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Panthers fall to Titans, 48-45

By Staff | Mar 11, 2014

Lori Gronvold/PCT TGU senior forward Mattie Schmitt shoots over Rugby junior forward Jacie Lovcik in a District 11 semifinal game March 1 at RHS. The Titans won 48-45.

The Rugby High School girls basketball team faced a squad well-deserving of the No. 1 seed in the District 11 tournament on March 1.

The TGU offense established a commanding lead early in the first quarter, with freshman forward Angie Anderson, senior forward Akesha Juarez and senior center Mattie Schmitt all setting the terms in a 48-45 win. Schmitt scored 24 points on the night, Anderson scored 12 and Juarez scored eight.

“We had a nice start,” TGU coach Malcolm Marcus said. “We got early momentum. Having a 10- or 11-point lead helped us out. We needed all those points at the end.”

The Titans defense held the Panthers to a low scoring first quarter, as junior forwards Jacie Lovcik and Darby Deckert scored eight points combined.

“We knew that Towner was gonna bring it, unfortunately our girls didn’t step up and execute the way we knew how,” Panthers coach Jen Brossart said.

A couple threes from Deckert and sophomore guard Shea Heidlebaugh not only put the Panthers into double digits, but also put them just six points shy of a tie game at the end of the first half.

A big three from Deckert opened the second half in a low scoring third quarter for both teams.

Both teams started to pick up momentum again in the fourth quarter. Schmitt scored 13 of her 24 points on the quarter, with Deckert just one point behind her. A big three from senior guard Allison Volk helped, but the Panthers still trailed by three points.

“Towner came out with a mission,” Brossart said. “They went man [defense], they went at it and our girls could not match up to it.”

For Rugby, Deckert was the leader with 20 points. Heidlebaugh scored 7.

“We thought we were a better team than when we showed them the first time this year. We played with a lot of heart,” Marcus said. The Panthers won the regular season meeting by 25.

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