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Tongue River 40, Rocky Mountain 33
DAYTON — Even with a couple key players out with injuries, the Tongue River Lady Eagles were able to push their winstreak to 32 games, topping Rocky Mountain High School Friday in Dayton.
Both senior leaders on the team, who are all-conference players, were unable to play, which head coach Diane Moser said could be a good thing because it will give the younger team members confidence in their abilities.
“We will be deeper, we’ll be stronger than I thought. If you want to look at a positive out of a couple injuries, this could be a positive thing for us,” Moser said. “I’m liking what I’m seeing out of the girls right now that are playing a lot of minutes because they’re showing me that we can do it without a couple key players on our team. I’m happy with the progress to this point.”
Moser said the game was a good win because Rocky Mountain has a good program and one particularly strong player who kept her team on their toes all night, especially when she sank a couple 3-pointers late in the game.
“Our kids worked hard defensively,” Moser said. “Defense is still way ahead. Our zone defense I think did a nice job matching up with their shooters.”
Julie Trischler was the top scorer with 17 points, and Cheyloh Blumel added eight points.
As injured players return after Christmas, the team will begin working on its pressure defense.
“We still haven’t pressed yet this year. Our pressure defense will be a factor,” Moser said.
The Lady Eagles will play in Lovell at 2:30 p.m. today.
Rocky Mountain 71, Tongue River 63
DAYTON — In spite of a tough loss against Rocky Mountain Friday night, the Tongue River Eagles (1-4) had two players, in particular, who came out strong.
“I had two standouts both with their best efforts under my coaching reign,” head coach Robert Griffin said. “Wyatt Main had a tremendous game on both sides of the ball. He absolutely looked down his guy. And Matt Yellowtail had a huge stretch in the fourth quarter.”
The Eagles fell 71-63. Yellowtail scored 26 points and Main scored 14.
They will play at Lovell at 4 p.m. today.
Big Horn 26, Glenrock 71
SHERIDAN — Head coach Ryan Alley said facing a tough 3A school in the Rams’ 71-26 loss against Glenrock at the Coal Miner’s Classic in Wright Friday was good preparation for the caliber of teams they will face throughout the season.
“As a coach, I didn’t have them prepared to play and compete at the level they needed to be at,” Alley said. “It’s one of those losses that’s on me as a coach. The kids played hard, but I didn’t have them quite ready. I didn’t prepare them for the intensity of the defense.”
Alley said he hopes the team will learn from the tough loss and make needed adjustments in practice to play better offensively against a strong defense like Glenrock’s.
“It’s good to deal with that kind of intensity. Hopefully we can get to that point, as well,” Alley said.
After the tough loss to Glenrock early in the day Friday, winning against Thermopolis 64-59 was a good way to recover, Alley said.
“I was proud of the kids in the second game against Thermop,” Alley said. “We came out early and played well, especially in the second quarter. The kids really stepped up.”
The Rams moved to a 16-7 lead in the first half, which gave them a nice cushion, Alley said. That cushion came in handy the second half when defense began to lag. But, Alley said, the team fought hard and was able to close the game out well.
Free throws were at 21 of 29, which is a good indicator of how the team can handle itself well when the game is on the line.
Seth Kite had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Colter Carzoli shot for 19 points and nine rebounds. Connor McCafferty went out with an ankle injury in the second half that will have to be checked on this morning before playing, Alley said.
The Rams will face Greybull at 9:30 a.m. today in Wright.
Big Horn 47, Kaycee 42
SHERIDAN — The Big Horn Lady Rams (2-3) fought for a close win over Kaycee at the Herder Classic at Glenrock Friday, 47-42.
“The thing I’m happiest with is our kids came out and played hard,” head coach Mike Daley said. “When you’re a young team and you struggle like we did last weekend, the most improvement is when kids are playing hard. If we can keep doing that, we can continue to improve in leaps and bounds is what I’m hoping for.”
Daley said the week of practice leading up to Friday’s games was hit and miss as the girls had a couple nights of not coming out onto the floor very ready.
However, Daley said he thinks the pep talks all week about giving it their all every day, in practice and in games, helped the team fight for their win Friday.
“If you want to get better week in and week out, it starts in practice. I think the kids are starting to catch on and gain more confidence in what they’re doing,” Daley said.
Sophomore shooting guard Bailey Bard had 14 points, and senior inside forward Hannah Puckett scored 12.
Today, the Lady Rams face Southeast at 8:30 a.m. and Lusk at 1 p.m.
Daley said Southeast will likely be one of the tougher teams coming out of the south at regionals, but they have some injuries right now so won’t be as tough now as later.
Both teams also have players out taking ACT tests, so it should be interesting, he said.
The Lady Rams lost to Lusk by 15 points last week. Daley wasn’t too excited about facing Lusk twice in one week but said those back-to-backs can be good learning opportunities. They help the team have a mark to look at and build off the positives and see where they improved.