Panthers season ends at regionals
The Rugby Panthers did not have a good shooting night Monday evening.
In the first round of the Region 6 Tournament in Minot, the Panthers shot 15-49 and made 6 of 14 free throws, while not making any shots from outside the arc. The Bishop Ryan Lions however shot 17-47, and did slightly worse on free throws (6-16).
But the Lions’ 21 points from outside helped end the Panthers’ season, as well as their shot for a fourth consecutive region title, on a 47-36 loss.
“You can’t beat a team that has an offense as well as Ryan does shooting the way we did,” Panthers’ head coach Mike Santjer said. “I can’t complain of the effort our guys gave us. They worked as hard as they possibly good, gave all the energy that they had into playing that game, we just didn’t make shots.”
Lions’ head coach Brock Teets said: “I think two pretty good defensive teams went at it tonight, we just made more shots.”
Panthers’ senior center Trevor Longie opened the game on a putback. The Lions then went on a 7-1 run to take the lead. Panthers’ senior forward Tyler Schmaltz was able to get a bucket with less than a minute left in the first quarter, but a 3-pointer from Tyler Daws put the Lions ahead 10-5.
The Lions were able to get a pair of threes in the second quarter from Daws and classmate and forward Caden Upton-who finished with three 3s on the night as well as 18 points. Upton opended the second half with two 3s, and freshman guard Benjamin Bohl contributed from the arc.
The Panthers were able to get going in the fourth quarter, with junior forward Anders Johnson chipping in nine points. Senior forward Ryan Michels, who had been limited for the first half, and held to two the third quarter, was able to go 3-for-4 from the foul line and get a last second bucket for five.
“We knew going in this wasn’t going to be a light up the scoreboard kind of game. We were going to fight for every basket we got,” Teets said.
With the season over, the Panthers will lose three starters and three bench players due to graduation.
“In the offseason we got to get some of the younger guys in the weight room. We have to get a little bit stronger, tougher and we got to make that transition,” Santjer said.
District 11 did not fare well Monday evening, as the newly-crowned champs the Drake-Anamoose Raiders lost in a 54-55 upset to the Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers. Second seed Sawyer fell, 53-66, to the Lewis & Clark-Berthold Bombers. And the District 12 top dogs, the Our Redeemer’s Christian School Knights, prevailed 83-59 over the Bottineau Braves.
The Knights and the Lions squared off Thursday evening in the championship round.
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