Lady Wranglers dominate Winter Classic


RAWLINS – The Lady Wranglers only needed 2 minutes to find their rhythm in the opening game against the host school at the Rawlins Winter Classic on Jan. 7-8.

The Rawlins Lady Outlaws scored an early a 3-pointer. Pinedale senior Roxanne Rogers later rebounded, drove the ball up the court and converted an and-1.

Rawlins attempted to move the ball into Wrangler territory and junior Sara Kunard snatched a steal.

Rawlins gained possession but this time senior Abigail Hawke blocked a pass. Rogers took the ball and maneuvered inside Rawlins’ defense to score.

Hawke rebounded a shot by Rawlins and delivered the ball to Rogers for another transition shot.

Rogers and freshman Elyn Bowers turned up the defensive pressure on Rawlins’ next possession, forcing a turnover.

Rawlins attempted to score once more. Junior Haylen Sandner reached up and blocked the shot, grabbed the ball, pivoted and raced down the court to land a layup.

The Lady Wranglers found themselves ahead, 14-6, with roughly 4 minutes still remaining in the first quarter.

Pinedale never looked back and finished the first half with a commanding 51-18 lead, ultimately setting the Lady Wranglers up to triumph over Rawlins, 73-26.

The speed, aggression, coordination and cooperation Pinedale demonstrated on the court against Rawlins set the tone for the remainder of the tournament.

Pinedale showed no mercy in the next game against Thermopolis, annihilating the Lady Bobcats, 75-39.

Rounding out an explosive weekend, the Lady Wranglers defeated Worland, 63-28.

Head coach Trent Bowers attributed part of Pinedale’s success to a strong sense of teamwork.

“There was selfless play all around,” he said. “The girls found a way to play together. All players did well and contributed. Even the bench fed the energy out on the floor. The team really enjoyed playing together.”

Skill also played a role, with the Lady Wranglers tallying impressive shooting clips.

“Pinedale’s shooting average was in the high 40s to 50 percent every game,” Bowers added. “You can’t lose with those numbers. The team came out with a lot of energy and effort.”

Rawlins

Pinedale dominated the first quarter, outscoring the Lady Outlaws, 20-8.

Stepping up the intensity in the second quarter, the Lady Wranglers scored an impressive 31 points while an ironclad defense held Rawlins to 10 points.

Carrying the momentum into the second half, the Lady Wranglers widened their lead to 41 points by the end of the third quarter and sailed through the final quarter.

Three Pinedale players scored double digits against Rawlins. Rogers led with 21 points, Bowers 17 points and Hawke 12.

Junior McKenzie Illoway scored nine points, Kunard six, junior Mandy Majhanovich four with Sandner and senior Hadli Nate each contributing two points.

Hawke led the team in rebounds with 12. Bowers made three assists.

Defensively, the Lady Wranglers forced turnover after turnover with 28 steals and five blocks. Bowers tallied eight steals. Kunard and Rogers both snatched four steals with three by Majhanovich.

“Rawlins was a great game,” said coach Bowers. “We threw in a new press over Christmas break and the girls embraced it. Pinedale dictated the pace and direction of the game, never giving Rawlins room to breathe.”

Thermopolis

The Lady Bobcats kept pace with Pinedale until a fast break by Kunard edged the Lady Wranglers ahead in the first quarter.

Pinedale outscored Thermopolis, 24-14, in the second quarter. Kunard pulled off another fast break. Rogers widened the gap with four 3-pointers.

The Pinedale offense scored 21 points in the third quarter, including fast breaks by Rogers, Bowers and Kunard, while a tenacious defense held Thermopolis to two points.

Senior Olivia Edwards capped off the game with a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.

Rogers led scoring with 25 points. Bowers contributed 19 points and Kunard scored 12. Majhanovich, Illoway, Sandner and Hawke rounded the tally out with four points each, along with three from Edwards.

Hawke caught six rebounds. Majhanovich delivered seven assists. Rogers, Illoway and Bowers all pulled off four steals.

“Thermopolis was a big win and another game where defense dictated the direction of the game,” said coach Bowers. “We had lots of girls contributing to the success. Rogers dropped in a season high of 25 points and Bowers and Kunard both scored double digits. It’s really tough for teams to defeat us when those three guards can score in multiple ways.”

Worland

Pinedale took the initiative right out of the gates against Worland. Rogers and Majhanovich both set the pace defensively in the first quarter with steals.

In the second quarter, Pinedale widened its lead, including a fast break and 3-pointer by Bowers and an outside shot from Kunard. Sandner pulled off a steal.

The halftime score stood at 32-12 in Pinedale’s favor.

The Lady Wranglers kept their momentum going in the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors, 19-13. Kunard snatched the ball, forcing a turnover. Rogers landed a pair of 3-pointers.

Pinedale increased its lead in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 points and holding Worland to three. Rogers made a fast break and Illoway wrapped the game up with a deep shot from outside the perimeter.

Rogers scored 19 points during the game. Illoway and Bowers both tossed in nine points with Majhanovich and Hawke at six points apiece. Sara Kunard and Sandner each scored five points. Senior Tatum Kunard and Edwards both contributed two points to the tally.

Sandner led the team in rebounds with seven. Rogers made six assists and forced four steals.

“Worland followed suit with press determining the tempo of the game,” coach Bowers said. “Nine girls scored in the game – when you get that many to contribute to the scoreboard, it makes the game fun.”

The Lady Wranglers played Big Piney on Thursday, Jan. 13. Results were not available at press time.

On Friday, Jan. 14, Pinedale takes on 4A opponent Jackson with the first conference game against Lyman the following week.

“Lyman will be a good test for us, but we’ll focus on taking care of Big Piney and Jackson this week,” Bowers added. “We will continue to do what we do best.”

TRENDING RECIPE VIDEOS