Panther girls take seventh at state tournament
The State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament was a tough one for the Rugby Panthers.
A 51-45 loss to an unseeded Killdeer Cowboys team the first day of the tournament sent the Panthers to consolation bracket.
A 57-38 loss the next day to the Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich Cardinals didn’t help either.
But the Panthers were able to get an early lead and hang on for a seventh place finish, winning 64-44 over the Watford City Wolves.
“We just wanted these girls to come out and play hard play the way they’re capable of, play the way that everybody from Rugby and the coaches have seen them play all year,” said Panthers head coach Jen Brossart. “And they did that tonight.”
Both teams traded leads early in the first quarter due to turnovers. After the 4:49 mark the Panthers managed to get four points ahead and and held that four point lead to the end of the quarter.
The second quarter saw both teams go scoreless for nearly two minutes until Panther guard Karsyn Hager drilled her second of three 3-pointers on the afternoon.
The quarter also saw both teams go into the bonus, as the foul bug reared its ugly head. Rugby would go 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to end the first half, while the Wolves went 2-for-6. The first half would end with the Panthers ahead 25-18.
The foul bug continued to bite in the third quarter, as the Panthers scored seven of their 17 points on the quarter on trips to the line. The Wolves would have their largest scoring output of the game during the quarter, scoring 14.
A three-point and a four-point play, plus two other shots from outside the arc would help the Panthers net a 20-point lead in the ensuing quarter, despite both teams later ending up in the double bonus.
“Congratulations to Rugby, they had a good win,” said Wolves head coach Cary Veis.
On day one the Cowboys struck first, but then Rugby was able to hold a two-point lead briefly. The Cowboys would lead for most of the first half. In the second half Killdeer led by 12 with 6:57 remaining in the third, but the Panthers would briefly take the lead back on a 14-2 run. With 5:18 left in the game the Panthers would have its largest lead of the half with four points. Killdeer would later snatch it away.
The Panthers were almost neck-and-neck for most of the first quarter against the Cardinals. However the Cardinals could not recover from 18-7 and 11-4 scoring deficits in the second and third quarters, respectively. In the fourth, Rugby outscored Langdon Area 12-10.