Thursday, January 18, 2018

Panther senior Rylan Gauthier makes a layup against Bridger.Park City senior Talon Johnstone jumps to shoot over Bridger's tallest player, Kolton Pospilil.Panther Rylan Gauthier waits for a play to develop against the Bridger Scouts last Thursday.Park City's Garrett McMillen (right) heads down the court after inbounding the ball to Rylan Gauthier (left).RPR sophomore Daynon Pettyjohn goes for a layup in the Renegades’ win over the Roberts Rockets last Friday.
Renegade senior Trevor Herzog takes a shot against Roberts.Columbus senior Brandon Horton takes on the Huntley defense last Saturday.Cougar sophomore Ricky Preece at the line.Cougar freshman Ty Barta takes a shot against Huntley on Saturday.Renegade freshman Abby Knoll looks for a shot against the Roberts Rockets.
RPR sophomore Carlee Blodgett goes up for a shot last Thursday.Columbus sophomore Brenna Rouane plays tough defense against Huntley.Payton West, a Cougar freshman, takes a shot against Huntley last Saturday.Columbus junior Alexa Riveland takes the ball down the court against the Roundup Panthers on Thursday.Cougar Brenna Rouane slows down the pace after bringing the ball down the court against Roundup.Park City sophomore Sydney Kluth wrestles the ball from a couple Bridger Scouts.Panther sophomore Alexis Goldy (front) and senior Blakely Verke (back) set up on defense last Thursday.

PC and RPR boys still undefeated in District 6C play

Lady Renegades add two conference wins

BOYS
The Reed Point-Rapelje Renegades successfully opened the 2018 half of the basketball season, adding two wins to improve to a 5-0 conference record, making RPR one of only two undefeated teams in District 6C.
Friday, the Roberts Rockets came to Rapelje, and the Renegades performed well. RPR carried the momentum throughout the game, outscoring Roberts by 30 points in the first three quarters. The Renegades won the game with a 73-41 final.
Junior Tristan Gieser had a big night, putting up 26 points. Senior Trevor Herzog contributed 16, and sophomore Daynon Pettyjohn had eight.
Coach Jerry Thompson said he felt the team played well for it being the first game after the break. He liked the Renegades’ defensive intensity, but said the team needed to box out with more consistency and make more of the inside shots.
On Saturday, RPR traveled to Broadview to play the Broadview-Lavina Pirates. While this game was closer, the outcome was never in doubt. The Renegades methodically added 13 points each quarter for the 52-38 win.
Leading the Renegade offense was Herzog with 26 points. Senior Dylan Blodgett had eight points, and Gieser scored six.
Thompson said the team struggled with decision making and staying mentally focused on Saturday, leading to some poor decisions in shot selection. However, he felt the players played solid defense.
RPR will face Bridger in a tough away game next Friday. On Saturday, a Stillwater County matchup will take place in Rapelje when the Renegades face Absarokee.
Bridger is a tough team and Absarokee continues to improve, so Thompson said the Renegades “will have to be ready to play both nights this weekend if we expect to win.”

PARK CITY
The Panthers stretched their conference record to 6-0 last week to sit atop the 6C standings.
Last Thursday, Park City faced a Bridger team that was then undefeated in conference play. The game was physical, as expected, but the Panthers controlled the game.
Park City had all of the energy and momentum from tipoff – they jumped to a 14-4 lead by the end of the first quarter, and never looked back. An 18-point third quarter sealed the 53-39 victory.
Leading the Panther offense was senior Talon Johnstone with 19 points. Close behind was senior Rylan Gauthier with 17. Junior Connor McNeil contributed six.
On Friday, Park City had another strong performance against Harlowton. The Panthers scored 30 points in each half to cruise to a 60-43 win.
Gauthier led the team with 15 points, and Johnstone had 14. Juniors Tristen Johnstone, Austin Popp, and McNeil each scored eight points.
The Panthers are looking to add two more conference wins at home this weekend. On Friday, Park City will take on a very tough Plenty Coups team, and on Saturday, they will play Fromberg.

COLUMBUS
The Cougars had two tough matchups last week. First came an undefeated Roundup team.
Despite what may have appeared to be a mismatch – a 6–0 team facing a 0–6 team – Columbus held its own, going into halftime down only one point. The Cougars continued to keep up with Roundup until the final minutes of the game, but in the end the Panthers won 53-46.
Senior Kenneth Smith and sophomore Trey Stampfel led the Cougar offense with 12 points each. Sopohmore Ricky Preece scored eight.
Assistant Coach Cory Hansen said that overall, Columbus “played very well and hung in there with the top rated team in the conference.”
On Saturday, Columbus traveled for a rivalry game against the Huntley Project Red Devils. The Cougars came out flat and never really found a rhythm. The inexperience of the young Columbus team was apparent against an opponent with six seniors. Going into halftime, the Cougars were down 28–14.
Columbus gained some traction in the second half, with many of the younger players coming off the bench and bringing with them some new energy. The Cougars doubled their first half score during the final two quarters, but the 28-point second half was not enough to overcome the Huntley lead, and the Red Devils won with a 59-42 final.
Smith again led the team, this time with 11 points. Senior Brandon Horton scored nine, and Preece put up eight.
Hansen said the Cougars learned a lot from the Huntley game, and the team is looking forward to playing four full quarters of competitive basketball in upcoming games.
The Cougars will head to Red Lodge on Friday, looking for the first win of their season. On Saturday, the Cougars will face Shepherd at home.

