Round two of the annual Lovell-Rocky rivalry went to the top-ranked Lovell Lady Bulldogs Thursday night in Lovell, as the home team pulled away in the third period to win 49-37.
Other than a five-minute stretch in the third quarter, when Lovell outscored Rocky 12-2 to gain some distance, the score between the two familiar foes was close and the game hotly contested.
The first quarter was close but lacked intensity as neither team appeared to be on top of its game. Lovell led 7-6 after the somewhat stagnant quarter.
“We weren’t very fluent in our offense,” Lovell coach Chris Edwards said. “We didn’t have very good execution. We missed some passes and cuts.”
Things picked up in the second period. Lovell went on an 8-2 run as Erin Robertson executed a power follow shot, Alyssa Geiser scored in transition, Amanda Shumway found Leanne Winterholler for two and Robertson scored inside.
With Lovell up 15-8, the Lady Grizzlies responded with an 8-0 run to take a 16-15 lead. Shauna Loman scored all 8 points on a three-point play (bucket and free throw), a steal and layup and a trey. Geiser answered with a three-pointer for Lovell, but Rocky tied the game at 18 on a drive by Kallee Jo Wilson. Lovell led 20-18 at halftime on a transition bucket by Amanda Shumway.
“The Loman girl gave them a good spark in the second quarter,” Edwards noted, adding, “We did a good job forcing Kallee to shoot over a contested hand, and for the most part we did a good job keeper her off the offensive boards.”
“They guarded Kallee well,” Rocky coach Ryan Boettcher agreed. “They did a lot of double-teaming and things. Your hope is that when they focus on somebody, someone else will step in and that is what Shauna was able to do for us and keep us in the game.
“Shauna had a good game for us. She hit some perimeter shots and she gave us some good minutes. She’s getting more confidence in her perimeter shooting.”
The game remained close early in the third. After Winterholler scored on a lob pass from Shumway, two buckets by Wilson tied the score at 22 for Rocky Mountain. But a long jumper by Geiser launched a 12-2 run for the Lady Bulldogs during which they forced a number of turnovers and scored in transition. Rocky committed only seven turnovers in the first half but had seven more in the third quarter alone. Lovell led 34-24 after three.
“We had a back-and-forth battle with them until about halfway through the third when they pressed us and we got too many turnovers there and changed the face of the game at that point,” Boettcher said. “You can’t do that with a team like Lovell. You just can’t give them those points like that.
“I don’t know if we hit a wall physically or what, but we just weren’t moving like we usually do. We still were playing hard, but we just weren’t getting to the spots that we needed to get to.”
“We rotated better in our presses,” Edwards said. “The girls were being more active, getting steals. They were feeding off of each other’s energy. They worked really well together in the second half.
“Amanda in the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth was attacking the basket hard with good, aggressive moves to the rim. Erin did a good job, too. She was effective in the low block and in transition.”
A baseline jumper by Brianna Hocker cut the Lovell lead to eight early in the fourth, but Winterholler responded with a step-back trey, then Chelsey Ellis went the distance with a steal. After a free throw by Loman for the Lady Grizz (39-27), Lovell went on a 10-1 run to lead 49-28 as Shumway went to work with three baskets.
Rocky heated up from the outside in the final minutes, but it was too little, too late. Rachael Allred drained a pair of three-pointers, Loman one during a late 9-0 run for the Lady Grizzlies.
“It was a good game. I just wish we wouldn’t have had that lapse in the third,” Boettcher said. “We just didn’t take care of the basketball very well for a little stretch there and it hurt us. It was mainly that third quarter where we let them have too many turnovers and we just didn’t move the ball very effectively. That made the difference in the game.
“We got going again in the fourth. We found our second wind. We hit three threes in the fourth, which helped close the gap a bit, but it just wasn’t enough to close the gap on a team like that.”
Shumway finished with 16 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs, Winterholler 11 points, three assists and three steals. Robertson added 10 points and 12 rebounds, Geiser 7 points, four assists and four steals, Ellis 5 points and three steals.
Loman led the Lady Grizz with 14 points, and Wilson added 8, Hocker 7 and Allred 6.
The box score:
Mandee Leonhardt 1 0-2 2, Brianna Hocker 3 1-4 7, Rachael Allred 2 0-0 6, Kallee Wilson 4 0-0 8, Hannah Winland 0 0-0 0, Shauna Loman 5 2-3 14, Isabel Gurrola 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 3-9 37.
Alyssa Geiser 3 0-0 7, Jodi Walker 0 0-0 0, Leanne Winterholler 5 0-0 11, Kassidy Hetland 0 0-0 0, Kim Shumway 0 0-0 0, Hannah McCurley 0 0-0 0, Amanda Shumway 7 2-7 16, Chelsey Ellis 2 1-2 5, Erin Robertson 5 0-0 10, Miranda Griffis 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 3-9 49.
Rocky 6 12 6 13 – 37
Lovell 7 13 14 15 – 49
Three-point field goals – Allred 2, Loman 2; Geiser 1, Winterholler 1. Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Rocky 8, Lovell 10.
By David Peck