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Scrappy Alberton Panthers keep battling

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | January 24, 2024 12:00 AM

When you are in the lobby of a skyscraper, the thought of climbing the stairs required to get to the penthouse may be daunting indeed. But to get there, no matter the level of “daunt”, you must put one foot forward and repeat that process.

Soon, “experts” would agree, you will be on your way up the staircase to the observation deck.

And what a view it is from up there.

Goofy analogy for a basketball team?

Probably, but the journey has begun for the Alberton Panthers basketball team and they aren’t showing signs of turning back.

So it goes for the team, which has one victory to its credit this season and ran into two-thirds of the Western 14C conference Penthouse teams this past weekend.

Thursday, the Panthers traveled to Pablo for a game against league co-leader Two Eagle River and were beaten 92-41.

Still, they kept going. Up the staircase one must climb to achieve their goal.

Saturday night, against Charlo, which is tied for the conference lead with Two Eagle and St. Regis, they were on the losing end of a 68-31 score.

Onward and upward. Along the way some future Panthers are showing positive signs they can handle the burden and proving they aren’t going to camp out in the stairwell when the Penthouse is their goal.

The long, lanky and athletic Eagles from Two Eagle River (TER) showed why they are tied atop the 14C when they unleashed their run and gun attack on the young Panthers, who have zero seniors. After the first eight minutes of play, TER ran up a 25-10 lead on their home floor.

But the Panthers did not sit down, instead they climbed on as best they could, staying with the Eagles, who outscored them by just two points, 13-11 in the second quarter. At the half, TER held a commanding 38-21 lead.

But onward and upward for Alberton.

The third quarter was brutal as TER soared to a 37-9 scoring advantage, giving them a 75-30 lead with one quarter to play.

No turning back, the view is going to be outstanding.

Two of the young Panthers, sophomore Shea Fredette and teammate Jaxson Zimmerman scored in double figures during the “climb”, with Fredette netting a team high 17 points and Zimmerman chipping in 13.

But TER had four players score in double digits,with Talon (great name for an Eagle?) Addison atop the list with 28 points. Thomas Addison chipped in 18 points, Jabez Madplume had 15 and Wyatt Thomas added 13 points for the Eagles.

Saturday night in Charlo, the Panthers once again fell behind early and never led versus the Vikings.

After the first quarter Charlo was up 18-4, then led 35-13 at halftime.

The Vikings poured it on in the third quarter, using their superior height and experience to outscore Alberton 24-7 and take a 59-20 lead into the game’s final quarter.

Fredette had another good game, leading the Panthers with 16 points.

Still, the Panthers will keep working their way up the stairs.

Next up is a home game this Friday (Jan 26) against Western 7B Plains. The Panthers go to the far end of the 14C boundaries Saturday night when they journey to Noxon to take on the Red Devils.