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March 8, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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.................. , ....... . . :: .......... : ..... ,, . ...  L: ::' :ILL! ::'.. :;i:5,-: .... :: ":::: :. :. :,.: . L- : ::::: : .: .   ..... CHR I S March 8, 2012 I The Lovell Chronicle I 9 Lady Bulldogs do it again, stop Thermop for title BY DAVI D PECK It is said that defense and re- bounding win championships, and if that's truly the case, it's easy to see how the Lovell Lady Bulldogs captured their second straight Class 2A girls basketball title in Casper Saturday night. Lovell completed a 25-1 season by crushing the Thermopolis Lady Bobcats 54-22, and in doing so the Lady Bulldogs held the Lady Cats to a grand total of 4 points and no baskets in the entire second half. They also out-rebounded the girls in purple 43-25. Thermop played their best ball in the first quarter, outscor- ing Lovell 12-7 as the Lady Bull- dogs turned the ball over six times and had a difficult time finding the range, especially inside. Lovell led 6-3 midway through the first quarter on a Jodi Walker bank shot, a Walker jumper on a kick-out by Erin Robertson and an inside jumper by Robertson. Dana Bjorhus had a three-pointer for Thermop. Over the final 3 min- utes of the quarter, however, the Lady Bobcats outscored the Lady Bulldogs 9-1, getting inside the Lovell defense. "We were playing nervous and not playing like we'd been there before," coach Chris Edwards said. "It felt like we tightened up. It wasn't necessarily anything Thermop was doing to us. We had open looks and opportunities. "They (Thermop) had some confidence in the first quarter. difficulties finishing inside, the Lady Bulldogs outscored Thermop 14-4 the rest of the half. Leanne Winterholler started the run with a bank shot and also found Chelsey Ellis inside for two. Amanda Shumway scored 6 points, includ- ing a follow shot that put the Lady Bulldogs up 19-18 late in the half. Then with the clock winding down, senior point guard Alyssa Geiser fired up a trey that banked in, put- ting the Lady Bulldogs" up 22-18 and giving them some momentum heading into the second half. "At halftime we talked about focusing on the backboard and not worrying about where the defense is," Edwards said. "Defensively, we knew we had 'era where we wanted 'era. We were forcing them into shooting off-balance jump shots." To say that the Lady Bull- dogs dominated the second half defensively would be a huge un- derstatement. The Lady Bulldogs didn't allow a basket -just four free throws - and held Thermop to 0-16 shooting from the field. Lovell outscored Thermop 11-3 in the third quarter and 21-1 in the fourth. "On that stage it wasn't some- thing we even dreamed of happen- ing in the second half of a cham- pionship game," Edwards said. "We were still running our 1-2-2 (zone), but we were more active in it. We weren't letting their girls penetrate at it, and when they did penetrate, we rotated better. They played aggressive and loose. "We played more Composed, We were missing layups and free .... and they lost their composure." throws." The Lady Bobcats actually Thermopolis built the lead to 14-8 early in the second quarter, and Edwards called time out, tell- ing his team to "unwind and re- lax" and that it was "our game to take control of." "We were getting opportu- nities," he said "Offensively, we were getting the shots we wanted. It came down to relaxing and put- ting it in." Although they still had some scored half of their second-half points early in the third on two free throws by Bjorhus that kept them close at 24-20, but Lovell finished the third on a 9-1 run as Amanda Shumway scored on a three-point power play, Walker hit a left-handed hook, Shumway hit a baseline jumper and Robertson sank a pair of free throws. Lovell led 33-21 at the quarter break. Lovell quickly turned the game into a rout in the fourth quarter, starting the quarter with a 12-0 run fueled by Shumway and Win- terholler with 5 points each. After a Thermop free throw, the Lady Bulldogs