Park rallies against Belgrade, falls to Butte Central

Neil Patrick Healy
The Park High Rangers boys basketball team went 1-1 over the weekend, beating the Belgrade Panthers Friday, 36-33, and falling to the Butte Central Maroons Saturday, 59-53. 
Park’s offense got off to a quick start, taking a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter that included an 11-4 run. After that, though, both offenses struggled to put up points, with Park holding on to a 20-12 lead going into halftime. 
Belgrade began to chip away at Park’s lead in the third quarter and went into the fourth down 27-25. The run continued in the early stages of the fourth quarter when Belgrade took a 29-27 lead, its first lead of the game, at the 6:30 mark. The Panthers were up as much as four before Park called a timeout, capping an impressive 14-0 run. 
The final 30 seconds were jammed packed, with Belgrade hitting a jumper to go up 33-32 before Park’s Rydell Floyd took the lead right back with a transition layup with 14 seconds left in the game. The Rangers defense held up in the final seconds, forcing the Panthers to take an outside shot and Floyd got the rebound and was fouled. He hit the two game-clinching free throws to ice the game. 
Park was led by its two seniors, with Jakim Ricketts scoring 16 (12 in the first half) and Floyd putting up all 12 of his points in the second half. Dawson Fowler was Belgrade’s lone double-digit scorer, putting up 15, 11 of which came in the second half. 
Park traveled to Butte to take on the Butte Central Maroons Saturday and lost by 6, ending the Rangers’ four-game winning streak. No stats were provided. 
The Rangers improved to 6-2 on the year and will look to keep it rolling Tuesday when they host the Big Timber Sheepherders.