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Sports from the week of December 3, 2003

Worthington tests girls in opener

The Panther girls basketball team lost it's opening game to state-ranked Worthington 68-60 at Tracy Tuesday night.

Worthington started the game like a house a-fire and the Panthers were playing like it was their first game of the season, which it was. The Trojans hit 6 three pointers in the first half and Worthington was up 41-21 with only a minute to play in the second period. As the second period came to an end Kasey Loeslie hit a three pointer and Tessa Nelson hit a pair of field goals to bring the score to 41-28 at the intermission.

"They got all the loose balls and most of the rebounds in that first half," said Co-Coach Ric Haberman. "In the second half we adjusted to a full court game that was very physical. However we just dug too deep a hole in the first half to come out of it."

"You have some very good athletes on that team," said Worthington Coach Eric Lindner. "We likely will not play a team all season with three players as athletic as they were."

Boyer likes cagers' potential

Panther basketball coach Nat Boyer has brought up Derek Radke, a tenth grader, to practice with his varsity squad.

"Derek has been very aggressive and has good potential," said Boyer. "We have been getting good leadership from our seniors Anders Davidson, Eric Peterson, Ross Ladehoff and Kyle Stibbe. Pat Spielmann has just joined us because he has had surgery on his hand and is doing very well."

Sean Kirk, the only returning underclass starter from last season, was cited by Boyer for being very consistent and a good rebounder. John Knott, also a junior, is said to be a good rebounder and efficient on defense. Donald Strand has been rebounding well and has done a good job of running the offense. Ted Nilius and Mark Buysse have been hampered by injuries but Adam Louwagie, Anthony Vroman and Jason Heern have been contributing by good spot playing.

The Panthers participated in a scrimmage last Saturday at Windom along with Jackson County Central and Adrian.

"We more than held our own against Windom and JCC but Adrian had a 6-7 post player who weighed in at about 240 pounds and he caused us some trouble," said Boyer. "We played well against some good teams with good teamwork and ball movement. The summer games have helped us and our conditioning is improving.

Boyer is pleased with the way the kids get along in the locker room and that they are working hard to improve their free throwing and learning to box out and rebound while playing at a height disadvantage.

Boys open at Bird Island

The Panther boys will open their 2003-4 basketball season against BOLD Tuesday night at Bird Island.

"BOLD lost a good number of seniors to graduation from last year's team which finished the season undefeated in the 212 Conference," said Panther Coach Nat Boyer. "However that sort of success usually carries over to the next team. We should be able to match up with them physically but BOLD is the only team on our schedule that we will not have an opportunity to scout."

Boyer thinks the 212 Conference will be strong this season with YME, MACCRAY, CMCS and BOLD the favorites.

"ACGC has, what many think is the best athlete in the conference and RCW and KMS have new coaching staffs," said Boyer.

Ryan Luft, a Tracy grad and former Panther baskeball player, has taken over at KMS after coaching under Barry Wohler in Marshall.

"I am sure he will have a good team."