scored the final 9 points of the game as Edwards first put all five seniors - Geiser, Walk- er, Winterholler, Robertson and Griffis -- back on the court togeth- er, then took them out as a group as they celebrated on the bench with big smiles on their faces. In the end, the Lady Bulldogs shot 46.5 percent from the field (55 percent in the second half) compared to 14.7 percent for Ther- mopolis. "We talked about defense and rebounding," Edwards said. "We're well-balanced, whereas they tried to rely on one girl (Bjorhus). We got the same shots we had in the first half, We just finished them in the second half." Amanda Shumway finished with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds. Robertson added 11 points and eight rebounds, Win- terholler 7 points and four assists, Walker 6 points and five boards, Geiser 5 points and four assists and Ellis 4 points and five re- bounds. The box score: LOVELL (54) Alyssa Geiser 1 2-4 5, Jodi Walker 3 0-1 6, Leanne Winterholler 3 0-0 7, Kassidy Hetland 0 0-0 0, Kim Shumway 1 1-3 3, Hannah McCurley 0 0-2 0, Amanda Shum- way 7 3-6 17, Chelsey Ellis 2 0-0 4, Chayli McArthur 0 0-0 0, Erin Robertson 3 5-7 11, Miranda Griflfs 0 1-4 1, Emilee Reasch 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 12-27 54. THERMOPOLIS (22) Delanie Price 0 0-0 0, Bailey Fisher 0 1-2 1, Sierra Schmidt 1 3-4 5, Kylie Fisher 0 0-5 0, Anja Abbott 0 0-0 0, Demitra Zamora 0 0-O 0, Haylee Hoffman 0 0-0 0, Jordan Leyba 0 0-0 0, Dana Bjorhus 3 3-5 10, Taylor Schwalbe 0 3-5 3, Desi Rangel 0 0-0 0. Totals 5 11-22 22. Lovell 7 15 11 21-54 Thermop 12 6 3 1-22 Three-point field goals - Geiser 1, Winter- holler 1; Bjorhus 1. Fouled out - Schwalbe. Total fouls - Lovel119, Thermop 22. DAVID PECK Senior Jodi Walker works inside for two points against the Thermop Lady Bobcats during Saturday night's championship game win at the Casper Events Center. Walker closed out her career with 6 points as Lovell romped 54-22. Second-half woes cost Bulldogs in title game loss BY DAVID PECK The pain of coming so close to a championship that they could almost taste it was etched on the faces of the Lovell Bulldogs Saturday night at the Casper Events Center after the Wyoming Indian Chiefs stopped the Bulldogs 68-57, earning their third state title in four years and their ninth overall, stak- ing a claim that they are the dominant boys program in Class 2A. The Lovell boys haven't won a title since back-to-back championships in 2002-03. Lovell led by 10 points twice in the third quarter, but the tide turned quick- ly and the Bulldogs seemed helpless to stop the Chiefs and their relentless defense and hot shooting. After a 37-27 lead, Wyoming Indian outscored Lovell 41-20 the rest of the way. Lovell came out strong and quickly forged a 10-5 lead, crashing the boards for follow shots, two each by McKayan May and Cody Savage and a baseline jump- er by Ryan Clark. After a Chief bucket, Savage pow- ered for two points and Co- lin May drove for two after a steal by his cousin McKayan to put the Bulldogs up 14-7. Wyoming Indian trimmed the deficit to one point, 14-13, but Lovell finished the quar- ter with a 7-0 run to lead 21- 13 as Savage powered home a follow shot, found Clark in- side for two and fmished the quarter with a three-point play. Savage finished the quarter with 11 points. "We wanted to press 'em a little bit, and they turned DAVID PECK Sorrow could be seen on the faces of the Lovell boys basketball team near the end of the championship game loss to the Wyoming Indian Chiefs Saturday night at the Casper Events Center. Pictured are (I-r) Colin May, McKayan May, Dylan Hultgren and Cody Savage. the ball over early (eight times in the first quarter)," May said. "Our game plan was to work it inside to Cody and Ryan, and it seemed to be working pretty well. As I think back on it, we didn't run a lot of things for Co- lin to get him going early. I think we were kind of one- dimensional. We should have gotten our perimeter game going and slashes to the basket. "We did a good job in the first half against (John) Soundingsides. We held him to 5 points. But Colin