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Cougar girls wrap up No. 2 regional slot in beating WIHS

Feb 24, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer

PAVILLION -- Wind River and Wyoming Indian determined the final seeding for the Class 2-A Southwest in a classic battle Friday night in Pavillion on the last day of the regular season. Wind River prevailed 65-63 over the visiting Chiefs to take the No. 2 two seed into next weekend's Class 2-A West regional tournament in Riverton.

The Fremont County rivals will play Thermopolis and Greybull. The 2-A Northwest ended with Lovell taking the division via an 8-0 conference mark. Rocky Mountain plays Riverside in a loser-out game Monday afternoon. The conference season ended with Rocky Mountain, Greybull and Thermopolis all tied at 4-4, but Rocky was swept by Burlington, and Greybull and Thermopolis both picked up wins over the Huskies.

Though it's a very heated rivalry between Wyoming Indian and Wind River, the final tournament seed won't matter. Both teams likely will face conference champions Kemmerer and Lovell in the semifinals. The Chiefs would face Kemmerer, a team they split games with in the regular season, while Wind River would play Lovell for the first time this season.

Friday's game opened tentatively as turnovers combined with patient offense in slowing play.

The Chiefs took a 6-5 lead on a Kenzie Calf Boss Ribs follow shot with 2:40 left in the period for their only lead of the game. It prompted a 10-0 run by the Cougars over the final two minutes of the first quarter.

"Everybody gave us a different spark at different stages of the game," Wind River head coach Justin Walker said.

Wind River's run came on the hot hands of sophomore Victoria Jorgenson and freshman Whisper Sunrhodes. Jorgenson hit a layup followed by a 3-pointer from Sunrhodes and a follow shot. A trey from Jorgenson ended the first with Wind River leading 15-6.

The Cougars continued to roll in the second, with Macayla Arrington hitting a follow shot and Josee Vogel connecting on a pair of free throws. Another Arrington putback gave Wind River their largest lead of the game at 21-6.

Just as the game teetered on the edge of a blowout, the Chiefs came to life. Amryn Brown drained a 3-pointer, followed by a post move from Taylor Harris and a Loveeda White jump shot to close the game to eight. From that point on it was a battle.

"We didn't play that well, but we were in the game," Wyoming Indian head coach Aleta Moss said.

Dailyn Friday and Elsie Marquez battled with Arrington in the paint. Vogel and Alexa Wagon dribble-penetrated for close-range shots.

Jasmine McGill has been a consistent defender all season but intermittent offensively. That all changed in the final minutes of the opening half.

Wind River rebuilt an eight-point lead on a deft backside lob from Lexy Brown to Vogel with a minute remaining. A pair of Vogel free throws moved the margin to 10. McGill hit the first of her game high four 3-pointers with 11 seconds left to close the game to 33-25 at intermission.

Shaylee Lonedog picked up her fourth foul just 43 seconds into the second half, but McGill was on fire with another trey. Marquez hit a couple of entertaining turnaround, step-through moves to keep the Chiefs close.

Arrington took control of the paint for the Cougars, keeping the Chiefs at bay on follow shots, post moves and free throws. McGill beat the buzzer again with a final trey to close the game to 49-42 entering the final period.

Alexa Wagon hit a trey that took a fortuitous bounce, glancing off the rim high above the backboard before dropping straight through the net.

McGill hit a layup, and her final trey with 4:51 remaining closed the game to 55-52. The Chiefs cut it to one after Brown ripped the ball from Vogel's hands and raced in for a layup. She ended up crumpled against the crash pad on the play but hit one of two free throws to edge the Chiefs to 59-58. That was as close as they would get.

Leading 60-58 after an Arrington free throw, the Cougars went to the delay game, but Wagon found an opening and hit a short, running jumper with 1:12 left for some breathing room.

White's layup cut the margin to two.

Vogel and Marquez each scored before Lonedog fouled out while trapping Brown in the back court. Brown hit one of two, and the Cougars fouled Marquez with two seconds left. She hit one, but McGill stole the ensuing pass and narrowly missed the game-winner from the baseline.

WIND RIVER 15 18 16 16 -- 65

WYOMING INDIAN 6 19 17 21 - 62

Wind River - Josee Vogel 3 7-8 13, Tory Thoman 1 2-4 4, Victoria Jorgenson 2 (1) 0-0 7, Whisper Sunrhodes 1 (1) 0-1 5, Alexa Wagon 2 (1) 2-2 11, Lexy Brown 2 5-9 9, Macayla Arrington 6 4-7 16. Totals 18 (3) 20-31 65

Wyoming Indian - Elsie Marquez 3 4-6 10, Kenzie Calf Boss Ribs 1 0-0 2, Loveeda White 2 3-4 7, Amyrn Brown 2 (1) 2-3 9, Jasmine McGill 3 (4) 1-3 19, Taylor Harris 1 0-0 2, Shaylee Lonedog 3 2-2 8, Dailyn Friday 3 0-2 6. Totals 18 (5) 12-20 63