By Marlys Good
The Greybull Lady Buffs rounded out a successful season last weekend with victories over Riverside, 50-28, and Big Horn, 42-30, remained unbeaten in conference games and claimed the Northwest Conference championship. As the top seed, the Buffs will play Kemmerer, the fourth seed from the Southwest, in the opening round of the Class 2A West Regional today (Thursday, Feb. 21) at 2:30 p.m. in the Riverton High School gym.
Sharing the bracket with Kemmerer and Greybull are Tongue River and Wind River who are scheduled to play at 11 a.m. Winners will play in the semi-finals Friday at 6 p.m.; losers drop to the consolation quarterfinals and play at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Kemmerer is a familiar opponent for the Buffs; the two met in the first round of last year’s regional tournament.
“They are still down a little, but do have some great athletes who can get up and down the court in a hurry,” said Coach Jeff Hunt. He added that the Rangers record is not indicative of the type of team they are. “They have a lot of quickness and some girls who shoot the ball well. We can’t overlook anyone in this tournament. Our goal is to stay focused and make the teams play us. We want to control the tempo in every game.”
Looking at the two victories last weekend, Hunt said there were a lot of things going on in the Buff Gym Friday. Not only was it a game with long-time rival Riverside, which always fills the gym to capacity, but it was also the annual Pink game, with all the activities associated with that.
“We worked on not allowing the distractions to slow us down,” Hunt said, and they were successful at that. The Buffs ran up an early 18-5 lead, held the Rebels to single-digit scoring in the first three quarters and won the game, 50-28.
Kendall Wright had the hot hand and led the offense with 19 counters, including a pair of 3s. Tatem Edeler scored nine points and was a bear on defense with six offensive and four defensive boards.
Hunt said the Buffs didn’t shoot well, but were strong on the boards with a total of 42 rebounds.
“We were very unselfish and did a great job finding open players in all four quarters,” Hunt said.
There was a lot of excitement, encouragement from the Buff bench throughout the entire game. Hunt said, “This kept our energy level up. Sometimes that is difficult to do when we have a big lead early in the game.”
The tempo was more subdued Saturday against the Big Horn Lady Rams. According to Hunt, “This game never really had any flow. There were a lot of fouls early on and neither team could get anything going on offense.”
Just like they had against Riverside the night before, the Buffs held the Rams to single-digit scoring in three of the four quarters.
According to Hunt, defense made the difference Saturday. “Big Horn is a team that likes to transition as much as they can. We did an outstanding job keeping them from getting those transition points; we kept them out of the key and forced them to take more outside shots than they are used to.”
The relentless defense of the Buffs held the Rams leading scorer to just two points. “That was huge for us. She sets the tempo for their team and we never allowed her to get involved in their offense at all.”
Wright was the only Buff in double digits with 17 points; Emma Mercer and Edeler scored nine points apiece and Edeler grabbed eight rebounds.
Greybull 50, Riverside 28
Greybull 18 9 16 7 – 50
Riverside 5 4 8 11 0 – 28
GREYBULL: Kendall Wright 7 3-3 19; Tatem Edeler 3 1-2 7; Payten Sorensen 2 0-0 6; Shayla Cheatham 2 0-0 5; Marie Streich 2 0-2 4; Morgan Haley 1 1-2 3; Emma Mercer 1 0-2 2; Monique Velasquez 1 0-1 2; Kendall Stephens 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 20-66 5-12 50.
3-POINT GOALS: Sorensen 2, Wright 2, Cheatham. REBOUNDS: 42 (Edeler 10, Haley 5, Velasquez 5). ASSISTS: 10. STEALS: 19 (Sorensen 67, Wright 6). TURNOVERS: 16.
RIVERSIDE: Kelby VanDeest 5 0-3 11; Breana Riley 3 1-4 9; Emily Crouse 1 1-2 3; Emmy Reid 1 0-0 3; Hannah Coy 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 11-28 2-9 28.
3-POINT GOALS: Riley 2, Reid, VanDeest. REBOUNDS: 22 (VanDeest 7). ASSISTS: 6. STEALS: 4 TURNOVERS: 33.
Greybull 42, Big Horn 30
Greybull 5 14 15 8 – 42
Big Horn 7 7 13 3 – 30
GREYBULL: Wright 6 4-6 17; Edeler 4 1-1 9; Mercer 3 2-2 9; Valesquez 1 3-5 5; Sorensen 0 2-6 2. TOTALS: 14-33 12-22 42.
3-POINT GOALS: Wright, Mercer; REBOUNDS: 26 (Edeler 8). ASSISTS: 11 (Stephens 3). STEALS: 10 (Haley 3). TURNOVERS: 24.