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Lovell , Wyoming
February 2, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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February 2, 2012

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CHRONICLE Or S February 2, 2012 I The Lovell Chronicle I 9 Bulldogs pull away late to top Grizz BY DAVID PECK For about 25 minutes Thursday night, the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies went toe to toe with the top- ranked Lovell Bulldogs at the RMHS Gym in Cowley, but fourth-quarter doldrums doomed the Grizz as the Bulldogs pulled away to win 67-51. Until the Grizz found a lid on the basket in the fourth, they battled the Bulldogs hard in a very en- tertaining game. The lead changed hands 10 times in the first three quarters, and was also tied five times as the two longtime rivals fought for control of the game. The game was a con- trast in styles. Lovell worked the ball inside to center Cody Savage early in the game, and the big junior scored the first four baskets of the game inside for the Bulldogs, then moved out- side to drill a three-pointer as Lovell led 11-8 and then 13-8 on a Colin May drive. "We knew we would def- initely have an advantage with our bigs, Cody espe- cially," Lovell coach Brian May said. "The kids did a nice job. We tried a few new things. We set Cody up to come from different spots, to disguise where he was coming from and who was screening for him. We did a good job executing that and Cody wasn't rushing. He was very comfortable and patient." Rocky coach Michael Bernhisel said, with his team's height disadvantage, the Grizzlies once again used ball pressure out front to make it harder for Lovell to execute the entry pass to the post, knowing that the tactic also left freshman cen- ter Kirby Winland "on an is- land" inside against Savage. "It was a good learning experience for Kirby," Sim- mons said. "Kirby is a good player and is going to be a great player. He's continu- ing to learn every week and is becoming more aggres- sive. "Against every team we play we're trying to create ball pressure...Lovell has good, disciplined guards and was able to work with that pressure more than other teams. Cody did a good job getting his shot up quickly and not allowing the double team to come." Rocky, meanwhile, fac- ing a substantial disadvan- tage in size, went to the outside game and drained four treys in the first quar- ter including three straight, one by Michael Bernhisel and two by Derik Romero that put the Grizz up 17- 13. A hook shot by Bulldog Morgan Baxendale cut the margin to two points at the quarter break, 17-15. "We tried to spread it out," Simmons said. "That's our game plan - layups and threes. We were very suc- cessful for three quarters. We created some good looks from the outside. The young men did a great job doing that, and two to three Lovell players got into foul trouble early." Lovell started the sec- ond quarter with a 6-0 run to lead 21-17, but Cannon Simmons broke the string with a drive. Savage and Colin May countered with buckets for the Bulldogs, but a three-point play (bas- ket and free throw) by Win- land kept the Grizz close. Rocky outscored Lovell 7-2 down the stretch to tie the score at halftime, 29-29. "Rocky really did a good job shooting the basketball, DAVID PECK Lovell senior McKayan May attempts to drive baseline against Rocky Mountain defender Shane Wocicki during Lovell's Thursday. and that kind of kept them close," May said. "What l liked about our team was, while they were hitting a lot of perimeter shots, they re- ally didn't extend their lead. We had some perimeter open looks, too, that didn't fall for us in that game. "I felt at times defen- sively, especially in the fist half, that we got caught in transition at times, leav- ing some open looks, And they knocked 'era down. We concentrated in the second half on not allowing transi- tion and leaving people wide 67-51 win in Cowley open." The lead see-sawed back and forth early in the third quarter as Lovell went back inside to Savage and Rocky stayed hot from beyond the arc as Bernhisel, Ward and Romero each knocked down treys. Savage scored all of the points during a 6-2 burst for the Bulldogs, but base- line drives by Romero and Bill Despain kept the Grizz close, trailing 45-44. In the closing seconds of the quar- ter Dylan Hultgren worked inside for a Lovell basket and Romero hit one of two at the line for the