Panthers move to 4-0 in conference play

By: 
Mikaela Koski
Thursday, December 27, 2018

SCN photo by Mikaela Koski

Park City’s Tristen Johnstone looks to take a shot against Absarokee.

SCN photo by Mikaela Koski Panther Garrett McMillen takes a steal back for a layup last Thursday.

Photo by Bud Chenault

Husky Dylan Brown takes a shot against Harlowton last weekend.

Photo by Bud Chenault

The Absarokee Huskies and Park City Panthers fight for a rebound Thursday night.

Last week, the Park City Panthers added a pair of wins to the team’s conference record.

Thursday, the Panthers hosted the Absarokee Huskies. Park City scored first, and fast. As the Huskies struggled to get shots to fall, the Panthers jumped out to a 15-6 lead in the first quarter.

The tough Park City defense forced several turnovers, and the Panthers were able to grab offensive rebounds as Absarokee tried to find a rhythm. Park City converted those turnovers and rebounds into points to outscore the Huskies 22-0 in the second to extend the lead. At halftime, the Panthers led the game, 37-6.

After the break, Park City began where it left off. The Panthers controlled the momentum, and although the Huskies were able to make more shots in the final minutes of the game, Park City cruised to a 53-24 victory.

Leading the Panther offense was senior Tris-ten Johnstone with 20 points. Senior Connor McNeil added 10, and junior Garrett McMillen scored seven. Senior Austin Popp contributed six.

For Absarokee, sophomore Wyatt Hayes scored 11 to lead the team. Senior Dylan Young scored five, and junior Peyton Langley followed with four points.

The next day, Park City turned around and played the Broadview-Lavina Pirates. The game started out close, with the two teams tied at 12 by the end of the first quarter. The Panthers pulled away in the second, though, outscoring the Pirates 17-6 to go up 29-18 halfway through the game.

Park City continued to roll in the second half, putting up 27 points while holding Broadview-Lavina to 18 points. The Panthers won the game 56-36.

McNeil was the top Park City scorer with 16 points, followed closely by senior Seth Popp with 15. Johnstone scored seven, and McMillen added six.

After the team’s winter break, the Panthers will face Harlowton for a second time this season.

REED POINT-RAPELJE

The Renegades also added a conference win last Friday, against the Fromberg Falcons.

RPR caught a spark early, adding 20 points in both the first and second quarters while holding Fromberg to five points – at halftime, the Renegades had a commanding 40-5 lead. In the third quarter, RPR added 20 more points on the way to a 66-18 victory.

Junior Ty Herzog led the Renegade charge with 18 points, followed by junior Daynon Bear with 13. Junior Bud Ullery added 10, and senior Jeremy Boatman scored seven.

Next week, after RPR returns from this week’s break, the Renegades will play in two conference games – the first against Roberts, and the second against Broadview-Lavina.

COLUMBUS

The Cougars dropped a tough conference game against the Joliet J-Hawks Thursday night.

Columbus got off to a slow start, falling behind 15-4 by the end of the first quarter. The Cougars fought back in the second to shorten the Joliet lead to 19-11 by halftime.

Columbus won the third quarter, again outscoring the J-Hawks, to enter the final minutes down one shot, 24-21. Joliet regained the momentum in the fourth quarter, though, for the 41-32 win.

Junior Ricky Preece led the Cougars with seven points, followed by junior Trey Stampfel with six. Junior Tommy Campbell and sophomore Ty Barta each scored five points.

The first week of January, Columbus will have to travel for a pair of conference games against Roundup and Huntley.

ABSAROKEE

The Huskies faced the Harlowton Engineers in a tight game last Saturday on Absarokee’s Secret Santa night.

Absarokee got off to a better start than Thursday – at the end of the first quarter, the Huskies led 11-8. Harlowton regained the lead in the second, outscoring Absarokee 15-9 to jump ahead at halftime 23-20.

The Huskies fought back coming out of the break, and by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the game was tied at 35. In the final minutes, the Engineers caught a spark and Absarokee could not keep up; Harlowton won the game 69-49.

Leading the Husky offense was Hayes with 17 points. Junior Tucker Sullivan scored nine, and sophomore Colton Young added seven. Langley scored six.

Absarokee Head Coach Gregg Feddes said the Park City and Harlowton games were good learning experiences for the team. He gave the Panthers and Engineers credit for playing well and making more plays than the Huskies.

“I think we found out how difficult it is going to be every night,” Feddes explained. “We got off to a good start (of the season), but now we have to use the break to get back to work and do the things that were making us successful during the start.”

He noted that the team discussed looking toward the future and the group’s next step.

“We need to learn from this weekend, and the entire season so far, to figure out who we are going to be moving forward,” Feddes added. “Success and failure are both momentary, and we have to learn from both because we have another game coming up that we need to be ready for.”

After winter break ends next week, the Huskies will face Fromberg and Plenty Coups.

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