Panthers win twice at CNDC
Rugby High School sophomore Shea Heidlebaugh trusted her instincts and timed a game-preserving steal in the closing minutes of a 56-54 win over Glenburn on Dec. 21.
The victory marked the second consecutive win for the Panthers at the CNDC tournament in Harvey. RHS dropped the opening game of the tournament 55-45 to New Rockford-Sheyenne.
“We played fairly well the last couple games,” RHS coach Jen Brossart said. “We had a rocky start that first game, but I was very pleased coming out with two wins. New Rockford is a very good basketball team. We just came out flat and shot poorly and New Rockford shot well.”
The middle game was the least contested of the tournament as the Panthers blasted St. John 63-27. The easy win was crucial in helping RHS continue to develop its bench.
“It was a game where we were able to get everyone in and see where everyone is and we had some nice surprises,” Brossart said.
Brossart was especially pleased with the play of junior forward Allison Foster. The 5-foot-10 post player had nine points against Glenburn to aid the guard combo of Heidlebaugh and Darby Deckert, who finished with 18 and 16, respectively.
“They were pretty poised,” Brossart said. “We had a lot of girls step up that tournament weekend. Allie Foster had a great game and almost a double double. She played very well.”
The Panthers nearly threw away a 13-point, second-half lead over Glenburn.
“To see the upperclassmen step up and grab the bull by the horns showed great poise,” Brossart said. “They’ll have that to look back on, if it happens again.”
Rebounding, boxing out and overall team quickness are still concerns as RHS looks ahead to Monday’s matchup with Benson County in Leeds. After that, its a week off before facing defending Class B champion and top-ranked Bishop Ryan at RHS on Jan. 7.
Heidlebaugh led the Panthers in scoring each game at the CNDC with 18, 14 and 18.