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March 10, 2011     Lovell Chronicle
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March 10, 2011

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10 i The Lovell Chronicle J March 10, 2011 www.LovellChronicle.com Round one BY DAVID PECK The Lovell Lady Bull- dogs must be "morning peo- ple" because they came out strong and took apart the Lingle-Ft. Laramie Lady Doggers 70-26 in the first round of the State Basket- ball Tournament in the first game of the day Thursday morning at Casper College. The 9 a.m. tip-off didn't seem to bother the Lady Bulldogs a bit as they jumped out to a 13-0 lead by forcing turnovers, shar- ing the ball and taking the ball strong to the basket. "We talked about the mindset going into an ear- ly-morning game," coach Chris Edwards said. "As coaches we wanted to start out with a full-court press to get the level of the game at a quicker pace. Some- times that gets our legs go- ing. We knew Lingle was a team that, if you let them hang around, can beat a good team, which they did against Pine Bluffs in their regional." Jodi Walker got the Lovell juggernaut started with an inside bucket, then Karen Koritnik converted a steal into 2 points. Erin Robertson scored inside, and Walker fed Leanne Winterholler for a jumper as Lovell led 8-0. Alyssa Geiser hit Rob- ertson on a fast break for A trey by Chelsey Ellis to a three-point play, then start the fourth quarter kept scored herself on a give-the momentum up for the and-go from Amanda Shum- Lady Bulldogs, and they con- way, putting Lovell up 13-0 tinued to work hard, outscor- over the shell-shocked Dog- ing the Doggers 19-7 to win gers, who finally scored 3 going away, 70-26. minutes into the game on a Lovell shot 48 percent drive by quick guard Heath- er Gibbs. Lovell kept it up and went on to lead 24-8 at the quarter break. Lovell forced nine turn- overs in the first quarter and nine more in the second, con- tinuing to pull away with a 10-7 advantage to lead 34- 15 at intermission. Edwards pulled the full-court pressure midway through the quarter. %Ve were able to pres- sure their guards in the half court," he said 'We didn't al- low them to set up in their of- fense." Not choosing to go through the motions, the Lady Bulldogs came out of the locker room in the third quarter with fire in their eyes and continued to play aggressive ball, starting the period with a 9-0 run to lead 43-15. Koritnik scored in transition, converte l a steal and took a pass from Geiser on the fast break for a three- point play. Geiser then com- pleted the outburst with a fast-break bucket. Lovell went on to lead 51-19 after three. in the game to 23 percent for Lingle, and the Bulldogs went to the foul line 23 times, hitting 15. They took only six three-pointers, hitting one. Rebounding was near- ly even at 36-35 in favor of Lovell, and state stat keep- ers recorded a stunning 37 turnovers for Lingle, 18 for Lovell. Koritnik recovered from an early hustle injury (flying out of bounds after a loose ball) to score 18 points and record four steals. Robert- son added 13 points and five rebounds, Walker 12 points and six boards. Geiser fin- ished with 8 points, five re- bounds and three assists, Shumway 6 points and four boards. "We received contribu- tions from everybody," Ed- wards said. "I thought Erin and Jodi did a nice job look- ing for their shots inside. That gave us good balance. It was good to see both of our post players in double figures." The win propelled the Lady Bulldogs (22-3) into the state semifinals against Tongue River, while Lingle- Ft. Laramie (9-16) dropped into the consolation brack- et, where the Lady Doggers fell to Wyoming Indian Fri- day morning, 59-52. The box score: LINGLE (26) Hannah Gibbs 1 2-4 5, Heather Gibbs.1 0-1 2, Breann Garhart 01-2 1, Morgan Kappen 0 0-0 0, Kylah Meyer 4 1-2 9, Shaylee Rickard 2 0-2 4, Courtney Rickard 2 0-0 5, Kay!ee Greenwald 0 0-1 0. Totals 10 4-12 26. LOVELL (70) Alyssa Geiser 4 0-0 8, Jodi Walker 3 6-7 12, Leanne Winterholler 1 2-3 4, Karen Koritnik 8 2-3 18, Susie Shumway 0 1-2 1, Chelsey Ellis 2 0-0 5, Amanda Shumway 3 0-0 