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Dragons steal lead from Panthers

By Staff | Feb 24, 2017

Anders Johnson (white, no. 4) goes up for a shot in the post. Teammate Cade Heilman (no. 25) is up for the rebound. The Rugby Panthers lost, 68-55, to the Dunseith Dragons last week in Rugby.

The Rugby Panthers had the lead last week on their home turf.

But shooting forward Antoine Rivera snatched it away with 3:33 to go in the first quarter on his first of five three-pointers on the night, and the Dunseith Dragons didn’t lose their grip.

The Dragons would go on to win, 68-55.

Only four Panthers had three-pointers to their names on the night: senior forwards Dillon Marco (first quarter) and Ben Hershey (fourth quarter), senior guard Anders Johnson (fourth quarter) and junior guard Landen Foster (third quarter).

After Rivera’s three-pointer, guards Taylor Peltier and Hunter Gladue would give the Dragons a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Panthers struck back in the second quarter, outscoring the Dragons 16-13. Johnson put the Panthers on the board first by going 2-for-2 from the foul line, and freshman forward Trace Goven would put two more points in less than a minute later.

Dragons forward Michael TwoHearts then took the lead in scoring for his squad, scoring two layups seconds apart and going 1-for-2 from the line.

The Panthers would be behind by just four points at halftime.

Three pointers from Rivera and Jarrett Decoteau helped put the Dragons’ lead back at seven in the third quarter. Goven would lead the Panthers in scoring on the quarter.

The Dragons would widen their lead with 23 points in the fourth, 15 of them coming from the combination of Rivera and TwoHearts. Johnson would then take the lead in scoring for the Panthers, netting seven points on the quarter followed closely behind with Hershey and Foster with three points apiece.

The Panthers opened the District 11 tournament in Rugby on Friday against the Nedrose Cardinals. District action continues this afternoon, starting at 4 p.m. with the losers of the Rugby/Nedrose game facing the loser of the No. 3-seed Towner-Granville-Upham Titans and No. 6-seed Velva-Sawyer Aggies game for a region qualifier berth.

The winner of the Rugby/Nedrose game will face the winner of the TGU/Velva-Sawyer game at 5:30 p.m. tonight to determine who will advance to the final round on Monday (Feb. 27).

– Tribune Staff Report

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