BIG HORN — Midway through the fourth quarter, Alisyn Hutton blocked two 3-point attempts in the span of about 10 seconds. Hutton’s swats exemplified the defensive effort show by the Big Horn High School girls basketball team in its 58-47 win Friday evening against No. 3 Wright.
In their final home game of the season, the fifth-ranked Lady Rams improved to 5-1 in quadrant play and won a coin toss with Wright after the game to claim the top seed in regionals next week.
After struggling to score in the first quarter, Big Horn played a fast-paced, aggressive game to bring home the win.
The Lady Rams scored 42 points combined in the second and third quarters thanks to their full-court defense that led to easy offense. Big Horn also used its fastbreak offense at every opportunity, often getting good looks at the rim after missed shots by the Lady Panthers.
Big Horn senior Sydney Schmidt said the team enjoys playing that run and gun style.
“The most fun we have is our full-court trap,” Schmidt said.
Big Horn head coach Kip Butler said the team’s belief in one another was key to getting the victory.
“That’s what it came down to,” Butler said. “…The belief … that the habits of good players were going to come out in the end (and) just staying poised and patient and not panicking.”
Butler said the team’s conditioning tired its opponent in the third and fourth quarters when the Lady Rams went on a 16-0 run to turn a two-point lead into a 50-32 advantage.
“Being able to play defense at a high level and push the ball in transition for pretty much the entire game I think just wore [Wright] out in the end,” Butler said.
The Lady Panthers roared back in the fourth quarter, though, cutting the lead to three points with two minutes left.
Schmidt said the comeback caused a bit of deja vu to the first matchup, but the Lady Rams displayed composure to steady the ship and pick up the victory.
After losing to the Lady Panthers last month, the game meant a little extra to Big Horn in its final home game of the season.
“We were kind of out for blood ever since we [lost] to Wright,” Big Horn’s Jenny Trabert said. “…It was a pretty good way to end the regular season.”
The Lady Rams only scored one field goal in the first quarter and couldn’t use their full-court press very much. That changed the rest of the way, with defense leading to offense.
The team’s balanced offense also worked very well. Courtney Wallach led Big Horn with 12 points but six players tallied at least seven points.
“We had players all over the court who were helping out,” Schmidt said.
With 23 seconds left and the result secured, Butler called a timeout and told the team’s seniors how proud he was of them. The five seniors — Schmidt, Trabert, Hutton, Reata Cook and Shyan Davidson — started the game and ended the contest together.
“I think that’s important, because they’ll remember that,” Butler said.
Big Horn travels to No. 4 Greybull Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Wright…….9 14 9 15 — 47
Big Horn…4 23 19 12 — 58
Wright — Apodaca 14, Seamands 13, Fuller 9, Meza 7, Preston 2, Nelson 2
Big Horn — Wallach 12, Trabert 11, Hutton 8, Cook 8, Frank 7, Davidson 7, Schmidt 5