Grizz as Lovell led 47-45 at the quar- ter break. The fourth quarter was almost all Lovell. Cannon Simmons scored on a hus- tle play to match a McK- ayan May basket, but then the proverbial lid went on the basket for the Grizz and Lovell ripped off a 14-0 run to lead to lead 63-47, turn- ing a nail-biter into a dou- ble-digit lead. Colin May scored 6 during the run, Savage 5 and Hultgren 3. Bernhisel finally broke the ice for Rocky with a trey with about a minute and a half left in the game, but the damage had been done and Lovell went on to win 67-51. "They missed some shots early in the fourth quarter, and we got the re- bound and scored," May said. "And we got to the foul line, which helped us." Simmons said he was pleased with his team's de- fense and praised Derik Romero for doing a good job - spelled by Cannon Sim- mons - guarding Lovell leading scorer Colin May. Overall, Coach Sim- mons said, the Grizz ex- ecuted what the coaches drew up in the locker room. "Everything we needed to do, they did," Simmons said about his squad. "Our goal was to win the game, but there were some lit- tle short-term goals we did a very good job on, even with Cody having a career night." Down the stretch, he said, the Grizz missed some shots, missed some front ends of one-and-one free- throw opportunities, had some turnovers and had some mental breakdowns defensively, but overall, the Grizzlies executed the game plan and were in a position to win late into the game. Savage had a monster game for the Bulldogs, fin- ishing with 34 points and 14 rebounds. Colin May added 12 points and four assists, Dylan Hultgren 9 points and seven rebounds. As for the Grizzlies, Romero fin- ished with 16 points, Bern- hisel and Ward 9 each, Cam non Simmons 6. Ward and Winland pulled down six re- bounds each. The box score: LOVELL (67) Colin May 4 4-5 12, Collin McArthur 0 1-2 1, Hunter Hinckley 0 0-0 0, McKayan May 2 1-2 5, Morgan Baxendale 2 0-0 4, Dylan Hultgren 2 5-6 9, Ryan Clark 1 0-0 2, Cody Savage 13 7-7 34. Totals 24 18-22 67. ROCKY (51) Michael Bernhisel 3 0-2 9, Shane Wocicki 1 1-2 4, Joey Jewell 0 0-0 0, Bill Despain 1 0-0 2, Kirby Winland 1 3-3 5, Derik Romero 6 1-2 16, Cannon Simmons 2 2-3 6, Bryce Ward 3 1-39. Totals 17 8-15 51. Lovell 15 14 18 20-67 Rocky 17 12 16 6- 51 Three-point field goals - Savage 1 ; Bernhisel 3, Romero 3, Ward 2, Wocicki 1. Fouled out - Baxendale. Total fouls - Lovell 20, Rocky 20. LOVELL JVS WIN Lovell won the junior varsity game 45-26, leading 19-16 at the half and then pulling away by outscoring the Grizz 26-10 in the sec- ond half. Brandon Wolvington scored 13 points for the Bulldogs, Austin Ellis 7, Chase Tippetts 6, Calin McArthur 5, Mysen McAr- thur 4, Jacob Adey, Seth Kite and Morgan May 3 each, Aaron Monterde 1. For the Grizz, Joey Jew- ell scored 13, Bill Despain and Cannon Simmons 5 each, Jordan Arnold 2 and Darren Brumwell 1. Lady Bulldogs battle past improved Rocky Mountain team BY DAVID PECK The Rocky Mountain Lady Grizzlies showed that they've come a long way as they hosted the top-ranked Lovell Lady Bulldogs Thurs- day night in Cowley, but they also learned that they have a way to go to compete with the best of the best. For the Lady Bulldogs, it was a solid road win against a solid opponent. Lovell won the first of two annual rivalry games 47- 31. "It's always interesting when you play a team from close by like this, your ri- vals," said Rocky coach Ryan Boettcher. "There's always a big crowd, which makes it fun. It was a big night and we need to learn to play un- der that kind of pressure. If you're going out for tourna- ments and want to do well, you have to learn to play this kind of game." Points didn't come eas- ily for either team Thursday, but Lovell battled to an early 8-0 lead and never trailed in the contest. A flurry of offen- sive rebounds finally led to the first basket of the game, a follow shot by senior center Erin Robertson, and that was followed by a transition bas- ket by Amanda Shumway, an inside bucket by Alyssa Geiser on a cut to the basket and an inside move by Jodi Walker. Lovell was very aggres- sive to the hoop early. 