Lady Wranglers rout the Lady Punchers


PINEDALE – A powerful Lady Wrangler offense and defense showed no mercy in the first half of the annual cross-county rivalry game against non-conference rival the Big Piney Lady Punchers at the Wrangler Gym on Thursday, Feb. 16.

The halftime score favored Pinedale by an overwhelming margin, 42-11.

Hammering away at Big Piney through the third and fourth quarters, the Lady Wranglers successfully defended the home court and retained the county trophy for another year, posting a 69-29 victory.

“It was a good game against Big Piney,” said Head Coach Trent Bowers. “The girls came out and did what they set out to accomplish. The team did a great job playing unselfish basketball together. Defensively, every girl (with playing time) got a rebound or steal.”

Thursday’s game featured Senior Recognition Night, honoring the contributions over four seasons by athletes Toree Andersen, Bella Heath, McKenzie Illoway, Sara Kunard, Mandy Majhanovich and Haylen Sandner.

“I’ve coached the senior group since they were freshmen,” said Coach Bowers. “They are a really fun group to be around and coach.”

Pinedale handily won the first quarter, 18-4.

Majhanovich kicked off scoring with a close-range shot. Sandner followed up with a jumper. Andersen made two baskets from the free-throw line.

Andersen and freshman Alyxis White both nabbed steals. Sophomore Gabby Rogers found an opening in the perimeter to score. Bowers snatched a steal, setting Sandner up to score an inside shot.

Kunard netted a jumper, made a steal and tossed in an outside shot. Andersen forced a turnover and broke through the perimeter to score.

A coordinated Pinedale offense and solid defense overwhelmed the Lady Punchers, 24-7, in the second quarter.

Sophomore Elyn Bowers netted her first outside shot. Majhanovich sunk a jumper. Kunard scored on a fast break.

Bowers netted a second outside shot. Majhanovich tossed in a close-range shot. Bowers snagged a steal and sunk in a jumper. Sandner scored from inside the perimeter.

Defensive pressure by Majhanovich and Rogers resulted in a pair of turnovers. Kunard scored a 3-pointer. Bowers tossed in a jumper. Andersen netted an outside shot.

Pinedale outmaneuvered Big Piney, 20-12, in the third quarter.

Majhanovich netted an inside shot. Heath scored on a fast break. Bowers tossed in a pair of shots from the charity stripe.

Rogers and Majhanovich forced a turnover. White and Rogers both found openings in the perimeter to score. Defensive pressure by White and Kunard led to a turnover and Rogers picked off a steal.

Rogers and Andersen each swished a 3-pointer. Sandner went on a 4-point run, widening Pinedale’s lead to more than 40 points, 62-21.

Heath opened the final quarter with a free throw. Freshman Erica Wilson rustled a steal. Rogers and Sandner both netted jumpers. Heath capped off scoring for Pinedale with an inside shot.

Eight Lady Wranglers contributed to scoring against Big Piney. Four scored double digits – Sandner leading with 13 points, 12 by Bowers and 10 apiece from Kunard and Andersen. Rogers netted 9 points, Majhanovich 8, Heath 5 and White 2.

The Lady Wranglers wrap up the regular season with an away conference game against Mountain View on Friday, Feb. 24. The winner of the game will secure the No. 1 seed in the 3A Southwest Quadrant before the Regional Tournament in Mountain View on March 2-4.

“This will be a really big game for us,” said Coach Bowers. “If we come out and play at the level we are capable of playing, we can come out with a win.”