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Big Horns fall in ‘Battle of 191’ matchup

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Fans filled the bleachers and cheered the Big Horns on against their rivals on Jan. 14. PHOTO BY JOSEPH T. O’CONNOR

Boys and girls drop basketball games to West Yellowstone

By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – The latest “Battle of 191” contest between rivals Lone Peak High School and West Yellowstone High School put the Wolverines two wins ahead of the hometown Big Horns in the ongoing Class C rivalry. 

On the evening of Friday, Jan. 14, the Lady Big Horns took the court first in a fast-paced and tight game.

The Wolverines were led by senior Emmie Collins who signed a letter of intent to play at Montana State University Billings in November 2021. Known as a fast player, Collins set the pace and didn’t let up.

“I would have liked to hold her to 10 points instead of 17,” said LPHS Head Coach Loren Bough after the game. 

The Lady Big Horns showed promise in the first quarter keeping the score low and leading 9-7. 

The Wolverines began to pull ahead in the second quarter scoring 16 points. Bough said a defensive weakness in the Lady Big Horns’ play was their struggle to switch on defense and handle screens.

Late in the third quarter, a crucial free throw from junior Maddie Cone gave the Lady Big Horns a one-point lead over the Wolverines. Lone Peak fought back in the second half and ended the third quarter down 31-30.

Senior Carly Wilson shoots a free throw late in the fourth quarter. PHOTO BY JOSEPH T. O’CONNOR

As the scoreboard ticked down in the fourth quarter, Lady Big Horns junior Kate King added two points from the foul line bringing Lone Peak within five points of West 40-35. Just when the momentum started to swing back to the home team however, a traveling call gave possession back to the Wolverines.

“There was a horrible call with one minute left [in the game],” Bough said.” It was probably the worst call at the worst time of the season.”

Despite the ref’s ruling, the Lady Big Horns fought hard until the buzzer and a final score of 45-39 favored the Wolverines.

“We ran the two-on-two zone well and we passed the ball reasonably well,” Bough said of his team’s performance. “We looked for the fast break and ran hard tonight.”

Following the Lady Big Horns, the boys varsity team took the court against the Wolverines.

The Big Horns put up consistent scores each quarter, but the Wolverines slowly drew ahead as they outscored the Big Horns each quarter.

At the end of the first quarter, the Wolverines led 17-10. Big Horns junior Ben Saad contributed a 3-point play, making his free throw after being fouled on a layup.

In the second quarter, the Big Horns drew even with the Wolverines after junior Pierce Farr tied the game at 23 with a layup and free throw. Though the Wolverines pulled ahead again, one second from halftime junior Max Romney, high scorer for the Big Horns with 19 points, sunk a free throw to bring the score up to 27-28 West ahead of the break.

After the half, Lone Peak continued slipping behind, unable to catch up to the Wolverines. The Big Horns wrapped the third quarter trailing the Wolverines by 12 points.

Junior Gus Hammond dribbles up the court evading Wolverines defenders. PHOTO BY JOSEPH T. O’CONNOR

Late in the fourth quarter Big Horns senior John Chadwell hit a shot, the last offensive contribution from the Big Horns as the Wolverines shut them down for the rest of the game.

The final score was 76-50 Wolverines.

LPHS Head Coach John Hannahs said recent games have not gone their way, but he is focusing on a positive attitude with his team. 

“Right now, we are concentrating on the small victories and building off them while addressing some areas that are holding us back,” Hannahs wrote in an email to EBS. “We have hung with all of these teams, we just need to string that strong play together all game and limit lapses in offense and defense.”

On Saturday, Jan. 15, the Big Horns hit the road to play the Twin Bridges Falcons. The Lady Big Horns fell to the Lady Falcons 54-39 and the boys lost to the Falcons by 10 points with a final score of 56-46.

Following the games at Twin Bridges, the Lady Big Horns have a 4-7 record for the season while the boys now have a 2-8 record for the season.

Tonight, Jan. 18, only the varsity boys face off against the Ennis Mustangs at the Bough Dolan Athletic Complex. Next up, the Big Horns again hit the road to play the Sheridan Panthers on Saturday, Jan. 22.

Joseph T. O’Connor contributed to reporting on this story.

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