Rocky Lady Grizz middle school girls basketball tipped off the new season on Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Greybull Quad.
The eighth-grade Lady Grizz first matched up against the Lovell Mustangs for their opener.
“We talked all week about being sharp and getting off to a fast start,” said Coach Doug Arnold. And the Lady Grizz did start fast by jumping out to an 11-2 first-quarter lead and holding a 19-9 advantage at halftime.
“We didn’t execute as well in the second half our offensive plays or finish at the rim like we can, so we have to work on staying focused all four quarters,” Arnold said. “We did play four full quarters of solid defense and that’s ultimately what won the game for us. Our best offense starts on defense.”
Rocky pressured the ball and passing lanes well with Brenda Timmons collecting six steals and right behind her were Abby Arnold with five and Pepper Lewis with three. In the second half Rocky outscored the Mustangs 6-4 for a 25-13 victory. Leading in the scoring column was Madie Hocker with 10 points, and Abby Arnold dropped in 6 points and six assists followed by 5 points from Brenda Timmons and three rebounds. Scoring 2 points each for the Grizz were Kennedy Despain and Mariah Mader.
In a quick turnaround the Lady Grizz next matched up against Greybull. The Lady Grizz came out firing and led 6-2, but midway through the first quarter the Lady Buffs went on an 8-0 run to lead the Grizz 10-6 at the end of the first quarter. The Grizz fell into a little foul trouble in the second quarter and failed to handle the aggressive defensive pressure from Greybull and trailed 20-10 at the half.
In the third quarter the Lady Grizz outscored the Lady Buffs 7-0 and trailed 20-17 going into the fourth. However, the fourth quarter was controlled completely by Greybull, outscoring the Grizz 17-5 for final score of 37-22.
The scoring leaders were Arnold with 8 points, Despain 6, Hocker 5 and Siobhan Meyers 1.
Rocky seventh-grade girls opened their season against the Lady Buffs from Greybull on Jan. 11. A close game throughout ended on a made free throw with no time on the clock giving Greybull a 25-24 win. Leading the scoring for the Lady Grizz were Dacean Thomas with 10 points, Gabby Christensen 6, Teagan Townsend 4, Aspen Thomas 2 and 1 point each from Torri Steed and Kalley Collins.
In the follow-up game Rocky met the Lovell Mustangs. Rocky prevailed 20-15 in a well-played game by both teams. Again leading the scoring for the Grizz was Dacean Thomas with 10. Christensen and Steed scored 4 each, Townsend 2.
The Lady Grizz went back into action at home on Saturday with all three grade levels in action in Cowley. In the opener the 8A team took on the Cloud Peak Cougars. At the end of a low-scoring first half the Grizz led 10-6. With some halftime adjustments the Grizz came out firing, finding their range and defensive intensity. The Grizz outscored the Cougars 12-1 in the third quarter and 10-6 in the fourth to close the game 32-13.
“We did a much better job the second half pushing the ball up the court with our heads up and finding open teammates and took much better care of our passes,” Coach Arnold said. “It’s the little things that make the difference.”
Arnold praised Kennedy Despain as she played “just plain solid” in the second half, “anchoring our team defense and offensive output.”
Leading the scoring for the Grizz were Brenda Timmons with 10 points, Despain and Madie Hocker with 8, Abby Arnold 4 and Siobhan Meyers 2. Quietly, Pepper Lewis played a strong game with four rebounds, three assists and six steals.
In the 7A game Rocky also played Cloud Peak and prevailed 24-17 on the back of Gabby Christensen’s 15 points. Torri Steed finished with 4 points, Dacean Thomas 3 and Melynda Davison 2.
In the 7B game Rocky’s sixth-grade girls faced the 7B Greybull girls, winning 25-21 in a close contest.
“The scrimmage the previous evening against Cody certainly helped our girls prepare for the today’s opener,” Arnold said. “Coach Townsend has done a nice job teaching the girls how to execute in the framework of an offense this early in the season. The girls are getting it and coming along.” Leading in scoring for Rocky was Teagan Townsend with 13 points, and Aspen Thomas added 8, Melia Hedges and Addy Dickson 2 apiece.
In the final game of the day the 8B girls battled Greybull, falling 24-16. Scoring was lead by Baylie Mulholland with 6 and Mariah Mader with 4. Rounding out the scoring was Madie Hocker with 6 points in limited action.
The Lady Grizz play on Thursday in Burlington and then again at a Quad meet in Burlington Saturday.
by Doug Arnold