BIG HORN — One day after a two-point road defeat to Wright, the Big Horn High School girls basketball team lost 47-30 at home to Rocky Mountain Saturday in a nonconference game.
Big Horn is now 9-5 overall and has dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.
The fourth-ranked Lady Rams struggled offensively throughout the contest and were held below 10 points in three of four quarters. Big Horn moved the ball well for the most part but couldn’t finalize on good looks near the hoop.
Big Horn head coach Kip Butler said the team was drained after the disheartening loss to Wright, when the Lady Rams let a late lead slip away.
“We were just a little bit emotionally and mentally fatigued,” Butler said. “…As much as you tell them, ‘You’re going to have to be mentally tough,’ we started to doubt ourselves.”
The team’s confidence was slightly shaken heading into Saturday. After missing most of their shots early, the Lady Rams never transitioned into a comfortable rhythm. Rocky Mountain, meanwhile, converted plenty of outside chances, particularly in the second half.
Big Horn only trailed by six at halftime but could never shrink its deficit to fewer than five points in the final two stanzas.
The Lady Rams could not buy a basket for long stretches of the game, partly due to Rocky Mountain’s interior length. The Lady Grizzlies went on an 8-0 run in the first half over the course of about five-and-a-half minutes to gain a 15-5 advantage.
A similar, more damaging run occurred against the Lady Rams in the end of the third quarter and start of fourth quarter. In a little over six minutes, Rocky Mountain turned a 26-21 lead into an 18-point margin, thanks largely to three 3-pointers.
“That’s kind of what it boiled down to,” Butler said. “They made shots and we couldn’t.”
With two players out because of injury, Big Horn also had to deal with a shortened rotation and change in roles. That also made the Lady Rams’ full-court press that much more difficult to execute at full speed.
“It takes a toll on the body,” Butler said. “Their minds want to do it, but sometimes, against good competition, it’s that one extra half-step. That can mean the difference between a layup or a turnover.”
Butler said the players know it’s not the end of the world, but two straight losses sting nonetheless. He is encouraged by the team’s maturity and perspective, though.
“It’s not going to get any easier moving forward,” Butler said. “We’ve just got to clean up some things and believe in ourselves.”
The Lady Rams host Tongue River Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Rocky Mountain…13 8 12 14 — 47
Big Horn………….…5 10 6 9 — 30
Rocky Mountain — Townsend 12, J. Steed 10, Davison 9, T. Steed 8, Crosby 4, Christensen 4
Big Horn — Hutton 8, Trabert 7, Frank 7, Schmidt 5, Wallach 3, Gee 2