ABSAROKEE
The Huskies began 2018 with mixed results.
On Tuesday, Jan. 2, Absarokee played Harlowton. The Husky offense started slow, and at halftime the Engineers were up 18-12. Absarokee fought back after the break, and going into the final quarter of play, the Harlow lead was cut to one point. In the final two minutes of the game, the Huskies twice had one point leads, but they could not hold on for the victory – Harlow won the game 37–36.
Senior Joaquin Pilcher led the Absarokee offense with 11 points. Roman Zugaza, a senior, scored seven. Senior Cole Brown and sophomore Ashton Campbell each contributed six points.
Pilcher had nine rebounds (five offensive and four defensive) to lead the team, followed by Campbell with five. Sophomore Zacc Degele, Zugaza, and Pilcher each had two steals.
Coach Gregg Feddes characterized the game as a “tough road loss,” but said he was proud of the team’s efforts.
The Huskies rebounded on Friday when they faced Fromberg. Absarokee scored at least 10 points in each quarter to march to a 52-31 victory.
Leading the team was Pilcher with 17 points, followed by Brown with six. Zugaza and junior Jake Branger each scored five.
The team had 43 total rebounds against Fromberg. Leading the group was Pilcher with 12, followed by senior Tyler Planichek, Zugaza, and Campbell with six rebounds each. Four Huskies – senior Jonas Williams, Degele, Campbell, and Branger – each had two steals.
Feddes felt the team “defended pretty well and even though we never got in a good rhythm offensively in the first half, we did a good job manufacturing points rather than becoming stagnant.”
On Saturday, Absarokee played in the team’s third game of the week against the Plenty Coups Warriors.
While the Husky offense again put up double digits in each quarter, a hot Plenty Coups team was able to put up a 46-point first half. The Warriors added to the lead in the second half for an 81–53 final score.
Zugaza had a good game, scoring 19 points, including nine of 11 attempted free throws. Pilcher had seven points. Four points each were scored by Planichek, Williams, Degele, sophomore Peyton Langley, and freshman Colton Young.
Absarokee had 45 rebounds, led by Pilcher with 11, Zugaza with eight, and Campbell with seven. Pilcher also racked up four steals, joined by Zugaza with two.
While the Huskies struggled with turnovers, Feddes said the team played this season’s best quarter of defense in the third quarter against Plenty Coups. He also said that while the final score may not have been what they had hoped, the Huskies played hard and did a great job of rebounding.
The Huskies are looking to add a couple more conference wins this week. On Friday, they will travel to Roberts to take on the Rockets. Saturday, Absarokee heads to Rapelje to take on the Renegades.
According to Feddes, each of the last three times Absarokee has faced Roberts the game has gone into overtime, so the Huskies know they “are in for a battle.” He described RPR as a “proven veteran team,” noting that Saturday’s game will also be a challenge.
“We are aware of our opponents, but our focus this week will be on correcting our mistakes and building on our positives like our defensive effort in the third quarter against Plenty Coups,” Feddes said.

GIRLS
The Reed Point-Rapelje Renegades began the new year on the right foot, racking up the team’s first two wins last weekend.
On Friday, the Renegades opened 2018 at home in Rapelje against the Roberts Rockets.
RPR started with a spark, outscoring Roberts 22-5 in the first quarter. After a slow second quarter, the Renegades again found their rhythm in the second half, cruising to 28 more points for a 55–24 victory.
Leading the team was sophomore Carlee Blodgett with 15 points. Senior Brittany Albers put up 13, and junior Jocelyn Ott had a nine-point outing.
The Renegades had 21 total rebounds, compared to the 12 rebounds pulled in by the Rockets. RPR struggled to make free throws, but the team had nine steals on the night.
Coach Tricia Hess felt her team “did well on both ends of the court,” especially since it had been 20 days since the Renegades had last faced an opponent.
On Saturday, RPR continued its winning ways against Broadview-Lavina.
The first half was close, with the Renegades going into the break up seven points. In the second half, though, RPR began to roll, outscoring the Pirates 25–11 to ensure the 48–27 win.
Albers led the squad with 18 points, followed by Blodgett with 12. Senior Nynah Bryant and junior Mercedes Hoff each contributed eight points.
Defensively, Hess said RPR tried different tactics until they found the one that worked. She noted that while Broadview-Lavina scored 11 in the first quarter, the Renegades held the Pirates to 16 points throughout the rest of the game.
“Offensively we moved the ball well, we were more patient in the second half and worked it for the best shot,” Hess explained.
This Friday, RPR will travel to face the Bridger Scouts, a team that is 3-1 in conference play. On Saturday, the Renegades are going to play the Absarokee Huskies in a cross-county rivalry game.

