Panthers hold strong against Worland

win sixth in a row

Posted 2/16/21

Leading 45-30 at halftime of Saturday’s contest against Worland, the Powell High School boys’ basketball team was in a good position to upset the No. 1 ranked Warriors. 

But in …

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Panthers hold strong against Worland

win sixth in a row

Posted

Leading 45-30 at halftime of Saturday’s contest against Worland, the Powell High School boys’ basketball team was in a good position to upset the No. 1 ranked Warriors. 

But in the third quarter, things began to fall apart. The Warriors outscored PHS 17-6 in the third period, cutting the gap to four going into the fourth at the Panther Gym.

“We got a little sloppy with the ball and forced some shots in the third quarter,” said PHS head coach Mike Heny, “so we needed to just settle down and execute a little better on both ends of the floor.”

The Panthers didn’t panic after the WHS run. They followed it with stellar defensive play, holding Worland to just six points in the fourth quarter to seal a 64-53 win, their sixth in a row. 

“Good teams like Worland always make runs, so you just have to stay together and eventually we were able to get things going offensively again,” Heny said. “The kids then put the game away on the defensive end.”

In addition to strong defense in the fourth period, the early cushion allowed PHS to pull off the upset. Aggressive Panther rebounding held Worland to just one shot on nearly every Warrior possession in the first half, and senior Adrian Geller did well keeping their post players off the block. These plays, along with Powell’s up-tempo offense, created that 15-point halftime lead.

Once again, senior Mason Marchant led the Panthers in scoring, with 19 points. Landon Lengfelder and Geller also finished in double figures, with 15 and 10 points, respectively. 

Though the Worland matchup was the highlight of the weekend, PHS also cruised to a 72-54 road win over Thermopolis on Friday. Heny said his team’s focus even with the Worland game looming was impressive.

“It’s often tough for kids to stay focused the night before a big conference game but I thought the kids did a pretty good job of just focusing on Thermopolis, and not looking ahead to the Worland game,” Heny said. “It was good for us to go down there and get a win on the road.”

This time, Lengfelder led PHS in scoring, notching 24 points. Mason Marchant scored 22 (adding 10 rebounds), and Jaden Marchant finished with 10.

After the 2-0 weekend, Powell is 12-2 overall with just four regular-season games remaining. Though the squad has shown its potential in the past few weeks, Heny said he still thinks the team’s best basketball has yet to be played.

“We need to continue to tighten our defensive rotations and execute our half-court offense,” Heny said. “We also want to make sure we continue to work to improve our rebounding since we are often undersized at a couple of positions around the basket.

“We just keep emphasizing the little things during practice and are trying to get a little better each day,” the coach said. “The kids have been working hard to improve in all aspects of the game and it is fun to watch them mature as a team.”

Powell will look to continue its winning ways on the road this weekend, with games at Lyman and Mountain View. The weekend starts on Friday at 7 p.m. against the Eagles. 

    

Powell 72, Thermopolis 54

Points — Landon Lengfelder 24, Mason Marchant 22, Jaden Marchant 10, Zach Ratcliff 9, Adrian Geller 4, Brock Johnson 2, Gunnar Erickson 1; Rebounds — M. Marchant 10, J. Marchant 5, Lengfelder 5, Ratcliff 4, Geller 4, Johnson 3, Erickson 2, Toran Graham 1

    

Powell 64, Worland 53

Points — M. Marchant 19, Lengfelder 15, Geller 10, J. Marchant 7, Johnson 6, Landon Sessions 4, Ratcliff 3; Rebounding — J. Marchant 11, M. Marchant 11, Geller 7, Lengfelder 4, Ratcliff 4, Johnson 3; Assists — J. Marchant 9, M. Marchant 6

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