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Third place for Lady Chiefs at state

Mar 10, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer

Wyoming Indian fell Friday night to Tongue River in the Class 1-A semifinals before edging Sundance on Saturday.

CASPER -- The Wyoming Indian Lady Chiefs took home the third-place trophy in Class 2-A with hard fought 59-57 win Saturday over the upstart Sundance Bulldogs at the Casper Events Center. The Chiefs finished the weekend 2-1 in state tournament action.

The Tongue River trio of Sarah Rawlings, Amanda Buller and Kortni Sharp combined for 42 points in the Eagles' 65-44 win over Wyoming Indian in Friday's semifinal.

Wyoming Indian often meets head coach Diane Moser and her Eagles at the state tournament, and it always presents a challenge for the Chiefs. The two teams met back in December at Ethete in a four-point win by Tongue River, but the Eagles were missing Rawlings in that game.

The Lady Chiefs were cold from the start, missing point-blank shots early and often as the perennial 2-A powerhouse Eagles moved the ball to the open player methodically and picked up early fouls on Wyoming Indian.

Tongue River scored six of its first eight points from the line to open the game. Wyoming Indian trailed 4-0, but a Loveeda White 3-pointer and a free throw from Shaylee Lonedog tied the score with 5:45 left in the first quarter.

The game was tied two more times, and the Chiefs held the lead just once at 10-8 after an Elsie Marquez turnaround shot in the lane.

Buller hit the first of her two treys on the game to regain the lead for Tongue River, and the Eagles never looked back. With 50 seconds left in the half, Boller's second trey gave the Eagles a double-digit lead at 32-22.

Wyoming Indian extended its defense after the half to slow the Eagle's outside shooting and Tongue River went to Sharp immediately for the first two baskets of the second half.

Frustration rolled like an avalanche over Wyoming Indian, with shot after shot falling short, rolling off the rim or careening wide of the mark.

No one tallied double figure scoring for Wyoming Indian. Marquez and White each scored nine, while Rawlings poured in 16, Buller 14 and Sharp a dozen for the Eagles.

WIHS 59, Sundance 57

Saturday's third-place game pitted the Chiefs against one of the state's highest scorers in 5-9 senior Kacie O'Connor of Sundance. The senior scored 35 points, including 14 of 16 from the line, to lead the Bulldogs almost single-handedly against Wyoming Indian.

Loveeda White tallied 21 to lead the Chiefs in a solid team effort.

Wyoming Indian committed only two turnovers compared to 19 forced on the Bulldogs by the Chiefs' pressure defense.

The Chiefs led at the half by just four points. Sundance rose to the challenge in the final two periods in an engaging back-and-forth battle.

The game was tied seven times with an equal number of lead changes in the third and fourth quarters.

Kelsie Loken gave Sundance its first lead with 3:30 left in the third quarter, followed by bucket by Cayla Adams that game the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game at 31-28.

The Chiefs regained the lead on free throws by Marquez and a basket from White, but an Adams jumper knotted the game again at 33.

The Chiefs didn't shoot well either night on the Events Center floor, and a five-shot flurry at the end of the third quarter was indicative of their frustration. Marquez finally hit a follow shot after her teammates had missed three straight after an initial miss by Marquez herself, but the effort gave Wyoming Indian a 36-35 advantage entering the final period.

Ties at 39, 41 and 44 left Wyoming Indian with the upper hand each time, and the Chiefs never relinquished the lead.

White hit a trey with 5:21 remaining, but O'Connor took the team on her shoulders and tried to win the game.

The Chiefs countered with McGill, Marquez and White scoring in the final minutes to hold off the Bulldogs for the win.

Wyoming Indian graduates seniors McGill and Lonedog and returns a bevy of talented players to the Southwest next season.

WYOMING INDIAN 11 11 9 13 - 44

TONGUE RIVER 15 19 15 16 - 65

Wyoming Indian - Kayleen Harding 1 0-0 2, Else Marquez 4 1-1 9, Loveeda White 3 (1) 0-2 9, Rhiannon Mitchell 1-2 1, Amyrn Brown 1 (1) 0-0 5, Jasmine McGill (1) 0-0 3, Taylor Harris 1-2 1, Shaylee Lone Dog 2 4-7 8, Shaunte St. Clair 1 0-1 2, Dailyn Friday 2 0-2 4. Totals 14 (3) 7-17 44

Tongue River - Amanda Buller 4 (2) 0-2 14, Sarah Rawlings 6 (1) 1-1 16, Cheyloh Bluemel 1 2-2 4, Tara Stimpson 67 6, Allison Reed 1 1-1 3, Kortni Sharp 6 0-1 12, Eryn Aksamit 3 2-4 8, Kylee Knoblach 2-4 2. Totals 21 (3) 14-22 65

WYOMING INDIAN 14 11 11 23 - 59

SUNDANCE 9 12 14 22 - 57

Wyoming Indian - Marquez 3 5-8 11, White 5 (3) 2-4 21, Brown 1 (1) 1-2 6, McGill 2 (2) 0-0 10, Lonedog 1 0-0 2, St. Clair 1 2-2 4, Friday 1 3-4 5. Totals 14 (6) 13-20 59

Sundance - Brooklyn Fossen 3-7 3, Cayla Adams 3 5-6 11, Krista Drentlaw 2 0-2 4, Kacie O'Connor 9 (1) 14-16 35, Kelsie Loken 2 -0-0 4. Totals 16 (1) 22-31 57

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Wyoming Indian, Chiefs