The Saratoga Sun -

Panthers/Tigers claw way to overtime

Tigers take Longhorns, Panthers win at Hanna, Panthers pull out extra period victory versus Tigers


Mike Armstrong

Saratoga's Gage Bartlett goes for a layup in Saturday's game against HEM.

The rise and fall of cheers and silence accompanied the Saratoga Panthers and the Encampment Tigers boys basketball game Friday night in the Panther Den. While the Tigers had dispatched the Rock River Longhorns easily enough the night before, they found their Valley rivals wouldn't go down without a fight.

The Saratoga Panthers and Encampment Tigers game went into overtime with the Panthers enjoying the narrowest of victories.

Encampment boys had moved quickly early in their match against Rock River, giving them a comfortable lead for the rest of the match. The Tigers held onto a more than 20 point lead for the majority of the game. The Tigers' takedown of the Longhorns on Thursday night ended with a score of 81-47.

Encampment traveled to Saratoga the following night and, after the half, looked like they were going to have a double-win weekend. Trailing two points at the half, the Tigers scored several points in the first few seconds of the third quarter. By the start of the fourth quarter, the Tigers were ahead of the Panthers by 10 points. In the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, however, the Panthers closed the lead.

With three seconds left, and the Tigers ahead by two, Gage Bartlett tied the score 68-68. Overtime saw the Panthers and the Tigers stay within two points of each other. Every basket made by Saratoga or Encampment was accompanied by deafening cheers from their respective fans.

Finally, with 20 seconds remaining and the score tied at 80, the Panthers gained two more points. With the Tigers unable to recover in the last few seconds, the final score was ended in the Panthers favor, 82-80.

"They [Saratoga boys] did phenomenal. First game out of the break, kind of had some tired legs, and they fought back. It was all them," Head Coach Jason Williams said.

Mike Armstrong

Panther Sam Schneider prepares to pass on Saturday in their win against the HEM Miners.

Williams also had high praise for the Encampment Tigers and their Head Coach, Jake Johnston.

"They [Encampment boys] played a whale of a game and they're well coached. They played their hearts out, too. We were fortunate to come out of there with a win," said Williams.

After their overtime victory on Friday, the Saratoga Panthers traveled to Hanna on Saturday to face off against the HEM Miners. Dominating the Miners' home court, the Saratoga Panthers ended the game with 29-point lead. The final score was 62-33.

The Saratoga Panthers face off against the Farson-Eden Pronghorns at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12 and the Cokeville Panthers at noon Saturday, Jan. 13.

The Encampment Tigers will face the Cokeville Panthers at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12 at and the Farson-Eden Pronghorns for their homecoming game at noon Saturday, Jan. 13.


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