The NCHS girls basketball team has climbed out of a 2-8 start to even their record at 9-9 with just three games left before the 2A East Regionals in two weeks. A recent four game winning streak has built confidence, but the toughest weekend of the season (so far) is on the horizon.
Friday against Lingle-Ft Laramie, the first period was a reverse version of the game in Lingle a few weeks ago. While that matchup had 19 total fouls called in the first period alone, this one wasn’t quite as tight. However, while Lady Dogger head coach Matt Cornelius was handcuffed at home, Lusk’s Murray saw starters Amanda Smith and Taylor Gaukel pick up three quick fouls. The Lady Doggers managed just a four point lead after one quarter-yet shortly into the second Miranda Gilkey notched her third foul. Adding to the struggle was a dismal 6 of 15 from the line for NCHS and LFL led 23-17 after two quarters.
Trisha Hales and LFL’s Makenna Greenwald put on a third quarter display of dominance in a game that quickly became very competitive. Hales led the Lady Tigers with eight hard points while Greenwald’s quick step kept the visitors in the game with eight points of her own. Despite the battle, NCHS had stolen the lead after three with the 34-33 score. The teams traded leads four times as time wound down, before Gaukel’s triple swished through for a 44-42 lead. A steal led to Pfister’s layup and Smith sealed the game with two free throws for the 48-42 win.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
LFL 10 13 10 9 42
NCHS 6 11 17 14 48
LFL: 15/51 FG, 3/16 3PT, 9/17 FT, 32 REB, 21 PF, 16 TO
NCHS: 18/53 FG, 1/9 3PT, 11/27 FT, 54 REB, 22 PF, 18 TO
NCHS TEAM STATS: Scoring- Hales 14, Gaukel 8, Smith 8, Gilkey 7, Pfister 3, Ashley Christianson 3, Mackenzie Lyons 3, Sadie Sturman 2. Rebounds- Hales 13, Gaukel 9, Smith 8, Gilkey 5, Christianson 5. Good sportsmanship players of the game: Hales and Greenwald from LFL.
Saturday at Burns was very much a must-win game as regional seeding comes into focus. Both teams were cold to start the game as Lusk held a slim 7-5 lead after one. A trey from Pfister helped push the lead to double digits at the half.
Strong defense was the key in the second half as neither team could get any offensive traction. The Lady Tigers led 28-15 after three periods and held on for the 36-25 win. Now 4-1 in conference play, NCHS has a weekend ahead that features top-five teams from Pine Bluffs and Southeast. The Lady Tigers won in Yoder, but SE will be ready Friday night (JV 4/varsity 5:30 p.m.) for a rematch. The Lady Tigers only loss over the past month was a slim 55-48 loss to the Lady Hornets. It will be much harder in Pine Bluffs on Saturday (JV 1/varsity 2:30 p.m.), but not impossible.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
NCHS 7 12 9 8 36
BURNS 5 2 8 10 25
NCHS: 10/37 FG, 1/5 3PT, 15/29 FT, 40 REB, 13 PF, 25 TO
BURNS: 6/42 FG, 2/18 3PT, 11/19 FT, 32 REB, 20 PF, 22 TO
NCHS TEAM STATS: Scoring- Gilkey 12, Smith 11, Gaukel 6, Pfister 3, Christianson 2, Sturman 2. Rebounds- Hales 15, Gaukel 7, Smith 5.
The JV beat LFL 16-10 in two quarters and Burns 39-37 as Sturman scored 17 and Kianna Blackburn and Makenna Engelker added seven each.
For the complete article see the 02-08-2017 issue.
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