Lady Wranglers rout Jackson and Lander
PINEDALE – The Pinedale High School Lady Wranglers tipped off against their conference rival, the Lander Lady Tigers, at the Wrangler Gym on Friday, Jan. 27.
Senior Toree Andersen caught the tipoff, raced down the court and netted a layup 5 seconds into the game. Andersen broke through Lander’s perimeter to score a second layup 20 seconds later.
Taking possession, senior Sara Kunard sunk a deep 3-pointer. Defensive pressure by Kunard resulted in a turnover.
Sophomore Gabby Rogers caught a pass and netted an outside shot.
Only 1 minute, 15 seconds into the game, Pinedale dominated the scoreboard against Lander, 10-0.
The opening, aggressive first minute of Lady Wrangler basketball set the tone for the remainder of the game against the Lady Tigers.
Battling through a tight second quarter, Pinedale hammered away at the Lady Tigers in the third and fourth quarters to secure a decisive conference victory, 53-32.
On Thursday, Jan. 26, the Lady Wranglers overwhelmed 4A non-conference opponent, Jackson, 53-17.
Pinedale established a commanding 17-0 lead in the first quarter. Jackson trailed the Lady Wranglers in scoring, 12-11, in the second quarter.
The halftime score favored Pinedale, 29-11.
Pinedale maintained the pressure through the third quarter, outpacing Jackson, 7-4.
The Lady Wranglers went all out in the third quarter, netting 17 points while an ironclad defense held Jackson to 2.
Sophomore Elyn Bowers led Pinedale in scoring against Jackson, netting 21 points. Senior Haylen Sandner tallied 7 points, Kunard and freshman Alyxis White 6 apiece, Rogers and senior Mandy Majhanovich both 4 and Andersen 3.
Sandner posted seven rebounds. Kunard and Andersen each made three assists and Bowers rustled four steals.
“The girls came out and played really well, getting off to a strong start in the first quarter that dictated the pace for the whole game,” said Head Coach Trent Bowers. “We tried some different things defensively and offensively, we looked for new shots. Eight of nine girls scored – it was nice to see that balance. Every girls got at least one rebound – we’ve been focusing on being more aggressive and really dominated on the boards. With the girls getting multiple rebounds on both ends of the court and securing second-chance opportunities to score, we eliminated our opponent.”
Pinedale’s explosive opening plays in the first quarter set the team up to dominate the court, 18-7, after the first 8 minutes of regulation.
Andersen scored a pair of layups with only 25 seconds on the clock. Kunard sunk a 3-pointer.
Rogers netted a pair of outside shots. Bowers tossed in a jumper, snatched a steal and went on to score a 3-pointer.
Lander upped the ante in the second quarter, besting Pinedale, 8-7. Majhanovich, Kunard and Andersen each scored from the charity stripe. Bowers contributed two jumpers.
Regrouping in the third quarter, Pinedale more than doubled Lander in scoring, 14-6.
Kunard found an opening in the perimeter to score. Rogers and Kunard both snapped up steals. Kunard netted a layup and White tossed in a pair of close-range shots.
Kunard scored two outside shots, widening Pinedale’s advantage to 18 points, 39-21, as the fourth quarter began.
Andersen forced a turnover early in the final quarter. Bowers sunk a 3-pointer. Junior Trista Covill nabbed a steal. Sandner sunk 2 points from the free-throw line.
Majhanovich forced a turnover and Kunard snapped up a steal. Bowers scored an inside shot. Majhanovich made another steal, setting Rogers up to net a jumper.
Bowers and White rounded scoring out with 2 points apiece from the charity stripe.
Bowers led Pinedale in scoring against Lander with 16 points. Kunard tallied 14 points, Rogers 8, Andersen and White both 6, Sandner 2 and Majhanovich a free throw.
“Lander has good players on the inside who posed a threat,” said Coach Bowers. “We came out, won the tip, threw pressure, got steals and a few quick buckets. In the second quarter, we cooled a little bit and put Lander on the free-throw line as we worked through our new defensive strategy. We had a huge third quarter, limiting them to only two buckets and played a good fourth quarter, shooting seven of eight free throws.”
The Lady Wranglers posted 37 rebounds against the Lady Tigers – Sandner nine, Bowers, White and Majhanovich six each and Andersen four.
“The girls made the decision to get in there and be aggressive,” said Coach Bowers. “I’m really proud of their physicality.”
The Lady Wranglers travel to play conference rivals Lovell on Friday, Feb. 3, and Powell on Saturday, Feb. 4.
“We will focus on cleaning up (from turnovers) and taking care of the ball better as we prepare to take on Lovell and Powell,” said Bowers.