COLUMBUS
The Cougars also had a big week last week, racking up two important conference wins.
The first came last Thursday against the then undefeated Roundup Panthers.
The game began slow, and when the offense picked up in the second quarter, it was slightly in Roundup’s favor, creating a 16–12 Panther lead at half. Columbus came back in the third quarter to gain a one-point lead going into the final minutes. The Cougars were able to add to the lead for a 32–26 final.
Junior Morgan Kirch was the lead offensive player for the Cougars with 12 points, including six of seven attempted free throws. Senior Maddi Carman put up six, and sophomore Brenna Rouane and freshman Payton West each added four.
Rouane led the team with six rebounds, and junior Alexa Riveland contributed four steals to the team’s efforts.
“Roundup is a really good team, so I was happy to see our girls compete so hard against them,” said Coach Jeromey Burke. “I really felt like we did a good job of making sure Roundup had to earn their points, and that’s a testament to the girls’ effort.”
On Saturday, the Cougars faced the Huntley Project Red Devils in an away game. Columbus started the game strong, holding Huntley to five points in the first quarter. After a closer second quarter, the Cougars entered halftime with a three-point lead.
With about 3:30 left in the third quarter, Columbus began to press the Red Devils, and it changed the tide of the game. The Cougars went on an 11–0 run, and Huntley lost any momentum and energy they had. Columbus maintained the lead, winning decisively 40–28.
Burke credits assistant Paul Kragt for the idea to engage the press, and he feels switching up the defense really affected the Cougars’ energy in a positive way.
Kirch again led the team with 11 points. Riveland and senior Camryn Ault each contributed seven points. Rouane led the team once again with 10 rebounds.
Burke was proud of the way his team played, and he specifically mentioned the efforts of two seniors – Shelby Wolery and Maddi Carman.
He said that Wolery’s “effort and productivity seemed contagious and had a major effect on the game.”
As for Carman, Burke described how “she added stability to our half court game on both ends of the floor, and it helped our team consistency in both games.”
Burke is excited to see if his team can continue to build upon the success they have been having. The Cougars have two conference games on the schedule for this week. On Friday, Columbus travels to Red Lodge, and on Saturday, they will face Shepherd at home.

PARK CITY
The Panthers faced two very tough 6C squads last week.
On Thursday, they played the Bridger Scouts at home. The first three quarters of the game were close, with Park City making some good defensive plays, but the shots were not falling. Going into the fourth quarter, the Panthers were down six.
Park City initially played tough, cutting the Bridger lead to five. However, in the final five minutes of the game, the Scouts outscored the Panthers 15–1 to win the game 38–19.
Juniors Kasidy Robbins and Blakely Verke led the team with six points each. Alyx Grabowska, another junior, had four points for the night.
On Saturday, Park City faced the undefeated Harlowton Engineers. The Panthers held their own, going into halftime only down four points. The third quarter proved to be the team’s downfall, though, as Harlow outscored Park City 17–5. The Engineers maintained the lead through the fourth for the 39–22 victory.
Verke again led the Panther offense on Saturday, putting up eight points. Sophomore Hayley Story had five, and junior Andee Baker contributed four points.
Coach Michelle Gauthier felt that while the team struggled offensively both nights, the Panthers played much better defense against Harlowton. She says the team is going to work to cut down turnovers and focus on making shots.
This Friday, Park City will face the Plenty Coups Lady Warriors, a team with a 2–1 conference record. After scouting the team last week in Absarokee, Gauthier says the Panthers will have to improve their passing to beat the Plenty Coups press.
“Taking care of the ball on the offensive end and getting back on defense will be the key,” she explained.
There will be no varsity game on Saturday against Fromberg, as the Falcons only have a JV girls team this year.

ABSAROKEE
The Huskies struggled to find their momentum again after the break.
On Tuesday, Jan. 2, Absarokee traveled to Harlowton to play a re-scheduled game against the Engineers. The undefeated Harlow team added another victory as they beat the Huskies 27–19.
Then, on Friday, Absarokee took on the JV team from Laurel. The Huskies played well the first three quarters of the game, and entering the fourth they had a slight four-point lead. The Locomotives took off in the final minutes of the game, though, outscoring Absarokee 22–11 for the 43–36 win.
Junior Mallorey Sheppard led the team with 13 points, Makensi McCally, a junior, scored seven, and senior Emma LaMoure had five points.
The Huskies were again at it on Saturday when they faced Plenty Coups. The Lady Warriors came out strong and never slowed down. A 34–11 halftime lead turned into a 73–31 Plenty Coups victory.
Sheppard again led the Husky offense with 13 points. Freshman Lexi Feddes put up nine points, and sophomore Kaiya Holmquist had three.
Coach Jimmie Lester said the team had trouble finding good shots last week, but the players are looking to get things back on track this week.
On Friday, Absarokee will travel to play the Roberts Rockets, a team still looking for its first conference win. Saturday, the Huskies will play RPR in a cross-county matchup.