by marlys good
The Lady Buffs lost the battle from the charity stripe, and were tossed into the loser-out bracket by Wind River, 65-52, in their opening game at the Class 2A West Regional tournament in Riverton Thursday.
Officials called a total of 47 fouls (31 in the first half) and 61 free throws were attempted, with Wind River hitting 24 of 39 and the Buffs 11 of 22.
The Buffs started slow, down 12-5 at the end of the first quarter, but regrouped, picked things up and challenged Wind River through the remainder of the game.
Coach Jeff Hunt said he didn’t know what to expect from the Lady Cougars, but felt “like we gave it our all. It was a fast-paced game that we couldn’t slow down, but we stayed with them and made several runs. In the end it came down to free throws and we just couldn’t make ours, and they made them when it counted.”
Both Ceirra Carlson and Brett Stephens fouled out and Biri Gallegos and Sarah Bockman were saddled with four apiece. That made a big difference in the game.
“We fouled too much, but we had to toward the end of the game just to have a chance,” Hunt said.
Carlson had a “great” game, Hunt said, scoring a game-high 21 points that included two three pointers, and grabbed a team-high six boards. It took a lot of effort as the junior had battled the flu all night and was still sick during the game.
The Buffs could not get in synch for the loser-out Friday morning game with Wyoming Indian and lost, 66-46, to the Lady Chiefs.
“It was difficult for us to get anything going offensively, and we didn’t play very good defense and it cost us. We had to press the whole game just to stay in it, and we had way too many turnovers (32),” Hunt said. “We just never got anything going.”
Hunt was proud of his team, “We could have stopped playing at any point, but didn’t. The girls battled right ‘til the end. We showed a lot of character in a very emotional game, especially for our seniors who knew it was their last.”
Coach Hunt said he felt like the Buffs had a “pretty good season considering all the obstacles we had to adapt to throughout the year. We set goals, and we met several of those goals. I definitely learned a lot about myself, and about the girls. I am so proud of them and how they played all season long. We had our ups and downs, like most teams, but they reacted so well no matter what the situation. I know when I look back at this season I will always see it as positive. I worked with a great group of girls who played their hearts out day in and day out. We surprised some people, including ourselves, a few times.”
Hunt singled out his seniors, Sarah Bockman, Biri Gallegos, Michaela Denniston, Georgi Hall and Hunter Grant, “who were freshmen when I first started with the girls program, and we‘ve had a lot of fun together over the years. They will leave a huge void, not just in the basketball program, but in the school and community.
“Sara, Biri and Michaela have been varsity players since they were sophomores. Michaela has been such a great defensive player; she works as hard, or harder, than any player I’ve ever coached. She is the type of player we had to ask to leave the gym so we could go home to our families. Sarah and Biri really stepped up; both of them did whatever it took to keep their starting spots. They wee great leaders for the younger players. Georgi improved more than any other play and earned herself a starting spot. She became one of our go-to players these past few weeks. Our last senior is Hunter. She is just a great team player who always put the team first no matter what the situation. I am going to miss all of them and have really enjoyed watching them grow into such great young adults.”
Greybull 5 20 12 15 — 52
Wind River 12 18 16 19 — 65
GREYBULL — Michaela Denniston 0 1-2 3, Georgi Hall 2 0-0 4, Ceirra Carlson 8 3-6 21, Biri Gallegos 2 0-2 4, Brett Stephens 1 4-4 6, Karlina McIntosh 3 3-4 9, Jordan Kraft 3 0-2 7. Totals 19-63 11-22 52.
3-POINT GOALS — Carlson 2, Kraft; Lonedog, Groesbeck, Sorenson. REBOUNDS — Greybull 16 (Carlson 6, Stephens 5); Wind River 25. STEALS — Greybull 13 (Gallegos 5), Wind River 13. ASSISTS — Greybull 10 (Denniston 3); Wind River 4. TURNOVERS — Greybull 21; Wind River 27.
Greybull 9 18 4 15 – 46
WIHS 17 17 16 16 – 66
GREYBULL: Denniston 1 0-0 3, Hall 0 2-2 2, Carlson 3 5-8 13, Gallegos 2 4-6 8, Stephens 1 1-2 3; McIntosh 2 4-5 8, Sarah Bockman 3 0-0 6, Kraft 1 1-6 3. Totals 13 82 17-30 45.
3-POINT GOALS — Denniston, Carlson 2; McGill. REBOUNDS — Greybull 31 (Stephens 10); WIHS 37. STEALS — Greybull 14 (Denniston 3); WIHS 22. ASSISTS — Greybull 7; WIHS 1. TURNOVERS — Greybull 32; WIHS 36.