PINEDALE – Before a smaller home crowd than usual, the Lady Wranglers took their turn at the annual Pinedale Winter Classic Tournament on Jan. 8-9. The team played Worland and Wheatland, 3A rivals from outside Pinedale’s quadrant – a good sampler for the postseason.
Following a difficult first quarter against Worland on Friday night, the Lady Wranglers stormed the court in the remaining three quarters to take the win, 52-43.
“Worland is a top-ranked 3A school, and this was a good barometer of where we stacked up,” said Head Coach Mike Davis. “We had a shaky start, then managed to steady the ship and executed the third and fourth quarters well. The girls played great team basketball against Worland.
“Roxanne Rogers really led us off and shot well. She was aggressive with her offensive awareness. Abigail Hawke played well from down low. Sara Kunard came in and played well and Alaine Liserio performed well coming off the big holiday break. Kia Hansen made good perimeter shots and Hawke and (Roxanne) Rogers rebounded really well.”
Saturday’s action pitted Pinedale against Wheatland. The Bulldogs hit the court running, establishing a significant lead in the first quarter that they maintained for the win, 48-33.
“Wheatland’s quickness caught us off guard – we’ve never had to play them,” said Coach Davis. “They came out strong in the first quarter and we had dug ourselves into too big a hole. There were three two-minute stints where we didn’t execute on offense and defense. Grace Davis led us in rebounds – getting our guards to rebound will bode well for the future. We’re not going to let that game define us and will hopefully see Wheatland again.”
The Warriors dominated the first quarter, shooting in 15 points and holding Pinedale to seven.
Pinedale flipped the tables in the second quarter and edged out their opponent, outscoring Worland, 18-9. Roxanne Rogers tossed in eight points, including two shots from outside the perimeter. Hawke pulled off three 2-pointers and Kunard added a 3-pointer.
The Lady Wranglers held a razor-thin lead, 25-24, when the halftime buzzer sounded.
Pinedale continued to throw punches in the third quarter, scoring more than double the points tossed in by Worland, 16-7. Hansen tossed in a pair of 3-pointers to widen the Lady Wranglers’ lead.
Pinedale drew fouls from Worland in the final quarter and took full advantage of the situation. Roxanne Rogers made five of five free throws and Emma Rogers made good on two shots from the charity stripe.
Roxanne Rogers excelled on offense with 23 points against Worland. Hawke and Hansen both added eight points to the scorebook. Emma Rogers scored four points and Davis, Kunard and Liserio each added three.
Roxanne Rogers led in total rebounds (eight), assists (seven) and steals (six). Hawke caught seven rebounds, Kunard played four assists and Liserio grabbed four steals.
The Bulldogs pulled out all the stops in the first half, outscoring Pinedale, 28-14. Davis kept the Lady Wranglers on the scoreboard with three 2-pointers in the first quarter.
Pinedale fought back in the second half, trailing their opponent in scoring by a single point. Rogers stepped up the intensity with three shots from outside the perimeter. Davis and Liserio also added to the tally.
When the dust settled, Roxanne Rogers had tossed in 13 points. Grace Davis scored 10 points against Worland. Emma Rogers and Hawke both added three points and Liserio and Hansen each shot in two.
Davis led in offensive and defensive rebounds, tallying eight. Hansen shared the ball well with three assists. Roxanne Rogers and Davis both played three steals.