Lady Bulldogs capture seventh regional title

Amanda Shumway, Alyssa Geiser and Erin Robertson combined for 41 points Saturday afternoon as the Lovell Lady Bulldogs captured their seventh Class 2A West Regional basketball title with a 59-42 win over the Thermopolis Lady Bobcats at the Riverton High School gym.

Thermop advanced to the regional finale by defeating Wind River 45-33 and Shoshoni 54-46, while Lovell crushed Kemmerer 45-23 and topped Wyoming Indian 57-44.

“They played well in the tourney,” coach Chris Edwards said of the Lady Bobcats. “They’re a tough matchup for a lot of teams.”

Lovell sophomore Kim Shumway wrestles for the ball against the Thermop Lady Bobcats during Saturday evening’s regional championship game in Riverton.

After playing strictly a man-to-man defense the day before in the win over Wyoming Indian, Edwards had his team play a 1-2-2 zone against Thermop Saturday, the better to slow star Dana Bjorhus.

“We did a decent job (in the first half),” Edwards said, noting that Bjorhus had just two baskets and 6 points, although she scored 17 in the second half.

Away from the talented Bjorhus, however, the Lady Bulldogs felt they had an advantage in the post and went inside early and often. Center Erin Robertson had two baskets for the Lady Bulldogs even as Thermop took an early 7-4 lead, and Lovell finished the first quarter with an 8-0 run to lead 12-7, during which Amanda Shumway and Kim Shumway each tallied 4 points.

“We felt we had an advantage in the post,” Edwards said. “We were able to get the ball into the post and take advantage of our size.”

The Lady Bulldogs continued to pull away in the second quarter as the Lovell press generated turnovers and the team opened things up from the outside. Geiser drained three three-pointers en route to 12 points in the quarter, and Amanda Shumway also added a trey as Lovell outscored Thermop 17-10 to lead 29-17 at halftime.

“They adjusted and started packing it in inside, and Alyssa burned them,” Edwards said. “Sometimes it would go into the post and be kicked back out as Thermop crashed in.”

Lovell edged Thermop 17-15 in the third, continuing to score even as the Lady Bobcats got Bjorhus going. She scored 10 points, and Edwards said the Thermop coaches made some adjustments, but more than that she was simply more aggressive. Lovell led 46-32 after three.

Lovell cruised in the fourth quarter, out-scoring Thermopolis 13-10 and winning 59-42.

Amanda Shumway finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, Geiser 14 points on five-of-seven shooting and five assists, Robertson 12 points on six-of-eight shooting and six boards, Chelsey Ellis 6 points and five rebounds, Kim Shumway and Miranda Griffis 6 points each.

The box score:

LOVELL (59)

Alyssa Geiser 5 1-2 14, Jodi Walker 0 0-0 0, Kassidy Hetland 0 0-0 0, Kim Shumway 1 4-4 6, Hannah McCurley 0 0-0 0, Amanda Shumway 5 3-3 15, Chelsey Ellis 2 2-2 6, Erin Robertson 6 0-1 12, Miranda Griffis 3 0-0 6. Totals 22 10-12 59.

THERMOPOLIS (42)

Delanie Price 1 0-0 2, Bailey Fisher 0 0-0 0, S. Schmidt 0 0-2 0, Kylie Fisher 1 1-2 4, H. Hoffman 0 1-4 1, Jordan Leyba 2 3-4 8, Dana Bjorhus 6 8-8 23, Taylor Schwalbe 1 0-2 2, Desi Rangel 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 13-22 42.

Lovell 12 17 17 13 – 59

Thermop 7 10 15 10 – 42

Three-point field goals – Geiser 3, A. Shumway 2; Bjorhus 3, K. Fisher 1, J. Leyba 1. Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Lovell 13, Thermop 10.

By David Peck

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