Feb 21, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterThursday's win was the fifth straight for Wyoming Indian.
SHOSHONI -- The Wyoming Indian girls made it five in a row Thursday night in a convincing 76-52 win over Shoshoni on the road. The win was the third straight in Class 2-A Southwest conference play as well and sends the Wranglers to a fourth seed against Northwest champion Lovell next Thursday in Riverton in the 2-A West regional.
The Lady Chiefs have a key game Friday night at Pavillion against the Wind River Cougars. The winner of that game takes second in the Southwest and will face Greybull in opening-round action, with the loser playing Rocky Mountain.
The game was delayed when no officials showed up. Wyoming Indian elementary principal Owen St. Clair, who is a certified official, and Riverton's Bruce Hinkley, who officiated the junior varsity game, started the contest until Riverton's Pat Harris arrived late in the first period to fill the three-man crew.
A press breaker is a key weapon for any basketball team and absolutely essential when you're facing Wyoming Indian's vaunted full-court defense. Shoshoni didn't have a press breaker Thursday night, and the Chiefs feasted on an unending series of Shoshoni turnovers in the back court.
The Wranglers were whistled for three 10-second calls in the game and consistently threw the ball out of bounds or tried to throw deep over the Wyoming Indian pressure to the Chiefs' waiting post-players.
"We tried to play with a little intensity," Wyoming Indian head coach Aleta Moss said."
The game began with both teams exchanging baskets and the score tied three times, but that all changed beginning with 4:21 left in the first when Wyoming Indian's Loveeda White scored to spark a 15-2 run.
White, Amryn Brown, Shaylee Lonedog and Jasmine McGill all scored on point-blank shots. Shoshoni's only offense came on a Katelyn Jennings follow shot and fadeaway jumper by Olivia Thompson.
Thompson picked up her third foul early in the second period, leaving junior Annika Dechert as the only Wrangler able to handle the ball against pressure.
Wyoming Indian picked up the full court pressure, trapping continuously in the backcourt and frustrating Shoshoni's offense. In a three-minute series, Shoshoni crossed the half-court line only once and turned the ball over a dozen times.
In the onslaught, the Chiefs ran a layup drill in transition off repeated steals and built a huge 39-15 lead late in the second.
Thompson returned in the third period, and the Wranglers were more effective against the press with Dechert and Thompson able to pass or dribble through the pressure.
Dechert had a stellar night offensively leading Shoshoni with 20 points and hitting eight of 12 from the line. She was able to pick up fouls by stepping through Wyoming Indian traps with the whistle sounding repeatedly as Chief defenders tried to slap the ball loose.
While Dechert was solid at the line, her teammates were not. The Wranglers shot a dismal 12 of 31 from the line.
"The second half was disappointing. W let up," Moss said. "We had the huge lead and let up."
Wyoming Indian freshman Brown hit a pair of 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 15 points.White had a solid floor game as well, pacing the Chiefs with 17 including five of six from the line. Shaylee Lonedog rounded out double-figure scoring with 14.
Thompson tallied 11 for Shoshoni to join Dechert in double figure, along with 13 from Raine Pingetzer.
SHOSHONI 8 10 16 18 --- 52
WYOMING INDIAN 19 20 13 24 -- 76
Shoshoni - Annika Dechert 6 8-12 20, Tarisha Parrish 1-2 1, Raine Pingetzer 6 1-3 13, Katelyn Jennings 2 0-9 4, K. Tarango 1 0-0 2, R. Goff 1-4 1, Olivia Thompson 5 1-3 11. Totals 20 12-31 52
Wyoming Indian Kaylee Harding 0-1 0, Elsie Marquez 4 0-3 8, Kenzie Calf Boss Ribs 1 (2) 0-0 8, Loveeda White 6 5-6 17, Amyrn Brown 4 (2) 1-4 15, Jasmine McGill 3 0-0 6, Shaylee Lonedog 7 0-3 14, Shaunte St. Clair 1-2 1, Dailyn Friday 3 1-2 7. Totals 29 (3) 9-17 76
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