By Brandon Walker
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS – The Lone Peak High School varsity girls’ basketball team secured their seventh victory of the season on Feb. 7, defeating the White Sulphur Springs Hornets 49-26.
The win was the team’s second in their last three contests, beating Shields Valley in a thrilling win at the buzzer Jan. 31 and dropping their previous matchup with Manhattan Christian on Feb. 6.
A 16-point first-quarter outburst from the Hornets, including an early 11-0 lead led by Callie Menard’s eight points in the quarter, had LPHS reeling.
“We had tried to play a little 2-3 zone [defense] in the first quarter and we went back to man [defense] in the second quarter,” said Lady Big Horns’ head coach Loren Bough. “We’ve really been working on stepping up our man-to-man defense and it really showed in that quarter.”
Lone Peak relied on a strong defensive showing the rest of the way to coast to victory on the road. The Lady Big Horns allowed only 10 points total through the final three quarters of play, including a second quarter shutout. “Really a good kind of initial test and then a nice recovery,” Bough said of his team’s comeback. “So I think the girls gained a lot of confidence from that.”
After trailing by a half-dozen through one, the second quarter proved decisive as LPHS took advantage of White Sulphur Springs’ shooting struggles to win the quarter 17-0, taking an 11-point lead into the half that they would never relinquish. Freshman Maddie Cone led the charge offensively for the Lady Big Horns with seven of her game-high 16 points in the quarter. She added 15 rebounds and four steals to round out her strong stat line.
Freshman Jessie Bough also reached double figures for the Lady Big Horns, finishing with 12 points of her own on the night and a couple assists. Sophomore Carly Wilson had a strong evening with nine points and an active night defensively, coming away with seven steals for Lone Peak.
Menard led White Sulphur Springs with eight points, while her teammate Ashtyn Tome contributed seven. Kenzie Hereim rounded out the top three scorers for the Hornets with five points on the night.
The Hornets struggled with free-throws to the tune of a 6-for-14 showing, only a 42 percent clip, however the Lady Big Horns displayed a solid effort from the free-throw line aided Lone Peak’s effort as the team shot 66 percent, or 8-for-12 from the stripe. “Friday was probably the best game the girls played all season,” Bough said. “They shot better, attacked the basket better and played pretty incredible defense.”
LPHS improved to 7-9 on the season and picked up their third road victory in the process. The Lady Big Horns have two contests remaining before the District tournament begins the week of Feb. 17. First up is a road matchup with the West Yellowstone Wolverines on Feb. 14 before they finish the season at home against the Sheridan Panthers Feb. 15.
Bough said the victory propels the team into the season’s final matchups with a full head of steam. “I think, you know with a young team like we have its all about confidence and playing with high energy, so a big win where everybody plays well and we put up a lot of points … sends us into the end of the season with much better bearing.”
Box Score Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
Lone Peak 10 17 13 9 49
White Sulphur Springs 16 0 5 5 26
Lone Peak: Maddie Cone 16, Jessie Bough 12, Carly Wilson 9, Ivy Hicks 6, Kate King 6
White Sulphur Springs: Callie Menard 8, Ashtyn Tome 7, Kenzie Hereim 5, Aspyn Myrstol 3, Brooke Thorp 3