucky one in that the Pirates are in the No. 2 slot in 6C standings.
Federico said like Friday night, his team struggled offensively, although at one point the Panthers had cut a 16-point Pirate lead down to two.
“These games are practice for our tournaments. We will be focused and ready for Districts,” said Federico.