Lady Buffs step up, win Rocky Mountain bracket at Big Horn Basin Classic

by nathan oster

If there was any doubt before, wins over 3A Powell and one of their top rivals in the conference in Rocky Mountain should have gone a long way toward removing them.

“We proved we can play with anyone this weekend,” said Coach Jeff Hunt, whose Greybull Lady Buffs rode three straight wins to a first-place finish in the Rocky Mountain bracket and a berth in the championship game of the Big Horn Basin Classic over the weekend in Lovell and Cowley.

Buffalo, one of the top teams in 3A, ended Greybull’s run in that one with a 48-27 win. But by that time, the Lady Buffs had done what they set out to do, stringing together three straight quality efforts before eventually running out of steam.

“I am very proud of our girls,” said Hunt.

The Lady Buffs opened tournament play with a 52-29 win over Wind River.

Defense set the tone.

“They really struggled with our press, and we did a great job of scoring off their turnovers,” said Hunt.

Greybull led at every quarter stop in the wire-to-wire win.

Brittany Ogg paced the winners with 12 points and six rebounds, followed by Julia Roberts and Tatem Edeler with 10 apiece.

“Al but one players scored,” said Hunt. “It was good for some of our younger players to gain varsity experience.”

Next up was Powell, the No. 4 ranked team in 3A.  Greybull started fast, leading 9-6 after one and 22-11 at the half. Powell mounted a late comeback, but the Lady Buffs held the Panthers off, 36-31.

Hunt called it “a huge win for our program” and attributed it to some great shooting efforts.

The Lady Buffs connected for six 3-pointers and shot 43 percent from behind the arc. Kendall Wright led the way, hitting 3-of-5 from long range and finishing with a team-high 13 points. Kristen Collingwood, who also hit a couple of 3-balls, contributed 10 points and nine boards.

Powell struggled in every area against the scrappy Greybull defense, shooting 24 percent (12-of-50 from the floor, which included a 3-for-23 effort from long range. The Panthers were also 4 of 16 from the foul line.

The win propelled the girls into the Rocky Mountain bracket title game, where the hosts were waiting for them. It was every bit the hard-fought battle everyone expected, with the Lady Buffs eventually winning, 40-38.

Rocky, which in Hunt’s estimation has “one of the best defenses in the state,” held Greybull to single digits in the first and second quarters to build a four-point halftime lead, 19-15. The Buffs were the better team in the second half, however, outscoring Rocky 15-11 in the third and 10-8 in the fourth.

“Once again we shot pretty well and that was the difference in the game,” said Hunt. “We hit five 3s and some late free throws that helped us seal the game.  It was definitely a battle, but we did a good job staying with the game plan.”

Wright led Greybull with 11 points, followed by Payten Sorensen, Tatem Edeler and Kristen Collingwood, each with seven. Edeler was strong on the boards, grabbing nine caroms to go along with three steals.

Though they shot just 9 of 25 for the game, the Lady Buffs did hit several clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

The win clinched the Rocky Mountain bracket title for the Lady Buffs. Spent, but with a trophy in tow, the Lady Buffs headed south to Lovell for a matchup with Buffalo, which had won three straight of its own.

Greybull trailed by just two after one, 16-14, before the Bison started pulling away.

“It definitely showed that it was our fourth game in two days.  We started out well and were scoring early.  We shot well in the first quarter and hung with them.  We just ran out of gas.  They were a very good team with a lot of size and quickness.”

Wright netted seven, Collingwood and Ky Sorensen six apiece in the losing effort.

 

Greybull 10 13 13 16 — 52

Wind River 8   6   7   8 — 29

GREYBULL — Payten Sorensen 0 1-2 1, Kendall Stephens 1 0-1 2, Julia Roberts 2 4-6 10, Kendall Wright 4 0-0 9, Tatem Edeler 5 0-0 10, Brittany Ogg 5 2-2 12, Ky Sorensen 0 0-1 1, Kristen Collingwood 1 0-0 2, Hannah Klitzke 1 0-0 2, Monique Velasquez 1 1-1 3. Totals 20 8-17 52.

3-POINT GOALS — Roberts 2, Wright, Velasquez.

Greybull 9 13 12 2 — 36

Powell 6   5 11 9 — 31

GREYBULL — P. Sorensen 2 1-2 5, Roberts 1 0-0 3, Wright 5 0-1 13, Tatem Edeler 0 0-1 0, Ogg 1 0-0 2, K. Sorensen 0 3-4 3, Collingwood 3 2-2 10. Totals 12 6-10 36.

3-POINT GOALS — Wright 3, Collingwood 2, Roberts.

Greybull 7   8 15 10 — 40

Rocky Mt. 6 13 11   8 — 38

GREYBULL — P. Sorensen 1 4-6 7, Stephens 1 1-2 4, Wright 4 1-4 11, Edeler 3 1-10 7, K. Sorensen 2 0-0 4, Collingwood 2 2-3 7. Totals 13 9-25 40.

3-POINT GOALS — Wright 2, Collingwood, P. Sorensen, Stephens.

Greybull 14   5   2   6 — 27

Buffalo 16 13   9 10 — 48

GREYBULL — P. Sorensen 1 1-2 3, Wright 2 2-2 7, Edeler 1 0-1 2, Ogg 1 0-0 3, K. Sorensen 3 0-0 6, Collingwood 2 0-0 6. Totals 10 3-5 27.

3-POINT GOALS — Wright, Collingwood 2, Ogg.