Grabow, Hicks lead balanced LPHS offense
By Brandon Walker
SHERIDAN – A balanced Lone Peak scoring attack led by freshman Vera Grabow and senior Ivy Hicks helped the Lady Big Horns secure their first victory of the 2020-2021 basketball season last weekend over the Sheridan Panthers, 44-33.
The win also marked No. 1 for first-year LPHS head coach Taylor Cummings.
“It feels pretty good,” Cummings said. “[It] feels like it was a long time coming for these girls so it was good to finally get a [win] on the board.”
Playing on the road Jan. 23, Grabow and Hicks accounted for 12 and 11 points, respectively, leading the LPHS offense. In total, seven athletes found the scoring column for the Lady Big Horns, who also received solid contributions from sophomores Maddie Cone with seven points, Jessie Bough with five and senior Sara Wilson who added another five.
“I think we’re growing a lot,” said Cummings, adding that the team’s balanced offense will make it tough for opponents to prepare to face them. “Every week, every game is figuring out that we’ve got a lot of different weapons and depending on the matchups in different games, we’ve got different options.”
LPHS outscored Sheridan in each quarter, widening their lead as the contest went on. They led 9-7 after the opening quarter and increased their lead to 19-15 at halftime. Grabow and Cone powered Lone Peak in the first half, combining for 10 of the team’s 19 points before the break.
In the second half, the Lady Big Horns scored in a flurry, knocking down four of their five 3-pointers on the night. Hick’s made three shots from beyond the arc, two in the second half. Bough and Wilson also scored 3-point shots of their own after halftime. Bough’s came in the third quarter, while Wilson sank her trey in the fourth.
The third quarter proved the difference-maker as Lone Peak won the quarter by five points, 11-6. It was their largest point differential in any quarter, and they added to it, also outscoring the Panthers in the fourth, 14-12.
LPHS was faced with a zone defense from Sheridan and, according to Cummings, it was the first time her team had faced a zone defensive scheme this year.
“It’s just [the] first time seeing it, it catches you off guard still, so we made some adjustments in the second half for that, that worked pretty well,” she said. “I think the girls just became more comfortable with the zone offense as the game progressed.”
The free-throw line was another strength for LPHS against the Panthers. Lone Peak shot nearly 63 percent from the charity stripe, finishing five-for-eight as a team and slightly outpacing Sheridan’s 61 percent showing at the line. Cummings said the strong free-throw performance was a testament to the team’s effort to improve.
The Lady Big Horns improved their season record to 1-2 and are starting off with a flawless 1-0 mark away from the Bough-Dolan Athletic Center following their victory. Lone Peak is looking to add another tally to the victory column when they host White Sulphur Springs tonight at 5:30 p.m.