Warriors sneak past Panthers in overtime

ST. GEORGE – The Snow Canyon Warriors (3-4, 8-7) snap a four game losing streak behind 29 points from their senior leader, Brayden Linde, beating the Pine View Panthers (1-6, 8-8) 64-59 in overtime.

The Warriors used an 11-3 run to open the second half and take the lead over the Panthers who led by two at the break.

Warrior Coach James Brown said, “I told my kids at the half we need to start pressing and speed them game up.”

Speed up they did, turning the Panthers over on their first five possessions of the half. The Warriors caused 10 turnovers in the quarter and 22 turnovers for the game.

Panther sophomore Jack Banageter and freshmen Kody Wilstead kept the game close for the Panthers who trailed by six points with just 19 seconds left in the game; but poor free-throw shooting and bad decisions by the Warriors left the door open for the Panthers.

With less than six seconds to go, Warrior senior guard Ben Smith made two free-throws to put the Warriors up by three. The ball was inbounded to Banageter who used a Wilstead screen at half court to throw up an open three at the buzzer to tie.

The Panther faithful rushed the floor in celebration of the great shot not realizing that they still had overtime to play.

Going into the Overtime both teams had to go deep into their benches. The Warriors second leading scorer, Chandler Gines, was knocked out of the game in the beginning of the third quarter when he was fouled on a dunk attempt and caught a knee to the jaw on the way to the floor. Gines had eight points in less than three quarters of work.

Both teams’ centers, Wilstead of the Panthers and Ben Gottfredson of the Warriors, started overtime with four fouls, as did Panther guard Dallin Milne.

In overtime the Warriors had an early lead and never looked back winning the extra period 10-5.

The game showed three of the best performances of the year with Linde’s 29 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors. For the Panthers, Banageter’s career high 20 points including six three point baskets and Wilstead finished with 15 points and a career high 19 rebounds. Ben Gottfredson was the only other Warrior in double figures with 11 points.

The future looks bright for the Panthers who fall to 1-6 in Region play. The Panthers takes on Hurricane next Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m.

The Warriors keep their slim playoff hopes alive with the win. The Warriors host Canyon View on Friday at 7 p.m. with a chance to get back to .500 (4-4) in Region play.

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