Panther girls win home opener
The Rugby Panthers girls basketball team started the season with one game in the W column Monday evening.
Despite a 53-26 win, missed buckets and turnovers hit both the Panthers and the Benson County Wildcats during the former’s season and home opener.
The Panthers worked up a 10-0 lead inside the first five minutes of play, with six of them coming from guard Anni Stier (who netted 21 points on the night) shooting outside the arc.
The Wildcats were unable to get on the board until the 3:11 mark, with guard Desidy Schwanke hitting a three-point play. After that the Wildcats started to chip into the Panthers’ lead, with forward Kearyn Nelsen and guard Quinn Neppl each getting a bucket-and the latter getting a trip to the charity stripe as well-to make it a 10-8 game with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.
The last minute would see Stier and classmate/guard Karsyn Hager each hit threes to make the score 16-11 at the end of one quarter.
In the next quarter both teams were scoreless for over two minutes, until Wildcats post Reganne Ritterman got two to go down. Nelsen would follow suit just seconds later, making the Panthers’ lead 16-15.
The Panthers would then enlarge the gap by six points, four of them coming from Hager. A bucket from forward Jordan Senger would put the Panthers ahead 24-18 before halftime.
Neppl would hit both the Wildcats’ first point of the second half and only score of the third quarter with 6:35 on the clock.
The Panthers would then widen the gap further, due to buckets from Senger, Stier and guard Sarah Blessum. At the end of three quarters the score was 39-20 in favor of the Panthers.
The Panthers would outscore the Wildcats 14-6 in the fourth quarter.
“We missed some easy bunnies, easy lay-ups that we should’ve had. [We] saw some nice things out of our press and full court transition,” said Panthers head coach Jen Brossart. “But one thing I thought I noticed is we settled a lot for outside shots and we didn’t get the ball on the inside, so that’s stuff we got to work on before the next game. Luckily we have two practices to do it.”
On Thursday the Panthers played the Drake-Anamoose Raiders in the first round of the CNDC Girls Basketball Tournament. The winners and losers of that game played the winners and losers of the game after, the Glenburn Panthers or the New Rockford-Sheyenne Rockets, on Friday.
“It should be a good matchup for us. Hopefully that second round game is a team we don’t play in the season, so it’ll be nice to see an unfamiliar face,” said Brossart.
The CNDC tournament continues today with the 7th place game at 1:30 p.m., the consolation game at 3 p.m., 3rd place game at 4:30 p.m. and the championship round at 6 p.m.