Panthers break even at Red Lodge tournament
Park City played two games in two days in Red Lodge last weekend. One against Red Lodge and one against Joliet.
Against Red Lodge The Panthers held the Rams to zero points in the first quarter of the first game. They swarmed every player letting only one Ram reach double digits in scoring. Trip Hartman from Red Lodge had a decent game in the lost with 12 points.
By the second half the score was 19-6, with the Panthers ahead. The game was a low scoring affair that took time and patience for players to get an offensive flow.
The second half was a completely different story. Panthers Rylan Gauthier and Talon Johnstone each had 13 points for the game. Eventually leading their team to a victory.
“I felt the kids had a good weekend shooting the basketball from inside the ark, but struggled from the three point line,” said head coach Roger Heimbigner. “Our Achilles heel has been from the free throw line.”
Their next game would be against a tougher, faster, better shooting Joliet team.
The second game of the tournament was against the J-Hawks, a different animal of a team to say the least. PC had the offense, just couldn’t come up on the defensive end. Panther Rylan Gauthier went ice cold and only ended up with nine points on 3-13 shooting. Talon Johnstone and Lane Lowell kept their team in the game with 17 and 14 points respectively, but it wasn’t enough.
Joliet’s Taylor Rowlison went off for 20 and Rylan Olson had 17. Ty Olson had an off game, but his team still came through with the win.
“Joliet has a nice group of kids that battle for every possession and they have some talented kids who can score,” said Heimbigner. “The game was tied at the end of the third quarter and it was a hard fought game to the end.”
The game came down to the Greg Popovich theory of making the opposing team win the game at the foul line. Joliet had to make pressured free throws down the the stretch to win the game as the Panthers had to foul them after each score.
The box-score doesn’t reflect how close the game really was. Panthers head coach even explaining in the loss that it was their best effort of the year so far and they will only get better from here.
“These games against Class B teams are great competition and they help to prepare us for the conference schedule that is ahead, said Heimbigner. “We are getting better each game and I am looking forward to the next three games before Christmas.”