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Panther boys prevail over Dragons

By Staff | Feb 22, 2019

The Rugby Panther boys basketball team ended their regular season with another notch in the “W” column.

But it didn’t come easy.

In the regular season finale last week in Rugby, 3-point shooting allowed the Dunseith Dragons to come out ahead early. The Panthers would then get a lead on a 5-point run, only for the Dragons to snatch it away on a second 3-pointer. Both teams would be neck-and-neck, however a split second bucket from Michael TwoHearts (26 points) put the Dragons ahead 20-18 to end the first quarter.

The ensuing quarter would see Trace Goven (25 points, plus entry into the 1,000-point club) and Jaden Hamilton (15 points) go on a 6-2 run to take the lead back for the Panthers. The Panthers then went on a 7-3 run, and later ended the second quarter by outscoring the Dragons 19-13 for a 37-34 advantage.

Much like in the first quarter, the Dragons would hit a 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the third quarter to chip into the Panthers’ already thin advantage. The Dragons would outscore the Panthers 18-15, however the Panthers would end the quarter with a razor thin 52-51 advantage.

The Panthers’ defense would play a factor in the fourth quarter, despite an 11-point showing from TwoHearts. Hamilton led in scoring on the quarter, with three of his six points coming from a 3-for-4 trip to the free throw line via technical foul on the Dragons. Devan Michels (14 points) wouldn’t be far behind in the quarter with five, three of them coming from a three-point play. The Panthers outscored the Dragons 22-15 for a 74-66 win.

Panthers head coach Mike Santjer said he “liked” his team’s intensity on defense in the second half.

With the win, the Panthers had a week before the next phase: The postseason.

The Panthers got a breather Friday night with a first round bye in the District 11 Boys Basketball tournament. They awaited the winner of a matchup between the no. 4-seed Towner-Granville-Upham Titans and the no. 5-seed Nedrose Cardinals. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m. today.

The district tournament continues on Monday with region qualifiers at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., and the championship at 7 p.m.

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