ST. GEORGE — Jack Bangerter is a lot of things: Fast, fiesty, sure-handed, skilled, athletic. But one thing he is not is big.
So, after years of watching his older, larger brothers epitomize the nickname “Bang-Train,” it might be time for a new Bangerter moniker — perhaps Jack-be-nimble or Jack Rabbit? Maybe Bang Tango or Boom Bam Bang? Whatever it ends up being, Bangerter deserves it. Fighting through shoulder and rib injuries, the senior has emerged as a go-to guy for Pine View as evidenced by Saturday’s huge game that helped the Panthers blow out Maple Mountain 80-53 on the final day of the Red Rock Rumble at Dixie State’s Burns Arena.
“I don’t want to even get into all the injuries he’s had to battle through, but suffice it to say we practically have to put a cast on him just to get him out on the basketball court,” Panthers coach Darrell Larsen said. “He does a lot of things really well — shoots, defends, steals the ball, leads the team. But his biggest asset is his toughness. It’s really inspiring.”
Maybe “Bang Train” does apply after all.
Bangerter scored 22 points, including hitting three 3-pointers in an 84 second span that helped the Panthers turn a 9-8 lead into a 22-12 advantage late in the first quarter. The Golden Eagles hardly knew what hit them and never got closer than that the rest of the game. Chaz Peterson assisted on all three treys and hit one his own in the 13-4 run.
Pine View then started the second quarter on an 11-0 run that made it 33-12 and turned the game into a laugher. Bangerter had two steals, an assist and two fast break layups during that run and Pine View, which played four games in four days, looked energized in running Maple Mountain right out of the arena.
“It starts and ends with defense for us,” Larsen said. “When we get down and play D like we can and run the floor, we can be pretty good. We have a pretty deep bench and some good athletes, so I think this style of play is perfect for us.”
Larsen freely went 10 deep with his rotation and even the reserves (including Jack Bangerter’s little brother, Steve) extended the lead. By late in the third quarter, Pine View’s lead had grown to 32 at 67-35 and Larsen expanded his rotation to include all 15 players on the varsity roster.
Junior center Kody Wilstead had a dominant night as well. He had 15 points, 11 rebounds and blocked 6 shots.
“It’s nice to have a guy like Kody who can protect the rim when we’re pressing,” Larsen said. “Some of those blocks he had were impressive. He’s very patient.”
Twelve different Panthers scored as PV torched the nets for 57 percent in the game, making 30 of 53 shots. The Panthers also made 9 of 22 3-pointers. Bangerter had four and Carter Milne made all three of his trey attempts.
Pine View improves to 8-2 on the year. The Panthers won two out of three at the Red Rock Rumble against three 4A opponents. PV is off until a non-league home game Jan. 3 vs. Richfield. The Golden Eagles, 3-6, were led by Kade Poulsen’s 12 points.
Stats: PV 80, MM 53
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