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Panthers take third at CNDC

By Staff | Dec 22, 2017

Lori Gronvold for the Tribune Jaden Hamilton attempts a shot while getting swarmed by Dunseith Dragon defenders. Hamilton hit the game-winning three-pointer in the third place game of the CNDC Tournament last week in Rugby.

The Rugby Panthers took third place in the CNDC Tournament last week, winning on a lucky shot.

Late in the fourth quarter of an up-and-down affair while Panther guard Trace Goven went to the top of the key on a sideline inbounding play fellow guard Landen Foster found forward Jaden Hamilton, who was able to hit a three from the left corner to give his squad a brief one point lead over the New Rockford-Sheyenne Rockets.

“That’s a play we’ve been working on since about the third day of practice,” said Panthers head coach Mike Santjer.

But just seconds later, and with both teams in the bonus, Rockets guard Bo Belquist was able to tie the game up 52-52 with a 1-for-2 trip to the foul line.

The Panthers would get the ball back with just mere seconds for a “hail mary”-type play, with Hamilton throwing from half-court.

“I was kind of hoping it’d go in,” Hamilton said. “I just threw it up.”


The Panthers were able to win the game, 55-52.

Hamilton put the Panthers on the board first just 12 seconds into the first quarter. The Rockets had a response just seconds later from center Wilson Howard.

The Panthers and the Rockets were neck and neck for most of the quarter until a near-shotclock violation make from outside from Belquist as well as a bucket from forward Hunter Thompson put the Rockets up 12-8 at the end of the first.

The Rockets held their tenuous lead, with the score 26-22 at halftime and 38-35 at the end of the third.

The night before the Panthers had their first loss of the season, going against the Dunseith Dragons in the semifinal round.

Buckets from Dragon guard Taylor Peltier and Panther guard Kevin Vetsch tied things up 15-15 at the end of the first quarter.

With less than a minute left in the first half, three-point makes from both forward Brock Haakenson and guard Devan Michels helped put the Panthers ahead 33-25 at halftime.

The Panthers’ youth started to show and the Dragons turned the tables in the second half, outscoring the Panthers 23-9 in the third quarter and 21-13 in the fourth.

The Panthers cruised to victory in the first round, winning 80-46 over the Rolla Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs were behind from the start, with the first quarter ending 26-11 in the Panthers’ favor. By the end of the second quarter the score was Panthers 46, Bulldogs 21.

The Bulldogs were all over the floor in the third quarter, however they turned the ball over many times. With one minute left, Grant Munro hit a three pointer. Michels responded in kind with a three of his own, which made the third quarter score 64-33.

The fourth quarter started with Hamilton getting a long shot, taking the game to 69-35. Both the Panthers and the Bulldogs would net another 11 points apiece to end the game 80-46.

Santjer said the Panthers’ 1-3-1 defense and transitions proved well for the team Thursday evening.

“It got us relaxed and ready to play basketball,” Santjer said.

Tribune Reporter Bonnie Remmick contributed to this report.

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