Lady Cougars drop openerFeb 23, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer
Vonnie Capitan led Wind River with six points.
The No. 2-No. 3-seeded games are always the best in an eight- team tournament bracket and Wind River and Lovell proved that to be true in a physical contest late Thursday morning to open Class 2-A West regional girls' tournament play.
The Bulldogs took a 48-34 win over the Cougars via a 24-for-41 performance at the free-throw line.
The Cougars hustled, but fouled in droves in the contest, hammering Lovell 27 times.
Lovell opened on back-to-back baskets, but the Cougars battled back to lead 7-6 on a Josie Oldman 3-pointer and baskets from Savannah Arneach and Vonnie Capitan.
The lead was short-lived as Lovell rolled on a 14-2 run that threatened to blow open the game.
Lovell head coach Chris Edwards put on a full-court press and the Cougars turned it over repeatedly in the back court.
A five-second call and bad passes added to Wind River's misery, but they didn't fade.
The Bulldogs eventually built the lead to 30-11 and gave Wind River every chance to fold, but the Cougars didn't.
"We fought like crazy," said Wind River head coach Charles Jenks. "They were gritty."
That grit came to bear in a rally that closed the gap to 36-25 as the third period drew to a close.
Oldman hit another trey and Tanisha Clair and Jaylynn Fightingbear each connected on short-range shots and suddenly it was a ballgame again.
Wind River continued to rally, cutting the margin to 42-34 with three minutes remaining in the game, but four straight turnovers when girls tried to throw the ball through Lovell defenders on three-on-two fast breaks was too much to overcome.
Lovell scored the final six points at the free-throw line and advanced to a 6 p.m. semi-final game against the winner of the Shoshoni/Wyoming Indian contest.
Wind River faces one of those same teams at 11:30 a.m. on Friday in a loser-out elimination game.
Oldman led the Cougars behind the only 3-pointers of the game, with 10 points.
Mandi Jo Baxendale led the Bulldogs with 12 points and Emily Snell added 10.
Lovell 14 16 8 10 - 48
Wind River 9 8 10 7 - 34
Lovell - Karlee Burton 1 0-0 2, Shelby Wardell 2-2 2, Mikkel McIntosh 8-10 8, Trysa Flood 2 3-6 7, Kaitlyn Mickelson 2 0-1 4, Emily Snell 2 6-9 10, Madison Bryson, 1 0-3 2, Mandi Jo Baxendale 4 5-10 12. Totals 12 24-41 48
Wind River - Tanisha Clair 1 0-0 2, Lue Herbert 1-2 1, Vonnie Capitan 3 0-2 6, Kodi Anesi 2-2 2, Madi David 1 2-2 4, Savannah Arneach 2 1-5 5, Jaylynn Fighting Bear 2 0-0 4, Josie Oldman 1 (2) 2-2 10. Totals 10 (2) 8-15 34