Lady Bulldogs survive test, sweep three

Midterms were on the table for the Lovell Lady Bulldogs over the weekend, and the defending state champions passed the big test.

First, the Lady Bulldogs opened conference play at home Friday night and clobbered the Greybull Lady Buffs 54-18.

Lovell junior Chelsey Ellis fires up a baseline jumper against Greybull during Friday night’s 54-18 win at Winterholler Gym. David Peck photo

The top-ranked Lady Bulldogs then took to the road Saturday to battle the second-ranked Tongue River Eagles, and senior Jodi Walker’s two clutch free throws in overtime gave the Lovell squad a 41-40 victory. Traveling on to Sheridan to meet the Wright Panthers, the Lady Bulldogs won going away, 59-31, Saturday evening.

There will be another key test for the Lady Bulldogs this Friday night when the tough Thermopolis Lady Bobcats come to town for a conference game at 5:30 (JVs at 4).

Saturday’s game with Wind River has been cancelled due to a scheduling conflict. Wind River is playing at Thermop Saturday afternoon, so the Saturday night game at Lovell has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled, Athletic Director Joe Koritnik said.

Greybull win

Defense ruled for the Lady Bulldogs in their win against Greybull Friday night at home. Lovell allowed only seven baskets in the game, one each in the first and second quarters as Lovell outscored the Buffs 10-3 and 15-4 to lead 25-7 at halftime.

“We thought we could challenge them with our man pressure defense and were able to cause fits with our pressure,” coach Chris Edwards said. “We picked them up high and were able to dictate their offense, though a couple of times they did beat us off the dribble.”

Lovell gradually built a 10-0 lead in the first period as Amanda Shumway had a pair of baskets on mid-range jumpers, but the offense didn’t come easily and Lovell led 10-3 at the end of the quarter.

“Greybull played a 2-3 zone, and we missed some easy opportunities at the basket in the first part of the game,” Edwards said. “Then Alyssa and Leanne started knocking down jump shots.”

Alyssa Geiser and Leanne Winterholler each drained a pair of three-pointers in the second quarter as Lovell extended the lead with a 15-4 advantage.

“They’re a tough tandem to deal with,” Edwards said of his talented wings.

It was more of the same in the third as Geiser hit two treys and Winterholler scored a trey and a deuce, joined by Shumway with two buckets. Lovell outscored Greybull 17-6 to lead 42-13 after three.

“Amanda has started knocking down her perimeter shots, too, which gives us a third threat from the outside,” Edwards noted. “Defensively, Erin (Robertson) controlled the middle.”

Lovell won the fourth 12-5 to win by 36 points.

Geiser finished with 16 points and four assists, Winterholler 15 points, six assists and four steals. Amanda Shumway added 11 points, Robertson 6 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Kim Shumway grabbed six boards off the bench.

The box score:

GREYBULL (18)

Michaela Denniston 0 1-2 1, Jessica Hunt 3 0-3 6, Ceirra Carlson 3 0-0 6, Soila Hernandez 0 0-0 0, Kirbi Anderson 1 1-2 3, Brett Stephens 0 0-0 0, Lindsay Kern 0 1-2 1, Biri Gallegos 0 1-2 1. Totals 7 4-11 18.

LOVELL (54)

Alyssa Geiser 6 0-0 16, Jodi Walker 0 0-0 0, Lauren Hinckley 0 0-0 0, Leanne Winterholler 6 0-0 15, Kassidy Hetland 0 1-2 1, Kim Shumway 1 1-2 3, Amanda Shumway 5 1-1 11, Chelsey Ellis 1 0-0 2, Hannah McCurley 0 0-0 0, Erin Robertson 3 0-1 6, Emilee Reasch 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 3-6 54.

Greybull 3 4 6 5 – 18

Lovell 10 15 17 12 – 54

Three-point field goals – Geiser 4, Winterholler 3. Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Greybull 10, Lovell 14.

Big win at TR

Saturday found the Lady Bulldogs in Dayton, where they met the tough, second-ranked Tongue River Lady Eagles. The game was close all the way. TR led 9-7 after the first quarter and built a seven-point lead late in the first half before Chelsey Ellis nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to four at the half, 22-18.

A trey by Amanda Shumway, her second of the game, cut the Eagle lead to one, 22-21, and she followed with a steal and layup as Lovell took a 24-22 lead. Tongue River battled back to lead 29-26 after three.

Lovell regained the lead, 31-29, on a Geiser trey and built the lead to four, 35-31, on a baseline jumper by Robertson. But Tongue River cut the lead to two, then tied the score on a buzzer-beating jumper by Tiana Mitchell, sending the game into overtime.

“We knew where the ball was going, and you couldn’t ask Leanne to defend her better,” Edwards said. “She was right on her and had a hand in her face. Mitchell just hit a step-back jumper from the left wing.”

