Mar 2, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterSt. Stephen's faces high-powered Lingle Ft. Laramie an 89-50 winner over Upton in the East regional final, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Casper Events Center.
The St. Stephen's girls return to the state tournament with the fourth seed out of the Class 1-A West conference. It was a solid run for the Eagle girls, with an opening-round win over Encampment, followed by a tight, 57-48 loss to eventual regional champion Little Snake River on Friday night. Saturday morning St. Stephen's blew open a tight game with a solid offensive effort in the second half to rout Hanna Elk Mountain 57-32 in the state-qualifying game.
The Eagles fell Saturday afternoon in the third-place game to Cokeville 76-60.
St. Stephen's faces high-powered Lingle Ft. Laramie, an 89-50 winner over Upton in the East regional final, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Casper Events Center to open the state tournament.
Saturday morning games almost always are the most difficult to play in any tournament. With tired legs from the semifinals the night before, and with the season on the line, the pressure on high school athletes can be tremendous.
The Eagles traded baskets early and trailed 7-6 when Uriah Addison hit a trey with 51 seconds left in the opening period to build an 11-6 lead.
The Eagles rely on the driving ability and low-post play of sophomore Rachelle Lynch, but she picked up her third personal foul late in the first period and was whistled for her fourth foul on an offensive foul with 4:34 left in the opening. She went to the bench for extended periods after both.
In her absences the Miners chipped away at a nine-point lead and closed to 20-19 on a post move by Shelby Brown.The Eagles led by two at the half, 21-19.
Lynch re-entered the game in the third period and played intelligent basketball, playing the entire second half with four fouls and remaining in the game until the end.
She hit a 3-pointer with 6:41 in the third to open second-half scoring, then added a coast-to-coast layup a minute later. She hit two more baskets on a floating jumper and another full-court drive, and St. Stephen's led 34-19 after a game-winning 13-0 run.
Hanna finally scored on a follow shot by Brown with 2:44 left in third, but St. Stephen's was in firm control.
Leading 40-24, Marcel Oldman opened the final period with an arching lob over the top of the Hanna Elk Mountain zone to a wide open Camille Whiteman, who tallied the basket.
Alana Brown hit back-to-back jump shots in the paint, and the Eagles led 50-32.
St. Stephen's head coach Mike Redman put the team in a deliberate offense with three minutes left in the game, but Lynch found an opening on a dribble drive for a layup, and Oldman took a defensive rebound the length of the floor with 54 seconds left, was fouled, and hit the ensuing free throw for the 57-32 final score.
Lynch led all scorers with 21 points. Addison added a dozen, including a pair of key 3-point shots.
ST. STEPHEN'S 11 10 19 17 - 57
HANNA ELK MOUNTAIN 6 13 5 8 W22; 32
St. Stephen's -- Kayle Addison 1 0-0 2, Uriah Addison 2 (2) 2-4 12, Marcel Oldman 2 1-1 5, Rachelle Lynch 8 (1) 2-2 21, Camille Whiteman 3 1-4 7, Alana Brown 4 2-2 10. Totals 20 (3) 8-13 57
Hanna Elk Mountain - Maggie Johnson 1 1-3 3, Shelby Brown 1 (1) 2-4 7, Cheyenne Tompkins 1 0-2 2, Haley Clark 3 (1) 0-0 9, Brittany Dys 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 (2) 6-17 32
ST. STEPHEN'S 9 11 18 10 - 48
LITTLE SNAKE RIVER 7 24 14 12 W22; 57
St. Stephen's - Kayle Addison 3 (1) 1-3 10, Oldman 2 (2) 1-1 11, Lynch 6 1-4 13, Whiteman 2 2-3 6, Paige Shoyo 2 0-0 4, Faylynn Addison 2 0-0 4. Totals 17 (3) 5-11 48
Little Snake River - Katie Lee 2 (1) 5-7 12, Kaylee Moon 1 (1) 2-2 7, Lydia Skalberg 8 6-11 22, Kilie Wilkerson 0-2 0, Lil Hedges 3 3-6 9, Courtney Kudera 2-2 2, Katalynn Olson 1 3-4 5.Totals 15 (2) 21-32 57
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