Not since 2002
They did it! The Rugby Panther boys team won their first game at the Region 6 Tournament at Minot on Feb. 20. It was a feat that no Rugby boys team had done since 2002. They played Minot’s Bishop Ryan Lions and won the game 52-40.
In the first half both teams shot poorly, according to Rugby Coach Mike Santjer.
“In the third quarter, we had a bit of a run and outscored them taking over the lead,” said Santjer. “Offensively, it wasn’t that impressive.”
The team had talked about good rebounding being a necessity in this game and the Panthers came through.
“We rebounded very well which we had thought would be the key to winning this game,” said Santjer.
In fact, the Panthers led the rebounding effort 47 to Ryan’s 32.
Kyle Lovcik made 20 points for his team and got the rebound 10 times. Kyle Halvorson contributed 11 points and played well. Andrew Hershey who always works hard, according to his coach, finished the game with 10 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
The Panthers led the game at half time 20-16. Ryan led the way in the third quarter, but a 10-2 run helped the Panthers get a 10-point lead by the end of the third.
In the fourth quarter the Lions tried to get ahead, but when the buzzer rang it was a Panther victory.
The victory was short lived, however. On Tuesday night, it was a whole different story as the Panthers took on Berthold, #2 in the state media polls.
“We went from one night of rebounding as good as we have all season to very bad,” said Santjer.
Scoring was held to a minimum also. Lovcik was the high point getter with 13 while Berthold’s Alex Bloms finished the game with 27 points. Senior Jayden Welk was the only other Panther to get in double digits with 10. Hershey contributed 7, Josh Michels 6, Kyle Halvorson 2 and Jaedon Haman 2 to round out the scoring for Rugby. “Their depth and their length gave us some trouble,” said Santjer. “They forced us into too many turnovers.”
In fact, Berthold started with an 8 point lead and never let go. Although Rugby rallied in the fourth quarter a bit. Berthold won the game 52-40.
The Panthers had a record of 20-4 before they were scheduled to play DesLacs-Burlington at 6 p.m.on Thursday, Feb. 23.
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