Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Lady Hornets down rival Southeast, crowned State Champs

 

Jimmie Earls/Pine Bluffs Post

The Pine Bluffs Lady Hornets celebrated their 2A State Championship with a pep rally in the high school gym Monday afternoon. See the March 24 issue of the Pine Bluffs Post for a special commemorative insert for more coverage.

Having lost to Southeast the week before at Regionals, the Pine Bluffs Lady Hornets entered the state tournament as a number two seed and with strong determination.

Their season was great as they lost only three times. Twice came by way of Southeast. A fact that is significant.

The girls kicked off their tournament play at 4:30 on Thursday at Casper College. Their opponent was the number three seed out of the West, Kemmerer.

The game opened with Kemmerer jumping out to a quick four-point lead. The Lady Hornets quickly over came that lead as they lit up the scoreboard for 21 points in the first quarter.

In the second, it was Pine Bluffs dominating the scoreboard as they pulled out to a 32-17 lead.

Both teams scored ten points in the third, 42-27.

The fourth quarter looked like it could be the undoing of the girls as Kemmerer shot for 19 points. Pine Bluffs, while held to only eight points, was able to do enough to squeeze out the win, 50-46 and advance to the second round.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the bracket, Southeast defeated Greybull 39-27.

Leading the Hornets in scoring was Azhane Bufford with 15. She was followed by Montanna Chrystal with 10. Kammie Ragsdale had nine, Jadyn Golding had eight, Sierra Shelit had five, and Brooke Darden had two.

The Lady Hornets moved to the the Casper Event Center for their second round game. Their opponent this time was the number one seed out of the west, Lyman.

Like the Lady Hornets, Lyman is not accustomed to losing. They entered the tournament undefeated in Conference play (8-0) and only one loss.

Lyman led by as much as five points in the first quarter before the Lady Hornets took the lead. It would be the only time the lead would change throughout the game.

The Lady Hornets went on to dominate Lyman as they held them to five points in the each of the second and third quarters. They gave up 20 points to Lyman in the fourth, but it was no where near enough for Lyman to pull out a win.

Pine Bluffs knocked down 19 points in the second quarter to lead 35-19 at the half.

In the third they scored 13 more to have a 28-24 point lead going into the final frame.

In the fourth the Lady Hornets knocked down 19 points to take the win 67-44, punching their ticket to the championship game.

Four Lady Hornets lit up the scoreboard with double-digit scoring. Leading all scorers was Bufford with 17. She was followed by Chrystal with 16, Ragsdale had 15, Shelit had 10. Golding had five points, Darden and Melissa Fornstrom had two.

Also punching their ticket to the final game was Southeast. Southeast defeated Wyoming Indian, 50-45.

Saturday was the day. The day Pine Bluffs and Southeast had prepared for all season. The day these two teams would meet for the fourth time this year.

In the Regional game it was Southeast who took the title with a 48-40 win against the Lady Hornets.

Before that, southeast defeated Pine Bluffs 50-46 on Feb. 19. In their first meeting of the season, it was the Lady Hornets who won 43-41 in overtime. The only other team the Lady Hornets have lost to this season was Hill City, South Dakota, back in December.

To say these teams know each other is a bit of an understatement.

Both teams started the game a bit slow. The Lady Hornets were able to score seven points in the first while holding Southeast to only two.

Southeast rallied back in the second to tie the game at 15 going into the half.

Half time. The game is tied. Both teams have fought hard to get to this point. Neither team wants to go home the loser. One team will, though.

Looking over the stats, it's clear to see who won this game. The Lady Hornets scored 20 points in the third quarter. They added an additional 15 in the fourth.

But it isn't just points that win games. You have to have solid defense, too.

Southeast is a tough competitor. Of the three losses Pine Bluffs has had this year, Southeast has served them two. They have proven they know how to beat this dominate Lady Hornets team. Knowing how to beat someone and actually doing it when it counts, are two different things.

Southeast scored 14 points in the third. They trailed 35-29 going into the final frame of not only the game but the season. They needed to make up six points. They scored 11. Pine Bluffs scored four more.

As the final buzzer rang out it was the Lady Hornets jumping for joy. The championship title was made even more sweet by having beaten their divisional rival.

Bufford led in scoring once again with 22. Also hitting double-digit scoring was Golding with 22. Ragsdale scored eight, Chrystal had four and Shelit had one.

 

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