Zone defense pays off for Lander girls

Dec 16, 2012 Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

By Bruce Tippets

Sports Editor

Coach Spike Robinson made the switch to a zone defense in the second half Saturday, and the plan worked for Lander Valley High School in a 60-48 victory over the Wheatland Bulldogs at the Douglas Classic girls basketball tournament.

Robinson said the defensive change caught Wheatland off guard.

"We played it really well despite the fact that we never practice it," Robinson said. "Wheatland was getting some easy shots that we maybe could cure by going to a zone. We were just going to play it for a couple of minutes. We ended up playing it the whole second half."

LVHS lost to the Rawlins Outlaws 74-54 Friday night. The Tigers played Douglas later Saturday night to end the first month of the season.

LVHS will return to action Jan. 4 playing Star Valley on the road in a Class 3-A West conference affair.

Lander 60, Wheatland 48

(Saturday afternoon)

"We didn't turn the ball over too much," Robinson said.

LVHS had a 25-20 lead at halftime.

"Wheatland got the lead a little bit at the start of the third quarter," Robinson said.

The Bulldogs retook the advantage at 32-31, but LVHS pulled way later.

"We started to rebound and Wheatland started to miss shots," Robinson said. "The zone messed them up."

Lander's Shanda Post scored a team-high 27 points.

Keesha Rowan scored nine points, and Deja Jones finished with 14.

"Deja does a great job," Robinson said. "She was a monster against Wheatland in the zone. She just makes it tough for the kids to pass around and makes it tough to shot over."

Rawlins 74, Lander 54

In the second half, the Tigers cut the Rawlins lead down to nine points going into the fourth quarter.

"We really played well in the third quarter," Robinson said. "We just kind of ran out of gas."

Robinson said Rawlins has a pair of really good guards.

"Every roll play that they had scored," Robinson said.

"They would go on 8-0 runs without their best players. It was just kids that you would not even think about."

Rowan netted 25 points in the 20-point loss.

"She scored mostly on drives and pull-ups," Robinson said. "She had to guard their best player and did a good job."

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