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Panther boys earn top district seed into regionals

By Staff | Mar 6, 2020

Lori Gronvold for the Tribune Devan Michels (left) fights for the ball during the championship round of the District 11 tournament Monday in Rugby.

Defense was a key factor in Rugby’s two games at the District 11 Boys Basketball Tournament.

A factor that allowed the Panthers to get a 66-34 win Monday over the Drake-Anamoose Raiders, and proved critical in an 82-48 win two days earlier over the Nedrose Cardinals.

The Panthers scored 12 points in less than four minutes to start Monday night’s game, and would later add five more while limiting the Raiders to seven points scored in the first quarter.

The second quarter would see a slightly-closer scoring margin, as the Panthers outscored the Raiders 12-9.

The Panthers would outscore the Raiders 18-11 in the third quarter. The fourth quarter was when things started to pull away, as the Panthers had reached the running clock threshold. At the end of the quarter the Panthers outscored the Raiders 19-7.

Panthers head coach Mike Santjer said his squad’s defense “made it tough” on the Raiders’ scoring efforts, as the Panthers rebounded and contested shots.

A switch from man coverage to a 1-3-1 zone allowed for huge second and third quarters days earlier, when the Panthers faced the Cardinals.

The Panthers outscored the Cardinals by a close 16-10 margin in the first quarter, however 24-13 and 24-12 scoring margins in the second and third paved the way for a lopsided victory.

With the win Monday, the Panthers became the top seed out of District 11.

Region seeding

The Panthers will play the first game of the Region 6 Boys Basketball Tournament against the Lewis & Clark-Berthold Bombers – the fourth seed out of District 12. Game time is at 3 p.m. Monday, March 9, at the Minot State University Dome.

“We have to be ready to play,” said Santjer.

The Raiders play the late game against the District 12 No. 3-seed Bishop Ryan Lions.

Other region qualifiers include Towner-Granville-Upham, who will face District 12 No. 1-seed Our Redeemer’s at 6 p.m.; and Nedrose, who faces District 12 No. 2-seed Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood at 4:30 p.m.

District awards

Rugby took home several other items of hardware at the District 11 tournament.

Six Panthers were named to the All District team: Devan Michels, Trace Goven, Jaden Hamilton, Isaiah Bundy-Smith, Cole Slaubaugh and Warren Walker. Hamilton also took home the Senior Athlete of the Year award. Coach Santjer was also named Coach of the Year.

Other members of the All District team were: Milan Davis, Bottineau; Payton Martin and Hunter Fletschock, Drake-Anamoose; Jethro Lauron, Nedrose; Kaden Chadwick, Velva; Cy Luna, TGU; and Wyatt Lemay, Westhope-Newburg.

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