The Prairie City Panther girls basketball team lost their round-one state playoff battle 46-25 to the Powder Valley Badgers Feb. 20.
The Panther girls made it to state competition after their third-place finish at the Feb. 15-17 1A-8 District Tournament in John Day.
Prairie City head coach Bo Workman said Powder Valley, ranked No. 3 among OSAA 1A teams, shot well and ran an aggressive defense.
He said the Badgers made a run in the first half, which left the Panthers trying to catch up.
“We made a little run in the fourth,” he said, adding, “They beat us from the outside and just couldn’t seem to miss.”
Workman said overall it was a good season.
“We accomplished a lot in our mental game, and the younger girls got a lot of post season experience,” he said.
The team graduates three seniors, Brianna Zweygardt, Cassie Hire and Megan Camarena.
This year, Bo Workman had his father, Mike Workman, as a volunteer assistant coach.
The elder Workman brings many years of coaching experience, including Prairie City in the ’80s, Mt. Vernon High School and then Grant Union High School, after Mt. Vernon became a junior high school. He also coached Jordan Valley for several years, after moving there.
“He’s been one of the best assistant coaches you could have sitting next to you on the bench,” Bo Workman said.
At the District 8 Tournament, held Feb. 15-17 at Grant Union in John Day, Prairie City beat the Harper Hornets 53-32 on day one, and the Panthers fell 47-46 in a hard-fought battle with the Jordan Valley Mustangs the following day.
Playing for third place, Prairie City beat the Adrian Antelopes 44-39 for their ticket to round one in the state playoffs.
The last time the Lady Panthers reached the state level was in 2014, then coached by Penny Black and Denis Fast, when the team placed sixth at the championship tournament in Baker City.
Workman said he plans to return as coach next year, adding he has two little girls he would like to coach one day.
“I’m hoping to be in it for the long run,” he said.