6, Erin Robertson 5 3-3 13, Miranda Griffis 1 1-5 3, Kim Shumway 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 15-23 70. Lingle 8 7 4 7 - 26 Lovell 24 10 17 19 - 70 Three-point field goals - Han. Gibbs 1, C. Rickard 1; Ellis 1. Fouled out - none. Total fouls - Lingle 17, Lovel116. Right, Lovell senior Karen Koritnik powers to the basket against Lingle-Ft. Laramie during Lovell's 70-26 opening-round win Thursday morning at Casper College. Koritnik scored 18 points in the victory. DAVID PECK PHOTO nnln BY DAVID PECK The Lovell Lady Bull- dogs were crowned state champions Saturday night in Casper, but they almost didn't make it out of the second round, roaring from behind to top the tradition- rich Tongue River Lady Ea- gles 46-42 before a throng of unbelieving fans at the Casper Events Center Fri- day evening, 21': Rarely has a team come back from the dead the way the Lady Bulldogs did. Lovell got down ear- ly, 6-0, fought back to trail 13-12 after the first quar- ter, trailed by six in the sec- ond but then scored eight straight on an Erin Robert- son jumper, a Karen Korit- nik three-pointer and a Le- anne Winterholler trey to lead 25-23 before a late TR bucket tied the score 25-25 at halftime. "They're a team that is always well prepared for the state tournament," coach Chris Edwards said of the Eagles and their four titles in the previous six years. "Dianne Moser has them prepared for each team she faces. "They play a tight 2-3 zone. They force you to be patient and wait for you to force a pass where it shouldn't go. You have to have good spacing in your offense. If there's poor spac- ing it's easier to defend a team. We talked spacing in our zone offense and get- ting good ball reversal. We did a good job of it for the most part. We weren't forc- ing shots when they weren't there." Things were looking good, but then the Lady DAVID PECK Emotions ranging from shock and disbelief to relief and joy were evident on the faces of the Lovell Lady Bulldogs following their dramatic come,from- behind victory over Tongue River Friday evening at the Casper Events Center. Pictured are (l-r) Alyssa Geiser, Chelsey Ellis, Leanne Winterholler and Amanda Shumway. Bulldogs played perhaps their worst quarter of the season - at least offensively - and were outscored 13-1 in the third to trail 38-26. It looked like the hopes of a state title were over for a team that had been ranked number one all season. The Lady Bulldogs had shot the ball fairly well in the first half, hitting at a 43.5 percent clip from the field including five of nine three-pointers, but the team clearly was off its game in the third. The Lady Bulldogs were sluggish on offense, sleepwalking their way through the quarter and failing to hit a basket - and only one of four free throws - as Tongue River slowly took command of the game. Old team chemistry de- mons that have plagued the Lady Bulldogs off and on this season also seemed to raise their ugly heads once again, and trailing by 12 points to the Eagles and veteran coach Dianne Mo- ser, the Bulldogs appeared to be dead in the water. "The second half is usu- ally when we start to pull away from teams," Ed- wards said. "We were mak- ing poor choices on where the ball was being distrib- uted. We started forcing the ball when openings were not there." Inexplicably, it was Tongue River that turned tentative in the fourth quarter as Lovell dug deep and turned up the heat on defense, forcing turnovers and disrupting the TR of- fense with a full-court press. With her team trail- ing 39-28, Winterholler sparked the Lady Bulldogs with a clutch trey, then Amanda Shumway hit two free throws and powered home a follow shot. Then Koritnik battled for the ball as three Eagle players collapsed on her. She held on and found Winterholler beyond the arc and the ju- nior's trey was true. Sud- denly, Lovell was back in it trailing 39-38. "The girls that were fo- cusing on the game really stepped up and contribut- ed," Edwards said. "Leanne and Amanda really sparked US. "We told the girls to full- court man'emto create some turnovers. We felt they were kind of in a stall in the half court trying to burn