DAYTON — For part of the first half, the Big Horn High School girls basketball team entered the zone, that elusive area when effort combines with execution and everything goes right.
Over the course of 10 minutes against Tongue River, the Lady Rams reeled off 25 consecutive points, turning a one-point deficit into a 31-7 lead. Big Horn applied excellent defensive pressure and made quick passes that led to easy shot attempts.
The first-half avalanche propelled the Lady Rams to a 64-26 road victory Saturday afternoon. No. 5 Big Horn moved to 7-3 overall, while Tongue River fell to 2-9. Big Horn head coach Kip Butler said the great defense was largely due to determination and trust in one another.
“They’re such tough competitors that they don’t let each other settle,” Butler said. “They just don’t. I haven’t seen it yet, where they settle for mediocrity. That’s just not in their DNA.”
Big Horn’s Jenny Trabert scored a game-high 18 points. She said playing a full-court press leads to fastbreak opportunities and propels the team toward having everything clicking on all cylinders.
“The defense just really activates us,” Trabert said.
Butler said the team’s athleticism allowed the Lady Rams to effectively play full-court defense. Trabert mentioned the importance of communication, which led to the Lady Rams repeatedly jumping Tongue River passing lanes.
Big Horn didn’t need to get into its halfcourt offense very often because the defense led to so many baskets. The Lady Rams recorded 27 steals and accumulated 43 points off turnovers.
Tongue River head coach Ryan Alley said the Lady Eagles played better in the second half against the veteran, athletic Big Horn team. Carleigh Reish and Linsey Tritschler both scored five points to pace the Lady Eagles.
Tongue River ran its offense well at times but needs to get better at taking care of the ball when faced with defensive pressure. Alley said the team has several “little victories” in every game and needs to string more of those together.
“At times, we can do great things,” Alley said. “We just have to stay engaged for longer periods of time.”
The win marked the fourth straight for the Lady Rams, who are moving in the right direction heading into conference play, led by their quality defense.
“If we play like how we did tonight, we can do some damage,” Trabert said.
Tongue River hosts Greybull Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Big Horn hosts Moorcroft Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Big Horn….18 13 20 13 — 64
Tongue River…7 2 10 7 — 26
Big Horn — Trabert 18, Wallach 13, Hutton 12, Cook 6, Frank 5, Lamb 4, Butler 2, Schmidt 2, Biegel 2
Tongue River — Reish 5, Tritschler 5, Hutchinson 4, Bocek 4, Carbert 4, Sopko 2, Rosics 2