They were the shots heard-or seen-’round the Charles Hanneman Gymnasium.
With less than a minute to go in the first half, Rugby Panthers senior forward Ryan Michels took advantage of a miss from senior center Trevor Longie and went up for a thunderous dunk with his leg going into Braves senior forward Parker Engelhard. Michels did a near somersault on the descent into the baseline near Longie.
Then with the clock ticking down, Maxwell Henry, a sophomore playing at either forward or guard for the Braves, fell to the floor, but not before delivering a 3-point buzzer beater.
During a “pink-out” game, the Braves’ managed to stay with in 9 to 10 points behind the Panthers. But the Panthers would come away with a 21-point victory Tuesday evening, 58-37.
“They [the Panthers] did a nice job,” Braves head coach Nathan Simpson said. “We didn’t defend their screen and roll all that well throughout the game, and they really took advantage of that there in the last quarter where they pinned us deep on a couple possessions and got some easy buckets.”
Sophomore guard Bryce Haerer put up the first points of the game from outside, and the Panthers didn’t respond until the 4:50 mark with junior forward Anders Johnson scoring. Junior forward Chris Griffin had a three of his own just over 30 seconds later. Braves guard McKinley Agnes then tied things up in the final seconds with two successful makes from the charity stripe.
The Panthers then took the lead in the second, with Longie making 1 of 2 attempts at the foul line, and went on the attack.
“I knew that we would get there, we just didn’t come out and play with a lot of energy and we kind of stood by and watched and didn’t attack,” Panthers coach Mike Santjer said. “Second [quarter], we came out, started attacking the rim a lot more, played some aggressive defense and we were able to get a lead going into halftime.”
Johnson led the Panthers in scoring on the night with 19, followed by Griffin with 17.
PANTHERS DEFEAT NEDROSE, 63-23
The Panthers came away from another home matchup last week with a 40-point spread over the Nedrose Cardinals.
The Panthers shut down the Cardinals in the first quarter, with Johnson leading the way in scoring.
The Cardinals were unable to score until 4:54 remaining in the first half, eighth grader Kelly Eggen putting up Nedrose’s first points from the free throw line. Senior forward Mark Chilson III then went 1-for-2 from the charity strip almost 2 minutes later.
The Panthers ended the first half with a 28-point lead, with Michels bringing it into the house in the final seconds. The Panthers then opened the second half with a bomb from outside by Hunter Hager.
The Cardinals showed some momentum in the third quarter, with junior guard Dawson Brekhus shooting a long-range two a minute in. Brekhus later hit two 3’s in the final seconds of the quarter. But the Panthers still had a 29-point lead.
That lead was later solidified by a pair of 3’s from senior guard Hunter Allickson, and a 3-point play from senior forward Levi Pollman.
The Cardinals were held to just six points in the fourth quarter, with four of them coming from trips to the charity stripe for sophomore guard Seth Wagner, who was 4-for-6 from the line, and freshman guard Matthew Berglof, who was 1-for-2 from the line.
The Panthers played District 11 rivals the TGU Titans on Friday, and play the Lewis & Clark-Berthold Bombers today at the Minot State University campus.
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