Lady Wranglers snag second at Regionals
Bowers breaks school record
MOUNTAIN VIEW – The Pinedale High School Lady Wrangler basketball team rewrote history at the 3A West Regional Tournament in Mountain View on March 2-4.
Pinedale captured second place at Regionals for the first time as a 3A program and secured the No. 2 seed going into the 2023 State Tournament this weekend at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper.
Kicking off the Regional Tournament with a commanding victory against Thermopolis on Thursday, March 2, the Lady Wranglers crushed the Lady Bobcats, 55-20.
Advancing to the semifinals on Friday, the Lady Wranglers tipped off against Mountain View. Pinedale dominated the second quarter, quadrupling the Lady Buffalos in scoring, 24-6. The Lady Wranglers’ overwhelming 39-16 halftime lead sustained them through a close second half and set the momentum for Pinedale to triumph, 55-42.
Pinedale progressed to the championship game, marking another 3A first, competing against Lyman. A close first half ended with the Lady Eagles ahead by a single possession, 18-15. Lyman applied the pressure in the second half to win, 50-33.
“Overall, the Lady Wranglers did really well at Regionals,” said Head Coach Trent Bowers. “Second place at Regionals is something to take pride in. The team survived to play another week and we’re super excited to go into State as the No. 2 seed for the first time as a 3A team.”
Sophomore Elyn Bowers broke the Pinedale High School girls’ varsity record for the most points scored in a season during the Thermopolis game on March 2. Chantal Rule set the previous record of 448 season points in 2017.
Bowers entered the Thermopolis game with 438 season points and proceeded to score 27 points against the Lady Bobcats to set a new record of 465 points.
“Breaking the record was a pretty neat feat for Elyn,” said Coach Bowers. “I’m really proud she got there.”
The Lady Wrangler varsity squad expressed excitement in its historic achievement at Regionals.
“I think it’s cool because the Lady Wranglers have never made it to the championship game in 3A at Regionals and never placed this high going into State,” said Elyn Bowers. “That is a pretty big accomplishment.”
Senior Haylen Sandner agreed.
“We worked really hard to get to this spot and a lot of people doubted us,” Sandner added. “It’s great that we came together as a team and we are able to go to State in second place.”
Senior Toree Andersen highlighted the Lady Wranglers’ semifinal victory against Mountain View.
“We were able to maximize our team chemistry,” Andersen said. “As seniors, we’ve been playing together for four years and this moment is so bittersweet.”
Fellow senior Sara Kunard said the team looked forward to making a statement in Casper.
“We’re really excited to go to State and play together on that big floor like we did last year,” Kunard added. “We’re out to prove something and that is a big motivation for us this weekend.”
The Lady Wranglers played Newcastle in the opening game at the State Tournament at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9. Results were not available at press time.
A coordinated Lady Wrangler offense overpowered the Lady Bobcats with 18 points in the first quarter while an airtight Pinedale defense prevented Thermopolis from scoring.
Bowers and Sandner opened the first quarter with a pair of steals. Andersen netted a deep shot from outside the perimeter.
Senior Mandy Majhanovich snagged a steal. Bowers went on a 12-point run. Andersen topped the quarter off with another 3-pointer.
The Lady Wranglers showed no mercy in the second quarter and outpaced Thermopolis, 17-4.
Defensive pressure by Majhanovich and Bowers resulted in a turnover. Bowers converted an and-1 and tossed in a layup. Kunard netted a jumper. Majhanovich and Kunard both picked off steals. Kunard landed a close-range shot and a 3-pointer.
The halftime score favored Pinedale, 35-4.
Pinedale maintained the pressure in the third quarter, tossing in 14 points and holding Thermopolis to 10. Kunard, Bowers and Sandner each scored from inside the perimeter. Bowers and sophomore Gabby Rogers each sank a 3-pointer.
Pinedale scored 6 points in the fourth quarter. Freshman Alyxis White went 2 for 2 at the free-throw line.
“Thermopolis was a good first game,” said Coach Bowers. “The girls played super fast and aggressive and took care of business.”
Pinedale handily won the first quarter, 15-10.
Turning up the intensity, the Lady Wranglers trounced Mountain View in the second quarter, 24-6.
Majhanovich and Rogers both scored close-range shots. A 3-pointer from Rogers pulled Pinedale ahead by 10 points, 23-13.
Rogers grabbed a steal, allowing Sandner to net a jumper. Bowers and Rogers each made a layup. Bowers landed a 3-pointer and found an opening in the perimeter to score. Majhanovich went 2-for-2 at the charity stripe and Bowers converted an and-1.
The Lady Wranglers dominated the scoreboard, 39-16, at halftime.
Mountain View attempted to close the gap in the third quarter, outscoring Pinedale, 17-6.
The Lady Wranglers shut down the Lady Buffalos’ momentum in a decisive fourth quarter to seal the win. Kunard netted a jumper, 3-pointer and went 2 for 2 at the charity stripe.
“We had a lot of assists against Mountain View and we were pushing the ball as hard as we could,” said Andersen. “We were tired toward the end of the game, but we stayed on top of it for the win.”
Pinedale “hit a lot of big shots in the second half” to maintain its strategic edge, said Kunard.
“We dipped in the third quarter, but we rebounded in the fourth quarter,” Kunard added. “It was great to get that energy back.”
“I think we all understood that we could beat Mountain View,” said Rogers “We defeated them before this season, so we carried the confidence into the game.”
The Wrangler boys’ basketball team and Pinedale parents formed an energetic and supportive fan section to offset a boisterous home crowd from Mountain View, said Coach Bowers.
“It was a fun atmosphere,” he added.
The Lady Wranglers and Lady Eagles battled point for point in the first and second quarter. Lyman pulled ahead by a single possession, 18-15, at halftime.
The Lady Eagles outmaneuvered Pinedale, 32-18, in the second half, to secure the win.
“We played a good game in the first half, but we just couldn’t get the shots to go in in the second half,” said Coach Bowers. “The loss to Lyman affected our seeding at State, but our season is far from over.”