The Powell High School girls basketball team knew it would face a stiff challenge when the squad took on University of Wyoming signee Paige Powell and the Cody Fillies Friday night.
The good news is that the Lady Panthers held Paige Powell to 15 points, thanks in part to a defensive double team. Unfortunately, that freed up the Fillies’ guards, who dominated in a 51-26 win over the Lady Panthers at Sweitzer Gymnasium in Cody.
“They played a complete game, for sure,” Powell coach Scott McKenzie said of Cody’s Fillies. “We did some things where we were really worried about Paige, [but] some other girls made shots and 3s.”
While the Fillies were hitting their shots, Powell struggled from the field, shooting just 22 percent (8-for-37) on the evening.
“We were ice cold — we were 1-for-17 from 3-point land and then we were 7-for-20 from 2-point land,” McKenzie said. “There was either cellophane or a sheet of ice on that rim for us. Our guards couldn’t get going from the perimeter.”
Despite the Lady Panthers’ struggles to get the ball in the hoop, they trailed by just three points (20-17) after Aubrie Stenerson’s 3-point play with 4:24 left in the first half.
However, the wheels came off after that, as Cody closed the half on an 11-0 run to lead 31-17 at the intermission. The Fillies held at least a 14-point lead the rest of the way.
“We were only getting one shot in that second quarter; we weren’t getting any offensive boards, so we were getting only one shot and they were cleaning those up,” coach McKenzie said. “I thought we lost a little bit of focus defensively and we let those guards get loose for a couple straight trips down.”
Rachel Bonander led the Lady Panthers with 11 points, while Stenerson and Karlie McKenzie each had five. As a team, Powell had 23 rebounds, led by four each from Bonander and Stenerson, while also committing just 11 turnovers.
“That was Rachel [Bonander]’s best game so far,” coach McKenzie said. “I thought overall as a team that, even though the score doesn’t show it, I thought it was our best game. I thought we played faster. I thought we played with more intensity. I thought we were going through our offense at a much higher pace — which were all goals that we had for this week ... to get the tempo going. ... I thought Karlie [McKenzie] had a good game for us; she was on the floor and she played her heart out for us.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Lady Panthers, who close out the 2018 portion of their schedule against Wyoming Indian, the top-ranked team in Class 2A. Wyoming Indian is 7-0 after defeating Wright 46-28 on Saturday.
“They’re mowing through people,” McKenzie said of Wyoming Indian. “They’re going to press us; they’re going to get out and run. They don’t hold onto the ball very long. It’ll be a style that we haven’t seen, which will be good for us. We’re looking forward to hosting them.”
Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Panther Gym.