The RMHS girls basketball team traveled to the south end of the county to compete in the Big Horn Basin Shootout on Friday and Saturday.
The first game was an easy win 63-15 against the relatively small team of girls from Dubois. With only five girls playing, the Dubois girls were out-matched in size, which provided little rest for anyone on their team.
“We knew they (Dubois) were going to be short-handed, but it gave us an opportunity to give everyone on our side some time on the court,” said Coach Ryan Boettcher. “It gave us a chance to get out on the court for the first time this season and knock the rust off a bit.”
Boettcher described the game as “ fairly controlled” and a good opportunity to “get out there and play some basic basketball.”
“We’ve been short-handed before and so we understand how it feels,” explained Boettcher. “We tried to call some time outs to give them some rest in between.”
Boettcher thought the girls shot the ball really well in that first game. Not too many shots were contested but not a lot were missed either.
“Usually, we’re rusty when we start off the year and bounce a lot of shots off the iron, but I didn’t see that happen much here,” said Boettcher. “It was good to see that we were making those shots early in the season. It was good to see the ball go through the hoop even though they really didn’t have someone in their face out there.”
The game was played on the old high school court in Greybull.
Wilson and Loman were the top scorers with 12 each. Hocker had 10 points, Winland 9, Leonhardt and Vezain had 6 each, Allred 4, Rapp and Gurrola each had 2. Rocky had 11 fouls, Dubois 7. Scoring for Rocky by quarter was 12, 17, 20, 14. Dubois 5, 6, 2, 2.
The second game against Kemmerer presented more of a challenge.
“I wasn’t sure what they (Kemmerer) had or how we were going to match up with them, because we don’t see them that often,” said Boettcher. “They had some really good younger players and they played hard against us. We were a little bit flat for most of the game but for whatever reason we just couldn’t get our rhythm going and our defense wasn’t as good as it should have been.”
Kemmerer ran a strong offense and it took a while for Rocky to finally adjust to the pace of the game, but they did in the last quarter just in time to pull away for the win.
“Sometimes it’s hard coming off a game like we did on Friday where you don’t have to be so intense and then turn around and ramp up the intensity,” said Boettcher. “It took us a little longer to get in gear than I expected but finally something happened in the fourth quarter where we finally snapped and we really got after it.”
The girls tied the game in the fourth quarter and took that momentum into overtime for a narrow win.
“A couple times we tied it but just couldn’t get a basket,” said Boettcher. “We hit a bucket late to get tied and there were about 6.8 seconds left where they had the ball and we kept them from getting a shot. We had the momentum at that point, and our girls were very fired up about going into overtime, and that’s where we pulled ahead.”
The game was played on the court in Burlington on Saturday.
Wilson was the top scorer with 16, Loman had 15. Hocker and Allred brought in 6 points each. Leonhardt and Winland 2 each. Wilson fouled out in the fourth quarter. Paige O. fouled out on the Kemmerer side. The breakdown of scoring by quarter for Rocky was 14, 6, 8, 12. Kemmerer 13, 12, 7, 8. The game went into overtime with Rocky outscoring Kemmerer for the win. Total fouls for Rocky were 15, Kemmerer 19.
The team experienced a surge of intensity in the game against Big Piney where they held onto momentum the entire game.
“We had a pretty good success,” said Boettcher. “We had a lot of good shots and the girls were really patient and tried to work it inside. A lot of our
points came from that and we had a lot of second chance opportunities and that was good, too.”
Loman was top scorer with 14, Wilson 10, Rapp 6, Hocker and Allred 5 each, Leonhardt and Vezain had 2 each. Total fouls: Rocky 13, Big Piney 7. Scoring by quarter for Rocky was 15, 10, 15, 8. For Big Piney: 6, 9, 3, 8.
Boettcher thought the tournament was a good start for the year and that the girls were able to take away a lot of good lessons, the most important lesson being “that you have to go out and play hard, no matter what.”
He saw the chemistry build on the team during the tournament and he thought the girls came away with a realistic view of “where they are at and w
here they need to go” to win games in the future.
“I think they all have a good knowledge of the game but it is just a matter of putting it into practice,” said Boettcher.
Next up: Rocky will travel to Bridger, Mont. on Thursday night to take on the Lady Scouts on their own turf. It was unclear at press time if a JV game would be played. Varsity starts at 6 p.m.
On Friday, the girls with travel to Dayton to play Tongue River with game times of 3 and 4:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the girls will play Wind River at home with game times at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
The first conference game of the season will be against Thermopolis in Cowley on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 4 and 5 p.m. Note: There is a date change from earlier schedules for this game against Thermop.
By Patti Carpenter