only had 2, so you could say it was a draw. We owned the glass in the first .half. The kids were doing great." Despite solid defense by the Bulldogs, Wyoming In- dian gradually cut the lead to two, 21-19, in the sec- ond quarter as the Bulldogs couldn't buy a basket at the offensive end. Finally, nearly four minutes into the quar- ter, Savage scored inside, then Dylan Hultgren hit a jumper in the lane as the Bulldogs went back up by six points, 25-19. Two buckets by the Chiefs were answered by two by the Bulldogs, a bank shot by Hultgren on an assist by Savage and a follow shot by Clark. Lovell led 29-23 at half time. Lovell shot just 40 per- cent from the field in the first half but had 11 offensive re- bounds that resulted in 12 points. In the third quarter, an early 6-2 run gave the Bull- dogs a 35-25 lead as Clark scored inside, Savage hit a jumper and McKayan May scored a put-back. After Al- vin Spoonhunter hit for the Chiefs, Clark followed his own miss - Lovell's eighth put-back of the game - as Lovell led 37-27. It would be Lovell's last basket of the quarter. The Chiefs began one of their vaunted runs and the Bulldogs seemed powerless to stop them, going stone cold and/or losing the ball at one end, then watching as John Soundingsides (10 points during the run) or one of his teammates would either bury a trey or fly to the hoop. Wyo- ming Indian closed the quar- ter by outscoring Lovell 20-2 to lead 47-39 after three. 'qNe were focusing so much on going inside that when it wasn't working we kind of stagnated a little bit," May said. "When we got it into the post, they were dou- ble-teaming. We talked about kicking it back out. I kind of felt that was a lot of it. 'e were also getting beat at times one on one. We were opening up too much instead of squaring up with them." Although there was a quarter left to play, the game was never in doubt air that. Wyoming Indian scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to lead 51-39, and af- ter a trey by Colin May and a Clark bucket on a May assist on either side of a Sounding- sides bank shot, the Chiefs scored six straight to lead 59- 44 with four minutes lefL in the game. Lovell outscored Wyo- ming Indian 13-9 the rest of the way but could get no closer than nine points as the Chiefs celebrated their third consecutive post-season win over the Bulldogs in two years. "In the fourth quarter we started trying to run things for Colin up high and he scored 11 points," May said. "We had asked Colin to guard Soundingsides, too. We held Soundingsides to four points under his average, but Colin was seven under his aver- age. I thought (Wilson) Clif- ford stepped up for them (12 points). Wyoming Indian finished the game shooting 52 per- cent from the field to Lovell's 36 percent, and while both teams had 21 turnovers, the Chiefs' bench scored 20 points to Lovell's 1. Savage scored 17 points for the Bulldogs and pulled down 13 rebounds including five offensive rebounds. He also had five assists. Clark added 14 points and six re- bounds, Colin May 13 points, six boards and four steals. McKayan May and Dylan Hultgren added 6 points each, with May also grabbing five rebounds. Soundingsides scored 20 points for WIHS, Wilson Clifford and Spoonhunter 12 each. The game was the fi- nal contest for seniors Colin May, Collin McArthur, Ste- ven Pickett, Hunter Hinck- ley, McKayan May and Mor- gan Baxendale. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 22-7 record. The box score: WYO. INDIAN (68) Tyler Penatac 2 0-0 4, Joey Aragon 2 0-0 5, Wilson Clifford 5 2-3 12, Joseph Howell 2 1-4 5, Ron Mitchell 2 2-2 6, Alvin Spoonhunter 5 2-4 12, John Soundingsides 7 3-4 20, Trevor Williamson 2 0-0 4. Totals 27 10-17 68. LOVELL (57) Colin May 4 3-4 13, Collin McArthur 0 O-0 0, Steven Pickett 0 0-0 0, Hunter Hinckley 0 0-0 0, McKayan May 3 0-1 6, Morgan Baxendale 0 1-2 1, Dylan Hultgren 3 0-0 6, Ryan Clark 7 0-1 14, Cody Savage 7 3-3 17. Totals 24 7-11 57. WlHS 13 10 24 21-68 Lovelll 21 8 10 18-57 Three-point field goals - Sounding- sides 3, Aragon 1; C. May 2. Fouled out - none. Total fouls - WlHS 14, Lovel114.