St. Stephen's failed to defend their state title with a 59-50 overtime loss to Encampment.
It was a storybook finish, but not the chapter the St. Stephen's Lady Eagles wanted to read.
Encampment, the fourth seed out of the Class 1-A West regional a week ago in Lander rolled through the state tournament and finished the long weekend with a rugged 59-50 win over the defending state-champion Eagles in overtime on Saturday in Casper.
St. Stephen's suffered from foul trouble early on and with leading scorer Kayle Addison injured with a severe ankle injury, head coach Mike Redman's bench was even further limited.
In spite of the challenges, St. Stephen's put on a valiant effort and left everything on the floor.
Encampment rolled early behind the one-two punch of Paige Powell and Noelle Peterson.The duo accounted for 44 of the Tigers' 59 points and traded baskets with each other to build an 8-0 lead early in the game.
A St. Stephen's timeout with 3:46 remaining in the first produced quick results when Angel Redman rolled to the basket twice off high picks and put the Eagles on the board.
Trinity Goggles hit Josette Oldman with a bullet pass to the low block and Redman rolled into the paint again to close out the first quarter.
A Martina Brown 3-pointer gave the Eagles their first lead of the game at 15-13 and a seesaw battle ensued for the remainder of regulation.
Addison entered the game and played gingerly late in the second quarter,but it provided a spark to the Eagles. Redman hit a 3-pointer to lift St. Stephen's to their largest lead of the game at 24-18 and a late assist from Brown to Oldman ended the first half with the Eagles ahead, 28-23.
Encampment went to the paint hard to open the third period and tied the game at 31-31. It was one of nine ties in a game that also featured six lead changes.
Goggles answered with a power move and a 3-pointer, but in quick succession, she picked up her fourth and fifth foul and her high-school career ended with 0:25 left in the third quarter.
St. Stephen's bench played with vigor in the final period, battling back to tie the game at 42-42 on a follow shot by Lyndsay Harris.
Addison rallied the Eagles one final time on her familiar step-through drive down the lane to tie the game at 46-46 and send it into overtime.
In the extra period, it was all Encampment, with the Tigers pouring in 13 points, mostly on shots from Peterson and Powell.
Peterson paced Encampment with a game-high 26 points, while Powell added 18.
Redman led the Eagles with 13 points, Brown tallied 11 and Harris nine.
St. Stephen's 69, Farson-Eden 59
Senior Trinity Goggles hit six free throws in just 30 seconds to break open a tight semifinal on Friday afternoon at the newly-constructed Kelly Walsh gymnasium and lifted the Eagles into Saturdays championship date with Encampment.
St. Stephen's played without senior and leading scorer Kayle Addison, who suffered a severe ankle injury in the first quarter of the Eagles' opening round win on Thursday.
In her absence, the Eagles drew together as a team and faced a challenging defensive task in stopping Farson's inside/outside scoring attack of Carly Griffin and Mackenzie Reed.
Reed blistered the nets for eight 3-pointers en route to a game-high 24 points and Griffin poured in 20, but in the end, the team beat the two stars, as it nearly always does.
Farson led from the onset of the game, with Reed hitting a pair of threes and Griffin scoring on impressive up-and- under spin moves.
But, the Eagles were patient, chose their perimeter shots judiciously with Goggles hitting from the arc and Whisper SunRhodes draining another a few seconds later to close the gap to 14-13 as time expired in the first period.
Farson's dynamic duo pulled the Pronghorns to their largest lead of the game at 26-19 before the Eagles caught fire.
Harris hit a high-arching, 20-foot bomb from the baseline following a pair of follow shots from Redman and a SunRhodes jump shot with Harris' shot giving St. Stephen's their first lead at 28-26.
The 11-0 run prompted a Farson timeout, but it didn't quite stop the run.
Brown scored on a drive, then hit the first of her three 3-pointers to end the Eagles run at 16.
When the smoke cleared, St Stephen's held a 36-28 advantage at the break.
The third period was even, but Farson had one more rally in its arsenal and closed the game to 59-57 with just two minutes to play.
The final 10-2 run by St. Stephen's punched their ticket for the third straight state title appearance.
Goggles led the Eagles with 20 points, Brown finished with 16, SunRhodes 13 and Harris 10.
The Eagles hit an impressive nine 3-pointers in the game, paced by three each from Brown and SunRhodes, a pair from Harris and Goggle's opening first-period shot.
Farson-Eden 14 14 11 20 - 59
St. Stephen's 13 23 12 21 - 69
Farson-Eden - Jesse Madsen 1 0-0 2, Katylyn Keeler 2 0-2 4, Alexis Lehmann 2 0-0 4, Mackenzi Reed (8) 0-0 24, Carly Griffin 9 2-2 20, Maizee Thoren 5-7 5. Totals 14 (8) 7-11 59
St. Stephen's - Trinity Goggles 4 (1) 9-10 20, Lolena Brown 1 0-0 2, Martina Brown 3 (3) 1-1 16, Angel Redman 4 0-0 8, Whisper SunRhodes 1 (3) 2-4 13, Lyndsay Harris 1 (2) 2-4 10. Totals 14 (9) 14-20 69
St. Stephen's 10 18 8 10 4 - 50
Encampment 11 2 18 5 13 - 59
St. Stephen's -Trinity Goggles 2 (1) 0-2 7, Kayle Addison 2 0-0 4, Martina Brown 2 (1) 4-6 11, Josette Oldman 3 0-2 6, Angel Redman 5 (1) 0-0 13, Lyndsay Harris 1 (1) 4-4 9. Totals 15 (4) 8-18 50
Encampment - McKenzie Powell 4-7 4, Hailey Barkhurst 3 2-6 8, Paige Powell 7 4-6 18, Cheyanne Jordan (1) 0-0 3, Noelle Peterson 10 6-14 26. Totals 20 (1) 16-33 59