by nathan oster
The Lady Buffs posted a big nonconference win Friday night at Buff Gym, beating Wyoming Indian 43-40 in a matchup of two of the top ranked teams in 2A and the leaders of their respective conferences.
The win came a week after the Lady Buffs — the newly-minted No. 1 team in 2A — lost one of their best players in Tatem Edeler. An active contributor on both ends of the floor, she was lost for the season when she came down awkwardly on the jump ball in Shoshoni and injured her knee.
In her absence, her teammates needed to elevate their play against the Lady Chiefs.
Ky Sorensen certainly did.
Moved to the post in Edeler’s absence, the senior recorded a rare double-double, collecting 19 points and grabbing 18 boards — both team highs. Included in her point total was a 7-of-10 effort from the free-throw line.
“She really stepped up,” said Coach Jeff Hunt.
She wasn’t alone.
Defense set the tone, as Greybull limited the Chiefs to just two points in the first quarter and seven in the half to take an eight-point lead, 15-7, into the locker room.
“We were very aggressive and our press was frustrating for them,” said Hunt. “We took away their inside game and made them take shots they don’t usually shoot. We did a great job contesting shots.”
The Chiefs can strike quickly, though. “They came out fired up in the third quarter and caught us off guard. They hit some threes and their press created some quick turnovers they scored on,” said Hunt. “We had a tough time getting open shots, but we really rebounded well in the second half.
“That was a turning point for us in this game. We hit the boards hard and they didn’t get many second chances. We held them to only eight offensive rebounds and most of them were in the first quarter.”
Greybull shot 30 percent from the field, compared to 38 percent for Wyoming Indian.
But the Lady Buffs made as many free throws — 16, out of the 30 attempts — as the Lady Chiefs attempted, finishing 6 of 16.
Kendall Wright chipped in eight, followed by Payten Sorensen with seven.
Like Ky Sorensen, Emma Mercer also stepped up in a big way against the Lady Chiefs. She led Greybull in assists with three and steals with four before exiting due to fouls.
The win pushed the Buffs to 16-2 with just two weekends remaining in the regular season.
A tripleheader of conference games looms this week
Greybull finished the first round of league play with a perfect 4-0 record and are in the driver’s seat heading into games today (Thursday, Feb. 8) in Lovell, Friday against Rocky Mountain in Cowley and Saturday on their home floor against Shoshoni.
Varsity tip times in north Big Horn County will be 5:30 p.m. both nights.
Saturday’s varsity game with Shoshoni, which will double as Senior Night, tips at 5:30 p.m.
The Lady Buffs will close out the regular season with a Feb. 16 road game at Riverside.
From there, it’s onto regionals. As the season nears the finish line, just two teams from the Southwest have winning records. Wyoming Indian is leading the pack at 13-7 overall, 3-0 in the league, followed by Big Piney (11-8, 2-1), then Wind River (8-10, 1-2).
Greybull 5 15 25 43
WIHS 2 7 25 40
GREYBULL — Payten Sorensen 2 2-6 7, Kendall Stephens 0 1-2 1, Julia Roberts 1 0-0 3, Kendall Wright 2 3-7 8, Emma Mercer 0 3-5 3, Ky Sorensen 6 7-10 19, Kristen Collingwood 1 0-0 3. Totals 12 16-30 43.
3-POINT GOALS — P. Sorensen, Roberts, Wright. REBOUNDS — Greybull 35 (Sorensen 18). STEALS — Greybull 15 (Mercer 4). ASSISTS — Greybull 7 (Mercer 3). TURNOVERS — Greybull 21.