Park City girls and boys advance to divisional tournament
The undefeated Broadview-Lavina Pirates continued their streak at the District 6C tournament, defeating the No 2 seeded Park City girls 56-36 in the championship game at Huntley Project on Feb. 20.
“The Lady Panthers showed many good signs of greatness this season, but as far as playing in the 6C tourney, we struggled with rebounding and shooting, and they did enough good things to take second,” Park City head coach Jason Federico said. “I feel like we played scared and tired.”
Senior Cara Grewell was the only Panther in double digits against the Pirates, with 14 points and 3-of-6 shooting from the 3-point line. Senior Hailee Gregerson followed with eight.
The Pirates, who took a quick lead in the first half, led the Panthers in rebounding by 31-25 and turnovers by 6-9. Senior Alexi Payne posted a game-high 19 points for the Pirates – including 5-of-11 in 3-pointers – followed by junior Krista Schott with 14.
“We have to know that it’s tournaments time, and we need to play our game and play it with confidence,” Federico said. “We didn’t shoot the ball extremely well from the twos or threes, and I feel like maybe we tried too hard to.”
The Panthers started the tournament with a bang, clobbering the Bridger Scouts 61-38 on Feb. 18.
Park City had a slow start in the first half, leading the Scouts by 21-19 before taking off with a 40-point second half. Panther scoring was led by juniors Tehya Ray with 17 and MacKinzie Verke with 13.
“This group of girls is an amazing group,” Federico said. “We have multiple types of threats on any given night. That’s what makes this team so dangerous.”
The Panthers faced No. 3 Harlowton the next day – a team they had defeated in the regular season. Grewell put up 14 points in the 43-35 win, followed by Verke with 13.
“Our best game of the tourney was against Harlowton,” Federico said. “That’s a really skilled, well-coached team.”
The Panthers and the Engineers were about even in rebounds and turnovers, and Harlowton’s 3-pointers about made up for the Panther’s 2-pointers, but Park City outscored the Engineers on the free-throw line, 10-3.
“We did play amazing defense for four quarters, and finally in the third quarter of the game we played our style,” Federico said.
The Panthers will face the Jordan Mustangs in the opening round of the Southern C Divisional Tournament in Miles City on March 3-5.
“We need to step up against who ever it is and play our game and do our thing,” Federico said. “This week, we’ll clean up our mistakes and be ready for the tourney. It’s funny – nobody says anything all year about scheme, roles and shooting, but you struggle one weekend and the entire basketball communities have the quick fix. We will be ready for the Southern C.”
Park City 61, Bridger 38
Park City 7 14 21 19 – 61
Bridger 8 11 11 8 – 38
Park City: Bethany Van Doren 2, MacKinzie Verke 13, Shelby Kluth 3, Tehya Ray 17, Hailee Gregerson 5, Shelby Branstetter 9, Shelby McMillen 1, Cara Grewell 11.
Bridger: Kayla Cummings 12, Alyssa Oyler 4, Shalee Cummings 4, Katelin Aisenbrey 5, Colette Zentner 2, Rachel Gunn 2, Saige Weimer 3, Jessica Adkins 6.
Park City 43, Harlowton 35
Park City 8 16 8 11 – 43
Harlowton 9 9 5 12 – 35
Park City: MacKinzie Verke 13, Shelby Kluth 2, Tehya Ray 5, Hailee Gregerson 3, Shelby Branstetter 6, Cara Grewell 14.
Harlowton: Maria Begger 6, Madison Wasson 12, Kaitlin Lane 12, Mariah Dietrich 5.
Broadview-Lavina 56, Park City 36
Park City 9 13 7 7 – 36
Broadview-Lavina 18 12 15 11 – 56
Park City: MacKinzie Verke 4, Shelby Kluth, Tehya Ray 6, Hailee Gregerson 8, Shelby Branstetter 1, Cara Grewell 14.
Broadview-Lavina: Brenna Beckett 9, Krista Schott 14, Alexi Payne 19, Chloe Hanser 7, Hope Opie 2, Kylie Schott 5.
To reach third place in the District 6C tournament, the Park City boys had to take down three teams that beat them in all their regular season match-ups.
“I’m proud of what the kids accomplished beating the No. 3, 4 and 5 seeds,” head coach Roger Heimbigner said. “Hopefully we can build on the momentum going into the divisional tourney at Laurel.”
