Green River girls capitalize on Central miscues

Jeremiah Johnke, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne
·4 min read

Mar. 13—CASPER — Seemingly anything that could go wrong for the Cheyenne Central girls against Green River on Friday morning did.

The Lady Indians struggled to keep control of the basketball, and they also didn't shoot particularly well during a 59-37 loss to open the Class 4A girls state basketball tournament at "Swede" Erickson Thunderbird Gym on the campus of Casper College.

"(Green River) had a great game plan and shot the ball really well," Central coach Glen Kirkbride said. "They came out and played physical, and instead of responding to that and matching it, we kind of took a step back. You can't play this game that way.

"We ended up playing tentative and turning the ball over way too much."

The Indians (11-10) found themselves behind 11-5 after committing six turnovers in the first quarter. They finished the game with 17.

They also shot just 28.6% (12 of 42) from the floor, including a 14.3% (2 for 14) mark from behind the 3-point line. To make matters worse, the Wolves shot 46.5% (20 for 43) from the field, including a 55.6% (10 for 18) effort during the second half that helped them stretch a nine-point halftime lead to as much as 26 during the fourth quarter.

"This tournament is all about coming out ready to play, and we didn't do that," said Central senior guard Kelsey Basart, who was held scoreless after spending much of the game on the bench because of foul trouble. "They're a strong team, and they were doing a good job of blocking us out and making it hard to get rebounds.

"But that's another thing that comes down to who works harder, and they outworked us. They pretty much bullied us, and we didn't respond."

Green River never trailed en route to its first appearance in the 4A semifinals since 1998.

Central was paced by senior guard Baylee Delbridge, who scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds before fouling out with 3 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the contest. Sophomore Madisyn Baillie came off the bench and scored eight points.

Green River got 16 points, five rebounds and four steals from Megan Counts. Kayde Strauss added 12 points and four assists, while Tayana Crowder netted 10 points and six boards.

The Indians will try to keep their season alive when they face Star Valley in an elimination game at 9 a.m. today at the Wyoming Center. The winner of that contest plays for fifth place at 3:30 p.m. today at Kelly Walsh High.

"We talked to the team about how whenever you're in a situation where you get knocked down like we did (Friday), whether that's school, work or life, your future is determined by how you respond," Kirkbride said. "We have to get back up, dust ourselves off try to win two more games."

GREEN RIVER 59, CENTRAL 37

Cheyenne Central..................... 5 13 8 11 — 37

Green River............................ 11 16 17 15 — 59

Cheyenne Central: D. Mirich 0-1 0-0 0, C. Fraley 0-1 2-2 2, Baillie 3-7 2-5 8, Gerig 1-2 0-0 2, Basart 0-4 0-0 0, M. Kirkbride 0-3 1-2 1, Cowley 2-8 0-0 4, Brant 0-1 0-0 0, C. Sallee 0-0 2-2 2, Delbridge 5-14 4-8 16, Allen 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 12-42 11-19 37.

Green River: Strauss 3-6 6-8 12, Macy 2-5 0-0 5, Burges 0-1 0-0 0, Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Counts 6-10 3-4 16, Heiser 1-5 1-3 3, Angelovich 3-4 1-2 8, Wilson 0-4 0-0 0, Braden 0-0 2-2 2, Crowder 4-6 2-6 10, Hanks 0-0 0-0 0, Stanton 1-2 1-2 3. Totals: 20-43 16-27 59.

3-pointers: CC 2-14 (Baillie 0-1, Basart 0-3, Cowley 0-2, Brant 0-1, Delbridge 2-7); GR 3-10 (Strauss 0-2, Macy 1-2, Count 1-1, Heiser 0-3, Angelovich 1-2). Rebounds: CC 28 (Delbridge 5); GR 34 (Crowder 6). Assists: CC 6 (Gerig 3); GR 12 (Strauss 4). Turnovers: CC 17 (Three with 4); GR 12 (Strauss 3, Counts 3). Steals: CC 4 (Cowley 2); GR 8 (Counts 4). Blocked shots: CC 0, GR 2 (Macy, Wilson). Team fouls: CC 22, GR 18. Fouled out: CC 1 (Delbridge).

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at jjohnke@wyosports.net or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.