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Panther girls press Lakers at home

By Staff | Feb 1, 2019

A tale of two halves.

Even though they walked away with a 49-36 victory Monday evening, the last game in Rugby for the 2018-19 girls basketball season was just that for the Panthers in a matchup against the Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers.

“For the most part it’s a win, it’s a home ‘W’, said Panthers head coach Jen Brossart, “Three years in a row we haven’t been beaten at home now.”

Missed buckets hit the Panthers hard in the first quarter despite a 19-6 lead in the first quarter. Both teams were also hit hard with turnovers.

The quarter also saw the Panthers’ four seniors score a combined 10 points (Jordan Senger 2; Anni Stier 2 and a 1-for-2 trip at the foul line; Maria Blessum 2; and Karsyn Hager scoring her 3 points on the night), and center Brooke Blessum take the lead for the Panthers.

For the Lakers, scoring came first from guard Sara Bonn at the 4:52 mark. Then came forward Kyley Lauf, who scored four of her nine points on the night (tying with center Brooklyn Benno for the Lakers’ lead scorer) on the quarter.

The second quarter saw the Panthers outscore the Lakers 14-10 by halftime. The Lakers struck first with a bucket from Benno, however the Panthers not only responded in kind but chipped in five extra points before the Lakers could get on the board again.

The third quarter saw the Panthers plagued again by missed buckets, outscoring the Lakers by a razor thin 10-9 margin. Just like the second quarter the Lakers struck first. Only this time they would get seven points on the board before the Panthers would hit a three-pointer (courtesy of Sarah Blessum).

The Lakers saw a resurgence in the fourth quarter, notching nine points before the Panthers got on the board. Five of them came from Benno, and four from buckets from Madison Lauf.

The trio of Stier, Senger and Isabella McCabe got the Panthers on the board three times in the final two minutes.

“We come out strong in the first half. Credit to them (the Lakers) though, they made some adjustments, they went to a 2-3 zone and we just stopped attacking them (in) the second half,” said Brossart. “That’s a credit to their defense. I thought we could have done some different things offensively.”

Just days before, the Panthers got a huge district win in Velva and lost in a non-conference game against Trenton in Minot.

In the game last Thursday against Velva, the Aggies girls got to a 15-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. That lead turned to a 26-17 one by halftime.

The Panthers staged a comeback in the third quarter, scoring 15 points to Velva’s six for a 32-32 tie. The Panthers then outscored the Aggies 15-10 to win 47-42.

Two days later at the Minot Auditorium the Panthers worked up a 10-9 lead over the Tigers at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers took the lead back in the second, outscoring the Panthers 16-9.

In the second half, Rugby would outscore Trenton 18-15 in the third quarter and 15-14 the quarter after. The Tigers won 54-52.

“We got one game left in the regular season and then we’re gonna focus on tournament time,” said Brossart.

That game was on the road Thursday against the North Star Bearcats.

The Panthers received votes in Monday’s Class B basketball poll.

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