The Powell High School girls’ junior varsity basketball team kicked off 2020 with a big comeback win over the Class 1A Meeteetse varsity. Following a close loss to Rocky Mountain’s JV, …
The Powell High School girls’ junior varsity basketball team kicked off 2020 with a big comeback win over the Class 1A Meeteetse varsity. Following a close loss to Rocky Mountain’s JV, the Powell girls rebounded by beating Cody 20-18 — avenging a lopsided loss from earlier in the season.
“Coming off of a tough one-point loss to Rocky this was a game that should give these girls a nice jolt of confidence for the rest of our season,” PHS JV coach Troy Hildebrand said of Friday’s win over Cody.
Cody had delivered a 45-15 pummeling to the Panthers just before the Christmas break, but the new year broke a much different result — a 20-18 win for PHS.
“All 10 of the girls that played for us really committed to the defensive end and forced Cody to take tough shots throughout the entire game,” Hildebrand said. “That was the big difference from the first matchup for us.”
The Panthers led just 2-0 after the first quarter. Cody took a 7-5 advantage to the half, then Powell led 11-10 after three quarters.
“Both teams played very good defense and neither team was able to shoot the ball very well,” Hildebrand said.
However, Abi Urbach gave the Panthers a spark in the fourth quarter, scoring all of her team-high seven points in the final frame. Paije Johnson had five points, Jayden Asher four and Rylynn Valdez and Maddie Campbell two each.
Powell started slowly, though back-to-back baskets from Asher helped get the team going on Jan. 3, Hildebrand said.
Still, Meeteetse built up a 30-18 lead midway through the third quarter before the PHS girls answered with a 10-2 run. That cut Meeteetse’s lead to 32-28.
“Hailee Hyde sparked us with a 3-point play in transition and Madi Fields, Maddie Campbell and Abi Urbach added baskets as well,” Hildebrand said. “That gave us a nice boost headed into the fourth quarter and we got some great opportunities from our press down the stretch.”
The PHS JV took the lead for good with about three minutes left. Fields hit a big 3-pointer plus another basket, while Rose Graft scored six points in the final frame.
“... the girls did a nice job of taking care of the ball and getting into the bonus,” Hildebrand said. Fields hit a pair of free throws to ice the win.
Graft and Fields had nine points each, Asher six, Johnson, Campbell and Hyde each had five points and Urbach chipped in two.
On Jan. 7 in Cowley, Rocky Mountain’s JV edged the Panthers on a last-second 3-pointer, turning a potential 39-37 loss for the Grizzlies into a 40-39 win.
“This was our best game so far offensively in terms of execution and hitting shots,” Hildebrand said, although a few defensive breakdowns led to easy baskets for Rocky.
PHS trailed by four points at the end of the first period, boosted by a buzzer-beater from Gabby Thomas. Rocky led 16-12 at the half. The Powell girls then posted a strong third quarter to take a four-point lead of their own, 28-24. They were led by Urbach — who hit three 3-pointers in the quarter as part of a career-best 13-point game — and Campbell, who had seven of her 13 points in the period.
In a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Hildebrand said his squad “did an excellent job of taking care of the ball and running the clock down,” but missed a late throw, which opened the door for Rocky’s heroics.
“We did a lot of things well down the stretch to get the game to that point but Rocky just made the last play in an exciting game,” the coach said.
Megan Jacobson added five points, Asher four and Sarah Dunkerley and Thomas two apiece.