Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter & Photographer 

Lady Cats go 2-1 during tourney

 

Cindy Glasson

Makayla George shoots the ball well over the heads of the Greybull Lady Bulldogs during the Big Horn Basin Tournament.

The Thermopolis High School hosted one-half of the Big Horn Basin girls basketball tournament over the weekend, with the Lady Cats posting a 2-1 record.

Thursday night the girls took a loss against Greybull, 49-34, which dropped them into the losers bracket for the remainder of the tournament.

"This was an ugly game for us," coach Cory Sova said. "Greybull shot the ball well and outworked us. We looked sluggish and tired.

"We had a hard time focusing on details – this game was a good one for us as it exposed our weaknesses."

The ensuing games against Wright and Rocky Mountain corrected many of those concerns.

Against Greybull, Haley McDermott tipped in 10 points, followed by Makayla George's eight. Ashlynn Weber scored five points and Korey Smith, four, with Lizzy Lofink, Liz Rhodes and McKenna Bomengen each dropping in two. Jules Ward added one to the final score with a free throw.

Shooting wise, Greybull simply outshot the Lady Cats, with Greybull posting 10/20 from the free throw line to Thermop's 9/20.

Both teams recorded three-three pointers, although Thermop had 11 attempts at three to Greybull's seven tries. They were nearly neck-and-neck in turnovers with Greybull losing the ball 21 times, Thermop, 23.

On Friday night the Lady Cats met Wright, coming out on top 41-34.

"This was a much better game for us," Sova said. "We still struggled shooting the ball, but shot well from outside and from the free throw line.

"We took care of the ball and battled hard to offset our huge size disparity. All of our girls pitched in and weren't going to be denied."

McDermott had a huge game Friday night with 23 points on the books.

"She found a rhythm and played well," Sova said. "Lizzy (Lofink) lead us with five assists as she ran our offense smoothly.

"Ashlynn (Weber) did a nice job grabbing seven rebounds and Jules (Ward) had five. Korey (Smith) had three steals to slow down their big girls.

"We had some moments where the girls looked very sharp and a minute here or there where we definitely need to improve."

In addition to McDermott's 23 points, Lofink and Weber had six each, Smith, four, Gerorge, two points and one from the free throw line from Ward.

Wright had the edge on rebounds for the night with 16 offensive rebounds and 27 defensive, while Thermop had eight offensive touches and 20 on the defensive side. Wright, however, turned over the ball more than the Lady Cats, dropping the ball 19 times to Thermop's 13.

The next "W" in the win column for the Bobcats came on Saturday against Rocky Mountain, 35-32.

"Again, we struggled with many easy shots around the hoop," Sova said. "We have to learn to concentrate and finish.

"We continued our strong three-point shooting, flirting with 50% again. We put Rocky on the free-throw line way too much and they made us pay, scoring nearly half their points."

Sova said the girls did a very nice job executing the game plan, protecting the lane quite well and forcing Rocky to put up way more three-pointers than they were comfortable shooing.

"We mixed man to man defense and zone," Sova said. "It was a good team effort and Jules (Ward) did a tremendous job on Marissa Arnold, one of the top players in the state at any level.

"She also grabbed seven rebounds and three steals."

Smith added five rebounds while Lofink dished out four assists and McDermott had four steals.

Sova said Smith, Lofink, McDermot and Rhodes all made big three-pointers at critical times. Additionally, it was extremely critical the girls make free-throws down the stretch and the girls answered, making seven of eight attempts.

Non-conference matchups are scheduled in Lander on Friday and at home on Saturday against Lovell.

"We will use practice time to work on all fundamental aspects of the game," said Sova. "We especially need to work on shooting with pressure and setting better screens on the offensive end.

"For defense we need to practice moving our feet, communication, and playing aggressively without fouling. I was very happy with the girls for bouncing back after their obvious struggles versus Greybull.

"If they keep working hard and improve everyday, they will be a fun team to watch."

 

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