By Brandon Walker
BIG SKY — The Lone Peak High School varsity girls basketball team finished strong on Jan. 3, outscoring the Harrison-Willow Creek Wildcats by 14 points in the fourth quarter to secure their fourth victory of the season, 52-35.
Head coach Loren Bough and the Lady Big Horns encountered another new obstacle in this matchup. “The big test tonight was we had to play zone offense the whole game. That was new for us. We have never played a zone offense the whole game, so I think we were a little rusty on our passes initially in the second quarter,” coach Bough said. “We made some adjustments in the third quarter about how we were going to get the ball to the high post and making sure we turned and looked for the cutters and then it worked better.”
LPHS jumped out to a 14-4 first quarter lead by penetrating Harrison-Willow Creek’s 2-3 zone defense, that led to dump passes in the post for layups or kick outs for mid-range jump shots. Harrison-Willow Creek stormed back with an offensive outburst of their own, sparked by freshman Dana Lerum, who had a game-high 19 points, and hit a 3-pointer just before the half to tie the game at 21 apiece.
Lady Big Horn freshman Jessie Bough was surprised by the Wildcats comeback before halftime. “I know I personally wasn’t feeling so great … I’m not great about staying very [composed]. But I think the rest of my team really picked me up—especially the captains, the two juniors who were super upbeat, and that helped us out going into the third and fourth quarters,” she said.
The teams entered the fourth quarter entrenched in a back and forth battle, with neither one having gained much separation. But with about four minutes remaining in the final quarter of play, the Lady Big Horns started to slip away from the Wildcats, going on a 10-0 run before eventually winning the quarter 22-8.
The freshman point guard felt that the breathing room was long overdue. “I think we were mad. We were mad that we were tied, like I know that everyone was just [thinking] we shouldn’t have been tied at all,” Bough said. “We just wanted to win, which is good because in the first half it seemed like they wanted it more, but we definitely wanted it more in the second half.”
Bough expertly executed two inbounds plays leading to 3-pointers on both occasions and followed with a lay-in to give Lone Peak a 12 point lead. Fellow freshman Kate King immediately added a mid-range jumper of her own to make it a 46-32 game late in the fourth. Bough and King led the Lady Big Horns in points, contributing 12 apiece.
Lone Peak freshman Maddie Cone had a very strong night of her own, finishing with 10 points and 8 rebounds, leaving her just two rebounds shy of a double-double performance. Junior Ivy Hicks provided solid contributions across all statistical categories in the victory as well. Hicks chipped in 6 points, 4 assists, and 7 rebounds with six coming on the offensive end of the floor.
“As we think about things on a progression basis. We have now added a zone offense to our repertoire. That’s a big accomplishment,” coach Bough said. The Lady Big Horns improved to 4-1 on the season with the victory.
Box Score Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
Lone Peak 14 7 9 22 52
Harrison-Willow Creek 4 17 6 8 35
Lone Peak: Jessie Bough 12, Kate King 12, Maddie Cone 10, Sara Wilson 7, Ivy Hicks 6, Avery Dickerson 3, Carly Wilson 2
Harrison-Willow Creek: Dana Lerum 19, Lauren Cima 9, Aleena Bacon 4, Ruth Crabetree 2, Kayley Christensen 1