Panther boys clash with Titans
“Titanfall” wasn’t just the title of an XBox game on Monday, as the number one seed Rugby Panthers won at home against the TGU Titans.
Panther starters Brad Heidlebaugh, Tanner Bernhardt, Jaedon Haman and Zach Miller pulled down double digit scores in the 85-52 win.
TGU senior forward Luke Bacon put up the first points for his squad, and Miller shot back. Both Bacon and sophomore Evan Burckhard scored eight points in the first quarter, but Rugby proved to be quick on the floor and in scoring, with a pair of threes each from Bernhardt, Heidlebaugh and Hamilton. The first quarter ended with a huge 15-point lead for the Panthers.
“Good defense allowed us to get out on the floor real quick,” Panthers coach Mike Santjer said.
The second quarter saw the Titans attempt to chip away at Rugby’s lead, but it proved unsuccessful. Bacon and Hunter Schell each put up two points. Lane Schmitt and Eli Luna each put up threes. However, Rugby’s Bernhardt, Heidlebaugh, Haman, and Hunter Hager’s point at the free throw line closed out the first half with a score of 44-23.
“Rugby is No. 1 for a reason, and they play very well at home,” TGU coach Mike Corum said.
The third quarter saw TGU’s Bacon and Bachmeier putting up shots. For Rugby it was all Bernhardt and Heidlebaugh. Rugby maintained a 20-point lead, ending the third quarter 61-41.
By the fourth quarter, Rugby brought out its bench, with Ryan Michels, Nolan Hovland, Eric Hooker and Anders Johnson chipping in points with Bernhardt and Heidlebaugh. Schmitt, Luna, Bacon and Bachmeier chipped in points for TGU, but not enough to overcome a more than 30 point deficit.
Heidlebaugh scored a game-high 29 points on the night and had 13 rebounds. Bacon scored 25 points for TGU and 10 rebounds.
“We asked the kids to play hard, have fun, and to not quit, and they did what we asked of them,” Corum said.