In an exciting start to the tourney at Huntley Project on Feb. 17, the No. 6 seeded Panthers upset the No. 3 seeded Harlowton Engineers 50-41.
Senior Dylan Sitzman led Park City with 13, followed by sophomore Talon Johnstone with 11. The Panthers had a hard time with Engineer junior Garret Woldstad, who put 22 points on the board, but held junior guard Reed Wasson to a measly two.
The Panthers were not so fortunate the next day, losing to the No. 2 seeded Broadview-Lavina Pirates, 57-28. Park City scoring was abysmal, with sophomore Rylan Gauthier and senior Zach Stutterheim the team’s high scorers at seven apiece.
The Panthers put up a goose egg in the third quarter and went 8-of-43 in shot attempts, including 1-of-9 for three-pointers, along with 19 turnovers to nine by the Pirates. The Pirates ended up winning the tournament by upsetting No. 1 Plenty Coups in the championship game, 75-66.
“We have to credit the Pirates with playing great defense,” Heimbigner said. “They didn’t give us many good looks at the basket, and when they did we didn’t capitalize.”
Park City dropped down to the loser-out bracket, first facing Bridger in a race for third place. The Panthers held Scout senior Austin Riddle to just two points. Gauthier had 15 points for the Panthers, and Stutterheim had 13 in the 66-47 win.
Park City faced Reed Point-Rapelje in the consolation match. The Renegades, like Bridger, had beaten Park City twice in the regular season, but the Panthers emerged victorious, 39-25.
Both teams had abysmal shooting – Park City was 14-of-44, and RPR was 12-of-47. But when the Panthers found a bucket, it was from long range – Stutterheim was 3-of-4 from the 3-point line, Gauthier was 2-of-2, and Sitzman was 1-of-2.
“We came out pretty flat against Park City,” RPR head coach Jerry Thompson said. “Park City did a very good job defending us, and we couldn’t get much going offensively. Both teams had qualified for divisionals, and there did not seem to be the same level of intensity in the game as in previous games. Park City deserved the win and the third place trophy.”
The Panthers will face the Terry Terriers in the opening round of the Southern C Divisional Tournament in Laurel on Feb. 25.
“I thought the kids played great defense throughout the tournament, which put us in position to win the three games that we did,” Heimbigner said. “They also played with confidence on offense in the three wins and were finally able to win close games, which has been our Achilles heel all year.”
Park City 50, Harlowton 41
Park City 8 11 16 15 – 50
Harlowton 6 8 12 15 – 41
Park City: Rylan Gauthier 9, Connor McNeil 6, Dylan Sitzman 13, Zach Stutterheim 2, Lane Lowell 9, Talon Johnstone 11.
Harlowton: Garret Woldstad 22, Reed Wasson 2, Dalton Taber 11, Asa Woodard 4.
Broadview-Lavina 57, Park City 28
Broadview-Lavina 16 14 8 19 – 57
Park City 12 7 0 9 – 28
Broadview-Lavina: Cameron Hickson 2, Andrew Glennie 5, Joel Nelson 4, Cole Jensen 10, Rayce McCord 4, Jeremiah Crites 2, Rod Schaff 9, Scott Bymaster 15, Ander Garcia 2, Jacob Reed 4.
Park City: Rylan Gauthier 7, Devon Dennis 1, Connor McNeil 3, Talon Johnstone 4, Zach Stutterheim 7, Lane Lowell 6.
Park City 66, Bridger 47
Park City 18 16 15 17 – 66
Bridger 6 13 16 12 – 47
Park City: Rylan Gauthier 15, Devon Dennis 2, Connor McNeil 7, Dylan Sitzman 10, Tucker Zuhoski 6, Talon Johnstone 9, Zach Stutterheim 13, Lane Lowell 4.
Bridger: Colter Zentner 8, Ryan Zentner 19, Kolton Pospisil 18, Austin Riddle 2.
Park City 39, Reed Point-Rapelje 25
Park City 5 17 9 8 – 39
RPR 8 6 5 6 – 25
Park City: Rylan Gauthier 8, Devon Dennis 3, Connor McNeil 2, Dylan Sitzman 7, Talon Johnstone 4, Zach Stutterheim 9, Lane Lowell 6.
RPR: John Schladweiler 2, Cade Bare 7, Tristan Gieser 2, Trevor Herzog 10, Dylan Blodgett 2, Payton Severin 2.