Park stomps Townsend

 

By Thomas E. Watson
Enterprise Staff Writer

 

Following a fast start in a big 81-51 win over the Townsend Bulldogs Friday in Livingston, a slow start doomed the Rangers in a 54-41 loss to the Dillon Beavers Saturday on the road.

“Friday night we came together as a team offensively, so that was great to see,” head coach Lane Glaus said. “We did a good job of setting each other up. We had the most assists we’ve had all year, which is great. That means we were playing team basketball on offense.”

Park’s offense had little trouble finding its footing Friday. The Rangers had an NBA-like 28 points in the first quarter alone.

“When we have teammates looking for each other, it makes it a lot easier to score if you are being set up,” Glaus said. “That and the fact that we were executing on offense when we did have a chance to set it up. We got a lot of points in transition by really pushing the ball — which I think is one of our strengths — but when we did get in the half-court, we executed on offense. Like I said, the assists helped with the scoring throughout the game.”

With a 12-point lead at the start of the second quarter and then a 21-point lead by halftime, the Rangers were able to get everyone involved. Four starters scored in double figures and Park got scoring contributions from eight players overall.

Ladan Ricketts had another big game for the Rangers with 24 points, but with a big lead, Ricketts was able to defer to his teammates for much of the second half. 

Jordan Lehrer scored 16 points in the Rangers’ win, and Sterling Lay finished with 15. Jakim Ricketts was the fourth Ranger to score in the double digits with 12 points. Rydell Floyd, Austin Parker, Trevor Patrick and Shea Bergsing all scored four points in the game.

“Austin, Trevor and Shea did a great job while they were in, so that was good to see,” said Glaus. “They’re going to see a lot of time at the varsity level in the future, so it was great experience for them. They do a great job on the boards, which is something we’ve been up and down with this season.”

There was little Townsend could do to slow down the Rangers. Park made 32 field goals in the game, compared to just 14 for the Bulldogs. Townsend did outscore Park 12-9 at the free-throw line; however, the Rangers were an efficient 9-of-10, while Townsend missed seven free throws in the game.

Already winning by 20-plus points, the Rangers didn’t have a letdown coming out of the break and added another 23 points in the third quarter. Even with emptying the bench in the fourth quarter, Park still outscored Townsend 12-10 to finish the game.

During Saturday’s loss in Dillon, it was a completely opposite story. Park’s offense couldn’t find a rhythm, and by the time the Rangers got rolling, it was the start of the second quarter and they had only five points.

“Dillon is one of the tougher team’s in Class A, and the difference there was we had too many turnovers and we allowed too many offensive rebounds,” said Glaus. “We definitely fought hard and gave them a good game. We made a couple of runs in the second half, but it seemed like every time we would start to get close, we would give up an offensive rebound for a score.”

The Beavers did a good job containing Park’s offense throughout the game, but their starts to the game and the second half were the difference. After allowing five points in the opening frame, Dillon allowed just four points in the third quarter.

“From a coach’s perspective, it went back to execution,” Glaus said of the slow starts. “We weren’t getting the ball into places we needed, and we turned it over quite a few times in the first and third quarters, so that made it tough. Dillon is a good team. That is one of the better teams in Class A. Going up against a team like that always makes it tough as well.”

Park made a run in the fourth quarter, but it was already too late. Ladan Ricketts finished with 15 points. Both Lay and Floyd added eight points, while Lehrer had four points. Dalton Walker scored three points for the Rangers.

After welcoming Butte Central for a game at home on Thursday, the Rangers will get back to their Central A Conference schedule on Friday when they travel to Belgrade to play the top team in the Central. At 5-2, Belgrade is in first place, while Park is tied with Browning for third place with a 3-3 conference record.

 

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Thomas Watson may be reached at twatson@livent.net.