Jan 29, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterPAVILLION - Shoshoni took a giant step toward the Southwest 2-A conference title with a 61-50 come-from-behind win over visiting Wind River on Friday. The win leaves the Wranglers tied with Wyoming Indian in the Southwest, each with a single loss. Wind River dropped into third place with the loss.
Wind River had the Wrangler's number in the opening period, building a huge 12-point lead by the start of the second quarter. The Cougars scored inside and out on shots from Kelsi Davidson, Macayla Arrington and a 3-pointer from Josee Vogel. Shoshoni managed just two baskets in the period, one by Coralee Spratt and the other from Sarah Thompson.
Shaylee Lonedog hit a shot from 18 feet that arched in just after the buzzer sounded to give the Cougars an 18-6 advantage.
Shoshoni improved offensively in a very physical second period. By the half, game officials called 28 fouls, but neither side showed signs of backing off. The Wranglers had an opportunity to break into the lead but hit only six-of-21 attempts from the free throw line in the opening half.
The Wranglers closed to three twice in the final minutes of the second, but each time Wind River rebuilt their lead. Amanda C'Bearing scored in transition and Brett Groesbeck hit turnaround jumpers to give the Cougars a 32-26 lead at the break.
Halftime is often the difference in a close ball game, and Shoshoni head coach Dan Martin took the opportunity to make adjustments in his line-up, adjustments that turned the pace of the game in Shoshoni's favor.
"We talked before the game about facing adversity," Martin said. "You face adversity by getting tougher."
Wind River's front line kept the Wranglers at bay throughout the opening half, Shoshoni's trio of post players; Hailey Pince, Sarah Thompson and Kolbi Pickinpaugh scored only a single basket each against Wind River's taller defensive line-up of Macayla Arrington, Tristan Yellowplume and Brett Groesbeck.
Martin put a very quick line-up on the floor, and the Wrangler speed proved to be the difference in the game. Freshmen Olivia Thompson and Kiyana Martin, along with Natalee Goff, Pince and Spratt presented a mismatch that Wind River's larger, slower line up didn't handle well.
Thompson, Goff, Martin and Spratt all scored in the opening four minutes of the third with Spratt's pull-up jumper at 3:46 giving the Wranglers their first lead of the game at 35-34.
"Nothing was going right, and they stepped up and did a good job," Martin said. "Wind River really played well. Coach Walker had them prepared. We're glad to come out with the win."
A minute later, Wind River head coach Justin Walker called a time-out to slow a 9-2 Shoshoni run stretching back to the final minute of the opening half.
Yellowplume hit a post move to cut the margin to 37-36 with 24 seconds left in the third, but Spratt hit another pull-up jumper in the lane, and the Wranglers led 39-36 after three.
A Martin 3-pointer and a pair of jumpers from Thompson and Spratt put the Wranglers up by eight.
Shoshoni's speed advantage was evident in the final period when Sarah Thompson hustled across the floor, covering twice the distance of two Wind River players to grab a loose ball and hit it off a Cougar to keep the ball in Shoshoni's possession.
Shoshoni steadily pulled away in the final minutes with Goff outrunning the Cougars in transition. Davidson picked up her fifth foul when she hammered Goff to the floor on a drive with 58 seconds left in the game.
Lydia Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining to close the game to 58-50, but the final shot went to Olivia Thompson at the buzzer.
Spratt paced the Wranglers with 22, including 8-of-10 from the line. Martin tallied a career high 19. Arrington paced the Cougars with nine.
SHOSHONI 6 20 13 22 - 61
WIND RIVER 18 14 4 14 - 50
Shoshoni - Kiyana Martin 5 (2) 3-4 19, Tennell Parrish 0-2 0, Kolbi Pickinpaugh 1 0-3 2, Natalee Goff 2 3-7 7, Sarah Thompson 1 0-4 2, Hailey Pince 1 0-2 2, Coralee Spratt 7 8-10 22, Olivia Thompson 3 1-4 7; Totals 20 (2) 15-36 61
Wind River - Josee Vogel (1) 1-2 4, Kelsi Davidson 1 (1) 2-2 7, Brett Groesbeck 3 0-2 6, Amanda C'Bearing 2 1-3 5, Lydia Johnson 1 (1) 2-2 7, Macayla Arrington 4 3-4 9, Tristan Yellowplume 3 1-2 7, Shaylee Lonedog 2 1-2 5; Totals 15 (3) 11-19 50
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