Mar 2, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorAfter an opening round victory, the Wind River Cougars were knocked out of the Class 2-A West regional girls basketball tournament, losing two straight games in Riverton.
In a must-win battle on Saturday morning, Thermopolis jumped out to an early lead to win 41-30 in the consolation game.
Wind River was put in the situation after suffering a 65-50 loss to Lovell in the semifinals on Friday night.
The Shoshoni Wranglers went 0-2 at the regional tournament. They were the fourth seed from the Southwest conference.
Lovell beat Shoshoni 61-21 on the first day of the double-elimination tournament.
In the consolation bracket, Greybull held off Shoshoni 31-28 on Friday afternoon.
Thermopolis 41, Wind River 30
The slow start was the crushing blow for Wind River.
Thermopolis hit a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer for an 11-1 lead over Wind River.
In the middle of the third quarter, the lead for Thermopolis had grown to 20-5.
Wind River had its best run of the game in the, going on a 8-0 to pull within 30-13.
Thermopolis hit its free throws in the fourth quarter to punch its ticket to the state tournament.
In the fourth quarter, Wind River seniors Macayla Arrington, Jose Vogel and Lexy Brown all fouled out when the team was trying to produce a comeback.
Wind River cut the Thermop lead under 10 points at one time in the final period but couldn't get any closer.
Lovell 65, Wind River 50
Lovell entered the regional tournament as the team to beat for the crown.
Lovell is deep and has a defense that causes its opponents all kinds of trouble.
To make matters worse for its opponents, Lovell also is one of the highest scoring teams in Class 2-A.
Wind River fell behind early with a state championship berth on the line.
Lovell's balanced scoring effort was too much for Wind River to overcome in the second half. Fouls played a big factor as the two teams lived on the free throw.
Wind River's Alexa Wagon scored 16, and Brown ended with 13.
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