'Te were being aggres- sive attacking the basket," Lovell coach Chris Edwards said. "We talk about attack- ing things north and south and getting to the rim. We feel we have the athletic abil- ity to put pressure on teams by attacking with penetra- tion or with solid cuts." Kallee Wilson final- ly broke the ice for Rocky Mountain with a jumper 2 minutes into the game, but Shumway scored again in transition to put Lovell up 10-2, and the Lady Bulldogs went on to lead 13-8 after the first quarter. Rocky cut the lead to three, 13-10, on a baseline jumper by Brianna Hock- er early in the second quar- ter, but Leanne Winterhol- ler drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to put Lovell up 16-10. Later in the quarter, a trey by Hannah Winland cut the lead to three again, 18-15, but the Lady Grizz cooled off and went about five minutes without scoring. Lovell didn't exactly light it up, setting for lots of outside jumpers, but a long J by Winterholler and, later, a baseline jumper by Chelsey Ellis and a trey by Geiser boosted the Lovell lead to 25-15 before a follow shot by Shauna Loman kept the Lady Grizz in the ballgame at halftime, 25-17. "We quit attacking and settled for outside shots," Ed- wards said. "We weren't put- ting pressure on the defense." Lovell asserted control of the game in the third quar- ter, launching an 11-1 run to boost the lead to 36-18. Winterholler scored 5 points during the run, Shumway and Robertson 3 each. Lovell went on to lead 37-20 at the quarter break. "We had a pretty good first half against Lovell, but the third quarter hurt us for the most part," said Boettch- er. "The bottom line about Lovell is that they are a good team, and you can't go out against a good team and make too many mistakes like we did in this game. We got stagnant and weren't doing the things we needed to do, especially in the third quar- ter. Luckily, we .had a bet- ter fourth and I think that helped us to bring our score up a little in the end. Sixteen points seems like a lot, but when you look at it in terms of the overall game it's only PATTI CARPENTER Mandee Leonhardt (1) chases Alyssa Geiser down the court during the game played on Thursday night between Lovell and RMHS. eight baskets." Boettcher thought the team was "a little tentative" in their offense in the third quarter, which hurt the team's ability to score. A move and jumper by Shumway boosted the Lovell lead to 19 points, 39-20, early in the fourth period, but the Lady Grizz had some fight left, ripping off an 11-2 run to close the gap to 10, 41-31. Rachael Allred made a move for a bank shot, Loman drilled a trey and Wilson hit two free throws, then scored on an in-bound play. After the Wilson buck- et, the Grizz immediately called time out with 2:40 to play and set up full- court pressure. The Grizz got a free-throw miss out of the Lady Bulldogs, but the Lovell five also played solid defense and Rocky didn't score again. Baskets by Shumway on a feed from Walker, Geiser on a steal and Shumway on an assist from Geiser boosted the fi- nal margin to 16, 47-31. "They're a solid team," Edwards said. "They're not going to turn the ball over a lot. We had opportunities and just some shots, too. "Defensively, we played a straight-up man and chal- lenged everything they did. We held them to three points in the third quar- ter and no field goals. We were putting on more ball pressure and contesting every pass. They weren't able to get the ball inside when they wanted it, and Erin did a good job trying to front Kallee." "I thought the defensive part of things went well; I think we kept track of ev- erybody really well," said Boettcher. "Lovell is defi- nitely the most complete team, top to bottom, that we've faced all season. "Lovell is the number one team right now and de- servedly so. They are play- ing good basketball and have a lot of talent on their team." Amanda Shumway led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points and five re- bounds. Winterholler added 10 points and six assists, Geiser 7 points, Robertson 5 points and five steals. Wilson scored 13 points for the Lady Grizz, Loman 9. The box score: LOVELL (47) Alyssa Geiser 3 0-0 7, Jodi Walker 1 0-1 2, Leanne Winterholler 4 0-0 10, Kim Shumway 2 0-1 4, Amanda Shumway 7 1-1 16, Chelsey Ellis 1 0-0 2, Erin Robertson 2 1-1 5, Miranda Griffis 0 1-2 1. Totals 20 3-6 47. ROCKY (31) Mandee Leonhardt 1 0-0 2, Brianna Hocker 1 0-0 2, Karli Leonhardt 0 0-4 0, Rachael AIIred 1 0-0 2, Kallee Wilson 4 5-6 13, Hannah Winland 1 0-0 3, Shauna Loman 4 0-0 9, Isabel Gurrola 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 5-10 31. Lovell 13 12 12 10-47 Rocky 8 9 3 11- 31 Three-point field goals - Winter- holler 2, Geiser 1, A. Shumway 1; Wintand 1, Loman 1. Fouled out - none. Total fouls - Lovel112, Rocky 14.