Park City boys earn #1 seed

Park City finished their regular season at 16–2 overall and 14-1 in the conference after defeating Reed Point/Rapelje 62–32 and Fromberg 71–39 last weekend.

After dropping their season opener to Class B Joliet, the Panthers won 11 straight games before falling to conference foe Bridger on the road. Then they ending the regular season on a five game win streak, finishing in first place in the conference and nabbing the number one seed at the District 6C tournament in Red Lodge this week.

Coach Ben Southworth is pleased with the team’s regular season performance, but has his eye on the postseason.

“We are fortunate to be where we’re at. We’re happy with the season but are not content. We refocused after the Bridger game and have been working hard. It’s been like climbing a ladder with each rung representing improvement,” he said.

The Panthers’ two seniors, Rylan Gauthier and Talon Johnstone, are looking to take their high-powered offense on a run in the tournaments this year and erase the memory of their 5th place finish at Districts last year. The Senior duo have both had multiple 20 point games this season, including Johnstone’s 20 points against Fromberg and Gauthier’s 26-point performance against RPR.

Gauthier said throughout the season the Panthers offense would give them a

boost, then the defense would hold off the opponents.

“All season we would get out to a good lead then the defense would step up,” he said, and Johnstone added, “A key to our offense is taking high percentage shots.”

Of their lone conference loss to Bridger, Johnstone said “we weren’t playing our game; we tried to play theirs. It gave us motivation for the rest of the regular season and into the post-season.”

Gauthier said they aren’t looking past the District tournament. “We are taking it one game at a time and trying to do all the little things well.”

Southworth said their defense is a team strength and something they are constantly improving on. “It kept us in many games when our shooting hasn’t been the best. We are still looking to battle and we know it is not going to be easy for us. The regular season and tournaments are completely different. We are looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”

After Roberts defeated Fromberg on Monday 67–54 on the Rockets’ home floor in Monday’s play-in game the Panthers faced them in the Distric 6C tournament opener yesterday. They defeated Roberts and now play either RPR or Harlowton/Rygate this evening at 6 p.m.

Bridger is 2nd in the conference (14–4, 13–2) followed by Plenty Coups (13–4, 11–3) and Reed Point/Rapelje (12–6, 10–5). Those teams, along with the Panthers, are the four favorites to advance out of Red Lodge to Divisionals in Laurel Feb. 22–24.

Park City 71, Fromberg 39

Park City 25 20 16 10— 71 Fromberg 8 14 11 6 — 39 Park City:   Talon Johnstone 20, R. Gauthier 19, C. McNeil 11, S. Popp 7, A. Popp 6, Tr. Johnstone 6, G. McMillen 2.

Fromberg:   David Guenthner 9, Donny Robertson 14, Jeff Richardson 5, Tyler Wilm 9, Bryant Webb 2.

Park City 62, Reed Point-Rapelje 32

RP-R 6 9 12 5 — 32 Park City 14 17 17 14— 62 Reed Point-Rapelje:   Gieser 8, Herzog 17, Severin 7.

Park City:  Ryan Gauthier 26, McNeil 14, Ta. Johnstone 9, McMillen 5, Popp 6, Tr. Johnstone 2.

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