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Lady Wolves take third at State

Girls achieve highest finish at state tournament in school history

 

March 12, 2020

The Moorcroft Lady Wolves made their first trip to the Girls Basketball State Tournament since 2006. Their first opponent on Thursday afternoon was the Riverside Rebels.

Riverside got out to a quick start and the Wolves found themselves down 16-6 with 4 minutes to go in the first quarter. The Wolves locked down defensively and were able to battle back, but still found themselves down 18-15.

The Wolves continued to step up on the defensive end while finding their offense. They held Riverside to 5 points in the second quarter and took a 29-23 lead into the half.

The Lady Wolves didn’t look back and held Riverside to 5 points in the third quarter and 8 points in the fourth quarter for a 50-36 victory. We struggled some on the offensive end with our shooting, but we got it done on the defensive end and that’s what won the game for us.

They have some good players that we were able to slow down and we executed the game plan against them. We came into State talking about not being satisfied that we simply made it – we wanted to do something. Winning the first game was a step in the right direction.

The semifinal game found the Wolves against the #1 rated team in the state, the Wyoming Indians Lady Chiefs in the Casper Event Center. We knew going in that the Event Center can be a challenging place to shoot in and it was for us.

The Lady Chiefs got out to a quick start, but again, the Lady Wolves were up for the challenge, but were down 9-3 after the first quarter. The second quarter saw the Wolves find their offense while maintaining their defense.

The Lady Chiefs were held to 8 points and the Wolves got 13 points and were only down 17-16 at the half. The Lady Wolves got outscored by 10 in the third quarter and struggled in the fourth quarter.

The Wolves dropped the game, 51-24. We lost them some on the defensive end in the second half and we really weren’t able to get our offense going in the game.

We average almost 60 points per game and just couldn’t get our shots to fall. The score doesn’t necessarily reflect it, but I thought we did play them well, but just needed more offense. 

The third/fourth place game on Saturday found the Lady Wolves against a familiar opponent in the Lusk Tigers. Lusk jumped on the Wolves right away and took a 14-0 lead before the Wolves got two buckets to end the first quarter down 14-4.

The Wolves were able to gain some ground, but not much as the Tigers went into the half up 22-14. The Lady Wolves found some ground and outscored Lusk, 15-12 in the third quarter, but still found themselves down, 34-29.

The Lady Wolves finally found their offense in the fourth quarter and the game got close and became a back and forth contest with neither team able to pull away. The Lady Wolves were able to tie it up at the end and had the ball with 8 seconds to go.

The Lady Wolves executed to perfection and hit the game winning shot for a 49-47 victory as the crowd and team erupted in celebration and the Moorcroft Lady Wolves claimed the third place trophy in 2A girls basketball.

We really were challenged in this game but this was truly a test of this team’s character and who they have been all season. We got down early and we stuck together. No one panicked, we maintained that even level that we have done all season and just battled back.

We controlled the things we could and, when the shots started falling, everything changed and we excelled. It was a great state tournament. This team had the highest state finish in school history and to do it in the fashion that we did was a great feeling for all. 

Overall, we had a great season with a team of girls that was everything a coach could ask for. They came out and started the season because they wanted to be part of something special and then they worked every day to ensure we could accomplish our goals.

This group of girls enjoyed being around each other and will remember the team meals, bus trips, hotel stays, etc as much as they will winning the 2A Northeast Powder River Conference, placing second at the Regional Tournament and third at the State Tournament. 

We have a great group of underclassmen who got caught up to speed on what we needed to do quickly and contributed. We had seven Freshmen: Talissa Fischbach, Kailee Gill, Camlyn Connally, HayLeigh Fenner, Korlyn Slattery, Valerie Burch, Kyan Meek; two Sophomores: KyAnna Petz and Elizabeth Anderson; and one Junior-Tianne Fischbach, who have all had a significant impact on this team, what we were able to do and how we were able to do it.

We graduate three seniors: Kaylei Petz, Lizzie Peterson and RiLee Bonaguidi. As a coach, I really can’t express everything they have done for the Moorcroft Lady Wolves Basketball Program.

They started this journey as fourth graders with travel basketball, have continued and have played as much in the offseason as they have during the season. They are so committed to making Lady Wolves Basketball what it is and leaving their mark on the program. This is definitely something they accomplished. 

Lastly, Lady Wolves Basketball is so appreciative of the parents, students, school staff and community members who have supported us all season long. We had such great support throughout the season and it truly made it special for this team to see who was behind them the whole way. Thank you Moorcroft for supporting Wolves Basketball!

 
 

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