Panthers trying to turn season around

By: 
GARRETT HARR
Outlook staff writer
Photo courtesy of Jill Grim.  Talon Johnstone bashes his way to the basket for a left handed layup as teammate Devon Dennis looks on. The Panthers attempted an epic comeback against the Renegades, but fell short in the end 39-49.

The Panthers got within four points in the final period of last Friday’s loss against Reed Point-Rapelje, but just didn’t have enough time to warrant a serious comeback in the 49-39 defeat.
They lost the game at the free throw line and on missed shot opportunities.
“They packed their defense into the middle of the key in the second and third quarters,” said Panther head coach Roger Heimbigner. “We were unable to make some key outside shots in those quarters and that was the difference of the game.”
Park City played a good game, but couldn’t get quality shots, or make it to the key. The Renegades made 23 free-throws compared to the Panthers seven. Almost half of RPR’s point were earned at the charity-stripe.
Down the stretch when Park City had no choice, but to foul, their opponents made almost every free-throw and so went the game.
Another loss for a highly talented team that has underperformed all season long.

Reed Point-Rapelje def. Park City 49-39
RPR 8 12 11 18 — 49 
Park City 12 3 5 19 — 39 
Reed Point-Rapelje: Cade Bare 6, John Schladweiler 6, Tristan Geiser 10, Trevor Herzog 25, Dylan Blodgett 2.
Park City: Rylan Gauthier 7, Devon Dennis 14, Connor McNeil 2, Tucker Zuhoski 4, Talon Johnstone 7, Lane Lowell 5.

The next night Park City was angry and energized from coming all the way back in their previous game, just to lose. They came out differently against Roberts, firing from all sides in their offensive surge.
Their defense created all kinds of transition layups and open-looks for the offense in the 63-34 route.
Rylan Gauthier had 22 for the game and Connor McNeil and Talon Johstone had 12 and eight. The Panthers only allowed two Rockets to reach double digits. Roberts’ Shawn Perkins had 18 and Jess Mysee had 12. Together Perkins and Mysee made up 30 of their teams’ 34 total points.
Park City coach Roger Heimbigner had his boys playing outstanding defense the entire game. They only allowed Roberts 19 total points through three quarters. Pressuring their opponents into easy turnovers and quick baskets in transition led to the blowout.
The boys now sit with a 5-7 record through the season, but the team had very high expectations before the season and thus far have been disappointed.
Six of their seven losses have been close enough that the game could have gone either way. Harlowton and Bridger sit number one and two in their conference. The Panthers have played Harlowton twice and Bridger once already this season and lost those three games by a combined nine-points.
“There is nobody in the conference that we fear,” said Heimbigner with the upmost confidence in his boys.
“We are looking forward competing each weekend the rest of the season,” he said. “I am anticipating a great tourney in the weeks to come.”
Heimbigner keeps stressing to his team that the best basketball comes at the end of the season, not at the beginning and he and his boys feel their best basketball is ahead of them, not behind them.
Their first test will be the two-seeded Bridger tomorrow, at Park City, 7:30 p.m.

Park City def. Roberts 63-34
Park City 15 14 21 13 — 63 
Roberts 5 10 4 15 — 34 
Park City: Rylan Gauthier 22, Connor McNeil 12, Talon Johnstone 8, Lane Howell 7, Devon Dennis 6, Jordan Neeves 2, Brandon Flemmer 2, Peyton Moe 2.
Roberts: Shawn Perkins 18, Preston Ehrlich 2, Jess Mysee 12, Max Romero 2.

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