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Panther boys dunk on Bearcats

By Staff | Jan 24, 2020

Two of Rugby’s bigs combined for at least four dunks as the Panthers netted their eighth win of the season in Cando last Thursday.

Both Jaden Hamilton (24 points on the night) and Cole Slaubaugh’s (8) dunks helped contribute to an 82-41 road win over the North Star Bearcats.

“I think we’ve been preaching a lot about defense and holding teams under the 50-mark, and we did that tonight,” said Panthers head coach Mike Santjer. “I thought our defense intensity was a lot better than it had been in previous games, so I was pretty excited about that.

The Panthers worked up a nine point lead in less than four minutes of play before the Bearcats got on the board. The Panthers would then outscore the Bearcats 12-6 for a 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.

However, the Panthers would encounter something they had yet to see prior to the game: opponents running zone defenses.

“The thing about zones is you try and limit the guys shooting from the outside arc,” Santjer said. “We have five, six kids that shoot pretty competent from the outside, so we’re kind of a tough team to play a zone against, but we got to be prepared for it when teams do.”

In the first half, the Panthers chipped in nine points from the outside arc, and 12 in the second half. The Panthers were able to find openings and outscore the Bearcats 22-10 in the second quarter, 24-12 in the third and 15-11 in the fourth quarter.

The Panthers moved up in rank to second – behind Four Winds-Minnewaukan – in the latest polling from the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association.

The Panther boys play Carrington today in a home doubleheader with the boys. The varsity girls will play at 4:30 p.m. with the varsity boys following after. The boys will also host the Bottineau Braves on Tuesday.

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