Tongue River took the lead in overtime, but an offensive rebound and follow shot by Amanda Shumway cut the TR lead to one, 40-39. Lovell fouled to stop the clock with eight seconds left, Edwards said, but the Eagles missed the ensuing free throw and fouled rebounder Jodi Walker. She hit the first to tie the game at 40, and TR called time out to ice her. The senior calmly hit the second to win the game as the Lovell defense forced a traveling call after the in-bounds pass.

“You couldn’t ask for a more competitive basketball game,” Edwards said. “I was disappointed in the number of turnovers we had, but they put on a full-court 2-2-1 and we just made passes at their hand level instead of pass-faking and making the appropriate pass.

“Amanda had a phenomenal game. She had 15 points and also had three or four steals in the third quarter that changed the momentum.”

A filming error left the team without any statistics beyond scoring, but Amanda Shumway scored 15 points, Geiser 8, Ellis 6, Walker and Robertson 5 each and Winterholler 2.

The box score:

LOVELL (41)

Alyssa Geiser 3 0-0 8, Jodi Walker 1 3-5 5, Leanne Winterholler 1 0-0 2, Kim Shumway 0 0-2 0, Amanda Shumway 5 3-3 15, Chelsey Ellis 2 1-2 6, Erin Robertson 2 1-3 5. Totals 14 8-15 41.

T. RIVER (40)

Sarah Rawlings 1 1-3 3, Cierra Cooley 0 0-0 0, Tiana Mitchell 3 0-0 8, Sarah Nielsen 5 3-5 13, Tara Stimpson 3 2-2 8, Ashley Bolin 1 0-0 2, Eryn Askamit 2 0-2 4, Tianne Main 0 2-2 2. Totals 15 8-14 40.

Lovell 7 11 8 9 6 – 41

T. River 9 13 7 6 5 – 40

Three-point field goals – Geiser 2, A. Shumway 2, Ellis 1; Mitchell 1. Fouled out – Stimpson. Total fouls – Lovell 12, TR 17.

Easier time

After the exhausting battle in Dayton, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to the Sheridan College Golden Dome to take on the Wright Lady Panthers Saturday evening. The game was tied 9-9 midway through the first quarter, and then the Lady Bulldogs launched a 30-0 run to lead 39-9 before Wright hit a late shot to make it 39-11 at halftime. The two teams traded baskets in the second half as Lovell won 59-31.

“We were able to play our full roster. The girls were a little slow defensively, then went on that 30-0 run,” Edwards said. “We were able to use solid penetration by Alyssa and Leanne and create a lot of turnovers in our full-court pressures.”

Robertson went to town inside against the Panthers, hitting seven of nine shots en route to a game-high 16 points. Geiser finished with 8 points and five assists, Winterholler and Amanda Shumway 8 points each, Ellis 7 points and three steals, Kim Shumway 4 points and six rebounds.

The box score:

LOVELL (59)

Alyssa Geiser 3 0-0 8, Jodi Walker 0 2-2 2, Lauren Hinckley 1 0-2 3, Leanne Winterholler 4 0-0 8, Kassidy Hetland 0 0-0 0, Kim Shumway 2 0-3 4, Hannah McCurley 0 0-0 0, Amanda Shumway 4 0-0 8, Chelsey Ellis 3 1-2 7, Erin Robertson 7 2-3 16, Miranda Griffis 0 1-2 1, Emilee Reasch 1 0-2 2. Totals 25 6-16 59.

WRIGHT (31)

Fauber 1 0-0 2, Jones 1 0-0 2, Fuller 4 0-1 8, Belt 3 5-6 11, Yeradi 2 0-0 4, Segelke 2 0-2 4. Totals 13 5-9 31.

Lovell 22 17 11 9 – 59

Wright 9 2 6 14 – 31

Three-point field goals – Geiser 2, Hinckley 1. Fouled out – Segelke. Total fouls – Lovell 9, Wright 14.

Big conference game

The Lady Bulldogs will be home Friday for a key conference game when the Thermopolis Lady Bobcats come to town. Thermop is 2-0 in the 2A Northwest with wins over Rocky Mountain and Greybull and 8-4 overall, with recent close losses to class 4A schools Evanston and Casper Kelly Walsh and a win over Riverton.

Tip-off times are 4 (JV) and 5:30 p.m. at Winterholler Gym.

“We’ll find out where we’re at in the conference race,” Edwards said. “They were able to compete against two 4A teams over the weekend and challenge both of them. They use a lot of full-court pressure and use their quick guards to create tempo.

“They have good guards. Dana Bjorhus is a tough matchup for anybody. She’ll score from the three-point line or take it inside. She can handle the ball off the dribble. I hope we can come out and control the pace.”

Thermop will host Wind River Saturday afternoon, meaning that the Wind River at Lovell game has been cancelled for Saturday evening.

The Lady Bulldogs will travel to Cody for a non-conference game Tuesday at 4 (JV) and 5:45 p.m. Cody is 7-3 overall, 4-0 in the 3A West.

By David Peck

 

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