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Lions Pounce on Panthers, 57-45

By Staff | Feb 19, 2016

Panthers Ryan Michels (no. 10) and Hunter Hager (no. 15) try to block a shot from a Bishop Ryan player Tuesday. (Photo by Lori Gronvold)

The Rugby Panthers had the lead over the Bishop Ryan Lions Monday evening in Minot. Twice.

But the Panthers ran into difficulties the Lions were able to take advantage of for a 45-57 loss.

“They kind of kicked our butt all over the floor. Loose balls, they were there. Offensive rebounds, they were getting them. We weren’t,” said Panthers head coach Mike Santjer. “We just got to be strong with the basketball and handle a lot of pressure. Every team that we’ve played so far this year that’s put a lot of pressure on us, we seem to struggle with. It’s something that we have to get better at at practice and we have to be just tougher with the basketball, handle some pressure and be able to dribble with some contact.”

Panthers’ senior forward Trevor Longie opened the first quarter in scoring with a long two pointer, followed by scoring off a break 17 seconds later.

Then Lions’ senior forward *Ethan Feist* tied things up from inside. Longie retook the lead on a deep two. Then Lions’ junior center Jacob Bohl tied the game, and senior forward Caden Upton gave the Lions their first lead on the night from outside the arc. The lead was only compounded by a 3-pointer by classmate and fellow forward Tyler Daws.

The Panthers took the lead back at the 4:19 mark in the second quarter, with junior forward Chris Griffin scoring from inside. But the Lions retook the lead two minutes later with a second 3-pointer from Upton. A late trip to the foul line for Lions’ junior guard Cody Feist put them ahead by three points to end the first half.

Lions’ sophomore forward Anthony Vetter came alive in the third quarter after being shut down in the first half, scoring two inside shots, a 3-pointer and going 2-for-4 from the charity stripe. The Panthers had an answer in senior center Ryan Michels, who scored nine points in the third quarter alone, three of them from outside, after only scoring seven in the first half.

“Offensively, Ryan did a great job of hurrying us up and playing the patient offense like we normally do,” Santjer said.

Bohl got the first three points of the fourth quarter around the 6:30 mark. Then Daws scored less than a minute later. Daws would later sink two 3-pointers and go 4-for-6 from the foul line.

“One thing we did have coming back was some good shooters, and we’ve got some freshmen that can shoot it, as well as some seniors,” Lions head coach Brock Teets said. “We shoot the 3, we shoot a lot of threes, but our inside game has developed and that’s helped us out too.”

The Panthers weren’t able to score in the fourth quarter until the 3:01 mark, with senior forward Hunter Hager going to the line to shoot two. Michels took a trip to the line later. Griffin was able to hit a 3-pointer with 1:17 left in the game, and junior guard Anders Johnson was able to score from inside in the final seconds.

“It was a good atmosphere. Rugby’s such a good basketball team, they play such good defense,” Teets said.

The Panthers faced the Dunseith Dragons on Friday.

*NOTE: Lions senior forward’s name was Ethan Feist. He was accidently omitted from the print edition of this story. The Tribune regrets the error.

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