clock." Following a time out, A1- yssa Geiser picked an Eagle clean and converted, putting the Lady Bulldogs on top for the first time since late in the first half, 40-39. "There are not too many girls who can create that kind of ball pressure at that moment," Edwards said of his junior point guard. But the Lady Bulldogs weren't finished. Miranda Griffis hit a jumper in the key in traffic and Shum- way sprinted ahead on a fast break, took a pretty pass from Geiser and roared to the basket. Lovell had a 16-0 run and a 44-39 lead with under a minute to play. Tongue River senior Kim Caywood finally broke the drought for the Lady Eagles, draining a clutch trey, but Geiser calmly sank two free throws with 23 seconds left and Caywood's final three- pointer missed, preserving a 46-42 Lovell victory. Excited teammates hugged as Lovell fans cheered but also shook their heads in disbelief. "We were dead in the wa- ter, and all of a sudden they came out of their mental struggles and decided they didn't want to lose out in another semifinal at State," Edwards said. Lovell (23-3) was in the championship game, and when East three seed Burns upset Big Horn 52-50 in the other semifinal, the Lady Bulldogs had their matchup. The Lady Bulldogs shot only 27 percent from the field in the second half, 34.7 percent for the game, but TR shot only 29 percent in the second half, 31 percent for the game. Lovell did con- nect on seven of 18 three- point attempts and forced 20 turhovers, picking up 13 steals in the process. Winterholler finished with 13 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs, hitting four of eight shots from three- point land. She also had four steals. Koritnik added 10 points and six rebounds, Geiser 7 points and four steals, Shumway 6 points and six boards. Griffis and Robertson scored 4 points each, Jodi Walker 2. Caywood finished with a 14-point, nine-rebound performance for the Eagles, who came back to beat con- ference rival Big Horn 49- 38 for third place. The box score: TONGUE RIVER (42) Sarah Rawlings 0 1-2 1, Cierra Cooley 1 1-2 3, Tiana Mitchell 2 0-1 5, Sarah Nielsen 3 1-2 7, JoRee LaFrance 2 0-0 5, Kim Caywood 4 4-7 14, Tianne Main 1 0-0 2, Taylor LaFrance 1 3-5 5. Totals 14 10-19 42. LOVELL (46) Alyssa Geiser 2 2-2 7, Jodi Walker 1 0-0 2, Leanne Winterholler 4 1-2 13, Karen Koritnik 4 0-1 10, Susie Shumway 0 0-2 0, Chelsey Ellis 0 0-0 0, Amanda Shumway 2 2-2 6, Erin Robertson 2 0-0 4, Miranda Griffis 2 0-2 4. Totals 17 5-11 46. T. River 13 12 12 5 - 42 Lovell 12 13 1 20 - 46 Three-point field goals - Caywood 2, Mitchell 1, J. LaFrance 1; Winter- holler 4, Koritnik 2, Geiser 1. Fouled out - Robertson. Total fouls - TR 14, Lovel115. and got 13 rebounds." Koritnik said experi- ence and a will to win put the Lady Bulldogs over the top. "We had a lot of experi- ence and a good group of athletic kids," she said. "We really wanted it. It was a passion. That was a lot of it. "We really played well continued from page 9 together. The games we played the best were when we had a lot of assists, when we shared the basketball." Geiser agreed that ex- perience played a major role, adding, "We all played really good and played to- gether. We all really want- ed to win." The box score: BURNS (56) Alex Ward 9 8-8 31, Ashley Spatz 1 0-0 2, Bailey Ward 1 0-0 3, Becca Miller 1 0-0 2, Michelle Bastian 6 2-2 15, Kaylee Taylor I 0-0 3. Totals 19 10-10 56. LOVELL (60) Alyssa Geiser 6 3-5 18, Jodi Walker 4 2-4 10, Leanne Winterholler 1 0-0 2, Karen Koritnik 3 5-8 11, Susie Shumway 0 0-0 0, Chelsey Ellis 1 0-0 2, Amanda Shumway 1 2-2 4, Erin Robertson 3 2-2 8, Miranda Griffis 2 1-2 5, Kim Shumway 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 15-23 60. Burns 15 18 8 15- 56 Lovell 25 10 13 12 -- 60 Three-point field goals -A. Ward 5, B. Ward 1, Bastian 1, Taylor 1; Gei- ser 3. Fouled out - B. Ward. Total fouls - Burns 16, Lovel112. What a great year! I'm so proud of you, Tyrel! Love, Morn Congratulations, lared! Now you're off to bigger and better things/ Love, Morn & Dad 69a e, we so p oud of L/ou. You're come so f. Lotle, & D.d We are so proud of you, Aaro., a.d all of the Pulldogst Love, Mum Bad