The Powell High School girls’ basketball team closed out the 2018 portion of its season on a low note Friday night, dropping their home opener to Wyoming Indian 47-34 at Panther Gym.
The Lady Chiefs came into the contest a perfect 7-0 and as the top-ranked team in 2A — and they quickly lived up to their billing. Taking advantage of Powell’s 18 first-half turnovers, Wyoming Indian built up a 26-12 lead at the half.
“I thought we missed a lot of easy shots,” Lady Panthers head coach Scott McKenzie told KPOW radio. “We had girls get to the rim; we had pretty good execution. For the most part there, we handled their press. [But] we didn’t finish, and once again, a little hole starts to dig and we lose focus and give it up on the press.”
Wyoming Indian opened up a 19-point lead in the third period as Powell’s turnover woes continued. The Lady Panthers (2-3) were able to battle back in the fourth period, cutting the lead to 11 points. But that was as close as Powell would get as the Lady Chiefs finished with a 47-34 win.
“[We’re] a good basketball team; it just didn’t show today,” McKenzie said on KPOW. “I really think we can give Wyoming Indian a better game than we did. There’s a chance we could see them in the Big Horn Basin Classic, and I hope we do.”
Turnovers factored the heaviest in the loss, with the Lady Panthers losing the handle 31 times, compared to 17 for Wyoming Indian.
“It’s uncharacteristic of this group, to have so many seniors” and so many turnovers, McKenzie said. “We’ve been through a pretty good meat and potatoes schedule at this point, and we hope all these things we learned from and come back in January ready to go.”
Rachel Bonander was the lone Lady Panther to score in double digits, finishing with 12 points to go along with four rebounds. Aubrie Stenerson followed with nine points, Brea Terry added five and Karlie McKenzie finished with three. Wyoming Indian’s Alexandria Trosper led all scorers with 17 points.
The Lady Panthers are back in action Jan. 4 at home against Rocky Mountain; the team then hosts the Big Horn Basin Classic Jan. 11-12.
Coach McKenzie said the team will work on eliminating turnovers and finishing shots.
“We talked about setting goals a little bit,” he said of the team’s post-game discussion. “We talked about Aubrie [Stenerson] and Rachel [Bonander] — we need 25 points total between the two of them. And we talked to Katie [McKenzie], Karlie [McKenzie] and Ashtyn [Heny] — we need a dozen points out of them, and we don’t care how we get it.”
“I’m confident that we’ll be fine,” coach McKenzie added. “I’m confident that when we get back to work after the break, we’ll have a great January and February heading into regionals.”