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Panthers snap losing streak at home

By Staff | Jan 13, 2017

Westhope-Newburg's Mason Mach (right) tries to contest a shot from Rugby's Landen Foster.

What started against the Beulah Miners and persisted against the Harvey-Wells County Hornets and Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers ended Tuesday night in Rugby.

The Rugby Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak in a 71-58 district win over the Westhope-Newburg Sioux. But it was a gritty win in a game full of missed buckets, fouls and turnovers.

After an illegal tipoff, center Cade Heilman got the Panthers on the board first on a rebound in the post. But the Sioux would get a brief lead on a three-pointer plus one from forward Logan Lamoureux.

The battle to retake the lead continued with Panther guard Anders Johnson briefly getting it back from downtown. Sioux guard A.J. Jiles snatched it back with a layup, then Johnson snatched back again for the Panthers. A last ditch three-pointer from Lamoureux-who had four on the night-put the Sioux within one point to end the first quarter.

Missed buckets and a Panther zone defense made trouble for the Sioux as they were only able to score two points compared to the Panthers’ 10; the only points coming from Jiles.

The Sioux then came alive in the second half, with guard Tate Wyman nailing four of five shots on the night from outside, and fellow guard Dawson Dunham nailing one from outside as well.

“We tried to get some reversals, make [the Panthers’] defense move a little bit,” said Sioux head coach Anthony Lee.

Hornets sting Panthers, 61-55

The Panthers came close against the Hornets last week, holding a six-point lead to end the first quarter. But with 1:07 remaining in the first half, the Hornets were able to take the lead on a pair of free throws from guard Parker Granger.

After both sides were holding each other scoreless for over a minute into the second half, Panther guard Landen Foster tied things up. Then Hornets forward Trevor Schimke took back the lead.

Foul troubles reared its ugly head late in the fourth quarter, as both Foster and Johnson would be sent to the free throw line twice for the Panthers, and both Peyton and Parker Granger, along with Schimke being sent to the line at least twice for the Hornets in the final minutes. The end result would be 61-55 in the Hornets’ favor.

The Panthers hosted the North Star Bearcats on Thursday, and will travel to Nedrose for another district bout on Jan. 19.

Other district bouts include

“We’ll take district wins no matter how we can get them,” said Panthers head coach Mike Santjer. “Just by looking at the teams and the season, we’re going to have to show up to play. There’s a lot of nights where there could be an upset if you don’t come out and play.”

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