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Rugby Girls Win Home Opener

By Staff | Dec 18, 2015

Rugby's Breanna Thompson goes up for a shot against Harvey defenders Tuesday. (Photo by Lori Gronvold)

The Rugby High School girls’ basketball team won their home opener against an all-too-familiar opponent.

The last time the Panthers faced the Harvey Hornets was during the CNDC Tournament, which the Panthers won, 47-35.

On Tuesday evening the Panthers mauled the Hornets, 73-40.

Hornets head coach Mary Fike said this year’s squad is a young squad, and the Panthers were able to capitalize on it.

“We came out really well and hung with them,” Fike said. “Their talent and our inexperience – we’re really young – started showing up more and more as the game went through.”

Senior guard Shea Heidlebaugh started things off for the Panthers on a two-point jumper. The Hornets later followed suit on a jumper from junior forward Kari Wolfe. Harvey then took the lead on a seven-point run, which was then ended by Heidlebaugh from outside.

“Shea had a great game,” Panthers head coach Jennifer Brossart said. “She’s kind of the leader out there when it comes to getting the ball rolling, and the rest just follow.”

The Hornets found a footing in the first half on defense with Wolfe (14 points on the night) and senior center Kaylyn Frison (4 points).

“Kari Wolfe did a nice job, she got her steals, got a few layups on there. Kaylyn Frison, our center, played really well the first half. She was jumping the pass inside to the center, and that’s what we were going to try to stop and cause some problems there. She did really well there,” Fike said.

Wolfe had 14 points on the night, and freshman guard Jaye Fike wasn’t far behind with 11.

Heidlebaugh led the Panthers in scoring with 20 points. Junior center Breanna Thompson went hard in the paint and was 4 for 5 at the free throw line for 14 points.

“[Thompson]’s been playing really tough lately but she really got on the boards tonight and was ripping down some rebounds and went up to the free throw line with confidence,” Brossart said.

The Panthers’ outside game came into play in the second quarter, with Heidlebaugh sinking a second 3-point shot and senior guard Ashley Schmaltz and freshman forward Karsyn Hager each putting up the first of their two from the arc. Hager later sank one again in the third quarter after a trip to the free throw line, and Schmaltz’s 3-pointer in the fourth quarter would help put the game to bed.

The Panthers play in Rolla on Monday, with B squad starting at 5:45 p.m.

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