Mar 1, 2012 - Randy Tucker, Staff WriterUpdate: 9:20 p.m.
Other first round scores:
Thermopolis 39, Southeast 34
Tongue River 49, Shoshoni 40
Lovell 61, Lusk 22
Wyoming Indian faces Thermopolis in the state semi-final game 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Casper Events Center.
CASPER -- The only things missing were a mask and a cape.
Wyoming Indian High School senior Anneshia Hill would not be denied in the Lady Chiefs opening round upset of top-seeded Pine Bluffs at the Class 2-A girls state basketball tournament in Casper.
The Chiefs came from behind to hand the Hornets their first loss this season to a Wyoming team 67-61.
The Chiefs are not known as an early morning team, and it showed in the opening minutes of the first period. Pine Bluffs built a 9-2 lead behind the play of Kodi Ragsdale and Cassidy Smith in the post. Jocelyn Underwood tallied the only basket for the Chiefs on a putback with 5:53 left in the first quarter.
Wyoming Indian's press forced repeated turnovers from the Hornets, but the Chiefs were able to convert just one possession into points. Pine Bluffs led by eight at the first break.
The Chiefs' defense picked up in the second, holding the Hornets to just eight points.
Then the offense began to click. Loveeda White, Kim Goggles and Brindi Lock worked well in the post against the larger but slower Pine Bluffs front line. The Chiefs closed to two points with 2:39 remaining in the half on a Lock follow shot, but Ragsdale scored with 34 seconds left. The Chiefs trailed by four at the break.
After putting up only 22 points in the opening half the Chiefs nearly matched that total in the third quarter with 21.
The Hornets packed the paint, and Wyoming Indian's long-range game made them pay. Kanani Washakie hit a 3-pointer to cut the margin to three points, but Andrea Baker answered with a trey for Pine Bluffs.
The Hornets built their lead back to seven, but treys from Hill, Jocelyn Underwood and Loveeda White closed the gap to 41-39 with 3:01 left in the third.
Hill began to drive and scored inside on Baker in spite of a 10 inch height advantage on the Pine Bluffs post. The period ended with the Chiefs trailing by two.
Underwood tied the game on a baseline trey with 6:36 left in the game but Pine Bluffs regained the lead on a free throw from Kayla Steger.
Hill and Washakie both picked up their fourth fouls, but Kelli Redcap entered the game and did a solid job on the perimeter. She hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 47.
Hill re-entered the contest and was the deciding factor down the stretch. The senior drilled an NBA range 3-pointer to lift Wyoming Indian to a 50-47 advantage with 5:06 remaining.
Underwood converted a pair of free throws, and the Chiefs held a tenuous five-point lead.
Baker moved from the post to beyond the arc and hit a 3-pointer to keep the Hornets in the contest.
One series epitomized the play of Hill in the game. With 3:38 left she missed a 3-pointer but snagged her own rebound, missed an eight-foot shot in the paint then grabbed the rebound again. On a step-through move she was hammered to the floor but hit both free throws to lift the Chiefs to a four-point advantage.
Pine Bluffs closed to within one point on two subsequent possessions, but momentum was clearly on the Wyoming Indian end of the floor.
White hit a baseline 3-pointer with 2:46 left in the game putting the Chiefs in the lead for good.
Hill hit a pair of free throws, as did Lock in the final minute. With Pine Bluffs gambling for a steal, Lock hit a wide-open 10-foot jump shot to ice it and send the Chiefs to the semifinals.
Wyoming Indian faces the winner of the Southeast Goshen/Thermopolis game at 4:30 pm Friday at the Casper Events Center.
WYOMING INDIAN 10 12 21 24 -- 67
PINE BLUFFS 18 8 19 16 - 61
Wyoming Indian - Anneshia Hill 3 (2) 5-8 17, Brindi Lock 1 4-8 6, Kanani Washakie 2 (1) 0-0 7, Loveeda White 4 (2) 0-0 14, Kim Goggles 4 0-0 8, Jocelyn Underwood 2 (2) 2-2 12, Kelli Redcap 1 1-2 3. Totals 17 (7) 12-20 67
Pine Bluffs - Tessa Werner 1 0-0 2, Kayla Steger 1 3-4 5, Stephanie Gorman 1-2 1, Cassidy Smith 6 4-7 16, Andrea Baker 3 (2) 0-0 12, Kodi Ragsdale 4 0-0 8, Laura Gross 6 2-3 14, Totals 22 (2) 11-18 61