Panther girls win CNDC tournament
It started with a District 11 rival.
It continued with a Region 6 rival.
And the Rugby Panthers ended the CNDC Girls Basketball Tournament last week in Rugby with a fourth title and a win against the Harvey-Wells County Hornets.
The Panthers got ahead of the Drake-Anamoose Raiders early in the first game of the tournament. The Panthers worked up a 15-0 lead by the end of the 1st quarter and a 34-7 lead by halftime. Three-pointers from guards Karsyn Hager and Anni Stier and from forward Mariah Hjelden helped widen the gulf even more in the third quarter to a 60-13 deficit by the end of the quarter.
The Raiders would only score four points in the ensuing quarter, all of them coming from buckets from guard Bethany Filler. The Panthers would chip in 17 more points for a 77-17 victory over the Raiders.
The next night the Rugby Panthers faced a Glenburn Panthers team that was fresh off a victory over the New Rockford-Sheyenne Rockets.
Rugby got the lead early over Glenburn on a 9-2 run. With the exception of a three-pointer from Sierra Hansen, Glenburn was plagued by missed buckets and turnovers while Rugby got 19 points on the board at the end of one quarter and would score an additional 19 by halftime.
“We did a really good job of getting to quick and fast start,” said Panthers head coach Jen Brossart, adding, “That’s kind of the momentum we want to do from here on out.”
Turnovers and missed shots would plague both Panther teams, as both would only score 11 points in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter would be the difference maker as Rugby would outscore Glenburn 15-5.
The Rugby Panthers would have their toughest game of the tournament in the championship round against the Hornets. The Panthers got the lead, however the Hornets would come swinging, ending the first quarter with Rugby having only a 12-8 advantage.
The ensuing two quarters would see the Panthers and the Hornets tie 21-21 by halftime and 32-32 at the end of the third.
However the Panthers would hit crucial shots to take the lead back in the fourth.
“They battled. Harvey’s a heck of a ball team,” said Brossart. “We learned a lot about our team tonight; how they’re not gonna give up, they’re gonna dig in, they’re gonna come out and play until the end.”
The Panthers were home last night in a Region 6 contest against Bishop Ryan.
Tribune Reporter Sue Sitter contributed to this report
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