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Panthers Bounce Back

By Staff | Jan 22, 2016

Following a 62-55 loss last week to the North Star Bearcats, the Rugby Panthers had only one place to go: up.

On Monday evening the Panthers had their highest-scoring game of the season in a 78-35 routing of the Sawyer Flashes.

The Panthers played a game that was scored both inside and at the foul line, as they were 22-for-28 on free throw attempts.

Senior center Tyler Schmaltz led the Panthers in scoring with 19 points, including two 3-point plays in the first and third quarters.

“Tyler Schmaltz had another really good game. Kind of effort points, everything we get out of Tyler, he’s such a hard worker,” said Panthers head coach Mike Santjer.

The Flashes were held to just three points in the first quarter, coming from two trips to the foul line for senior guard Joshua Ulmer. Ulmer took the lead in scoring for the Flashes, scoring a 3-pointer to open the third quarter and a 3-point play around the 1:11 mark.

In the second quarter, the Flashes were held to just six points, four coming from sophomore guard/forward Hunter Brabandt.

“In the game of basketball you’ve got to get your shots to fall, and when they’re not falling you got to find a way to get them to fall,” said Flashes head coach Mark Kennedy. “Tonight, unfortunately, in the first half they weren’t falling.”

The Flashes got their shots to fall in the second half, scoring 12 points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth.

In the loss to North Star, the Bearcats subjected the Panthers to an up-and-down first quarter. Sophomore Tayden Thomas put up the first points of the game, with junior forward Ryan Lagasse putting up another two points 30 seconds later. A shot from outside from junior guard Jayden Komrosky put the Bearcats ahead.

The Panthers weren’t able to respond until 5:53 in the first, with a trip to the foul line for senior forward Hunter Hager. Sophomore guard Landen Foster put up a pair of three’s, and junior forward Anders Johnson put up a score to tie the game.

The Bearcats then retook the lead with junior guard Johnny Heisler shooting from outside in the final seconds.

Foster hit another three in the second quarter to tie the game, with Johnson taking a trip to the foul line to give the Panthers a 1-point lead. Lagasse took the lead back for the Bearcats at the 5:32 mark, with Hager taking it back again a minute later. It would be Heisler who retook the lead again for the Bearcats.

Komrosky opened the second half with another bomb from outside, as did Johnson for the Panthers. The Bearcats later took the lead in the third with Komrosky’s 3-point play.

Santjer partially attributed Rugby’s loss to turnovers.

“Against North Star there were some times where we had some really bad turnovers at the wrong time and we didn’t finish when we needed to,” Santjer said.

The Panthers will play Bottineau on Tuesday, starting at 4:30 p.m.

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