Panthers still dominate
A fast start by the Panthers left the visiting Huskies scrambling to catch up in their Jan. 29 rivalry game. Behind able all-around play by junior MacKinzie Verke and senior Hailee Gregerson, the Panthers prevailed over Absarokee 59-44.
“We started with an enormous amount of effort and energy that ignited a dominant first-quarter 18-to-7 lead,” Park City head coach Jason Federico said. “When we get the lead, we keep it.”
The Panthers posted 17 assists and shot 7-of-15 from behind the arc – Verke was 3-for-5, and Gregerson and junior Shelby Kluth were 2-for-5.
“That’s an amazing thing for girls basketball,” Federico said.
On defense, the Panthers notched 12 steals, led by Verke’s five. On the other side, Absarokee pulled in 41 rebounds to Park City’s 38.
“Absarokee is the only team lately to press us, which early in the game resulted in out-of-transition layups,” Federico said. “We got tired and up by 19 in the third quarter – but basketball is a game of running.”
Senior Maisey Sheppard led the Huskies with 15 points, followed by junior Katrina Feddes with nine, senior Emma Chandler with eight and sophomore Rebecka Lester with seven.
“Park City is a good team,” Absarokee head coach Travis Frickel said. “We dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter that we could never get out of. But the girls didn’t give up, and if it wasn’t for giving up that run in the first quarter, it would have been a very tight game down the stretch.”
The Park City girls proved their mettle the next day in Bridger, more than doubling the Scouts in a rout, 74-35.
“When the Lady Panthers have four in double figures, it’s going to be really hard to compete,” Federico said.
Junior Shelby Branstetter led Park City with 16 points, followed by Verke with 14, Gregerson with 13 and junior Tehya Ray with 12.
“Shelby Branstetter scored exactly the same amount in both games against the Scouts, which indicates that she’s a tough matchup for them,” Federico said. “We accumulated 21 assists, shot the ball well, ran the floor and made the extra passes.”
Bridger racked up 25 turnovers to the Panthers’ six in the loss.
“They were missing Cara White,” Federico said about the Scout’s sophomore guard.
The Panthers are now 12-2. Next up are two games at home – the Red Lodge Rams on Friday, Feb. 5, and the Broadview-Lavina Pirates on Saturday, Feb. 6.
Park City 59, Absarokee 44
Absarokee 7 16 11 10 – 44
Park City 18 16 15 10 – 59
Absarokee: Maisey Sheppard 15, Erin Campbell 3, Emma Chandler 8, Mallorey Sheppard 2, Rebecka Lester 7, Katrina Feddes 9.
Park City: MacKinzie Verke 17, Shelby Kluth 7, Tehya Ray 8, Hailee Gregerson 12, Shelby Branstetter 7, Cara Grewell 8.
Park City 74, Bridger 35
Park City 17 27 22 8 – 74
Bridger 11 8 10 6 – 35
Park City: Bethany VanDoren 1, MacKinzie Verke 14, Shelby Kluth 5, Tehya Ray 12, Hailee Gregerson 13, Shelby Branstetter 16, Alyx Grabowska 2, Shelby McMillen 5, Cara Grewell 6.
Bridger: Kayla Cummings 6, Shalee Cummings 6, Rachel Gunn 2, Jessica Adkins 4, Colette Zentner 2, Katelin Aisenbrey 7, Saige Weimer 8.