SHERIDAN — Tongue River High School girls and boys basketball teams lost the final games of the Powder River Basketball Tournament to Thunder Basin High School junior varsity teams Saturday.
The Eagles lost 68-56 and the Lady Eagles lost 58-16.
Both teams are using the losses as learning experiences, knowing important games are still coming up for the team. Eagles head coach Tyler Hanson said the games during this part of the season are to help identify areas of improvement.
Hanson said one area is executing the press break better and communicating on defense.
The Eagles knew Thunder Basin was going to press and had installed press breaks prior to the tournament. In the game, the Eagles did not execute the break. Hanson said the team will address this during the next week of practice.
The Eagles started the game by competing with Thunder Basin, leading to a 12-12 tie score early in the game. Thunder Basin went on a 10-0 run and ended the first quarter with a 25-20 lead after Tongue River rallied late in the quarter.
Thunder Basin built a 42-29 halftime lead and kept a 10-point cushion for the rest of the game.
Defensively, the Eagles looked lost at times and Thunder Basin was able to score some easy points. Thunder Basin had some motions in their offense combined with a variety of screens that made them hard to defend.
Overall it was a successful weekend for the Eagles, who improved to 5-4 on the season. Hanson said the JV team won all of its games over the weekend as well, giving the varsity and JV a 5-1 combined record for the weekend.
The Lady Eagles knew they were going to have a tough task ahead of them when they faced a tall and athletic Thunder Basin squad, said head coach Ryan Alley. Thunder Basin pressed the team for most of the game and was successful in turning the Lady Eagles over.
Senior Linsey Trischler said the team had good intensity throughout the game but needs to continue to step their game up to the next level.
Alley said his team continued to play hard despite the adversity they faced and the offensive struggles. He does not want the final game to ruin a successful weekend for the team.
The Lady Eagles broke the press during the second quarter with some consistency, giving the team an opportunity to study what went well and replicate the actions in future games. When the team starts conference play Jan. 24, they will most likely see a press for the rest of the season.
While the press will likely remain in most competition the Lady Eagles see in conference play, the height Thunder Basin had will not.
The Lady Eagles were 2-1 over the weekend and move to 5-4 on the season.
Trischler said the team showed good intensity over the weekend and a willingness to work hard. Both aspects will need to remain consistent and continue to improve for the Lady Eagles to move forward.
Tongue River hosts Moorcroft High School Jan. 17 and travels to rival Big Horn High School Jan. 18.