By Brandon Walker
BIG SKY – Following an exciting boys game, the Lone Peak High School girls basketball team looked to defend their home court against the West Yellowstone Wolverines on Jan. 17 in front of a split crowd. The Lady Big Horns came up short, falling to the Wolverines 38-28.
Lone Peak head coach Loren Bough was in good spirits following the contest. “We’re super pleased. West Yellowstone is ranked No. 8 in the state and they’re undefeated and I think we scared them through three quarters. They have a very good coach, so it’s part of our goal to make her sweat a little bit,” he said.
The teams exchanged heavy blows in a highly contested first quarter. The final of which came with one-minute remaining when LPHS freshman Maddie Cone intercepted a West Yellowstone pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup, leaving the Lady Big Horns trailing by only one point at the first intermission, 8-7.
Following a 3-point basket from West Yellowstone sophomore Emmie Collins, the Wolverines opened up a seven-point advantage with less than three minutes to go in the half. The Lady Big Horns countered with a free throw from junior Sara Wilson, a jumper from freshman Kate King, and a free throw by sophomore Carly Wilson to make it a 16-13 Wolverine lead at halftime.
West Yellowstone made a crucial adjustment at halftime, deciding to front Cone in the post, making it tougher to get her the ball and enticing Lone Peak to lob it over the top to their center. It was an effective switch that quieted Cone’s offensive output in the second half, limiting the freshman to only three of her 10 points after the break. “I was angry, but that’s life. Most teams do front post, so I just tried to get around it and tried to give it my best [effort],” said Cone discussing the challenge that the defensive adjustment presented.
The third quarter saw neither team able to gain much of an advantage. After King evened the score at 22 on a layup with only 22 seconds left in the quarter, a quick Wolverine free-throw and Collins breakaway lay-in resulted in a 25-22 score after three quarters of play.
With 4:27 to play in the game, LPHS found themselves down by two after junior captain Ivy Hicks knocked down a couple of free throws, but that was as close as things would get. Collins took control of the game the rest of the way, scoring eight of her game-high 19 points in the quarter to lead the Wolverines to victory on the road.
“We ran several offenses, we ran several defenses, and this is the first game when I have done that in the game, so the girls are learning. I’ve got to be pleased about that,” Bough said.
The Lady Big Horns had to deal with the loss of freshman point guard Jessie Bough about halfway through the fourth quarter after she sustained a leg injury while driving to the basket. Coach Bough felt this was a key factor in the final result.
Cone added nine rebounds to her team-high, 10-point performance. Hicks contributed seven points as well as six rebounds and a couple of steals in the loss.
“I think everybody played their hearts out today. Everybody was extremely scrappy and really gave it to them and really aggressive,” Hicks said. “Sometimes we don’t play like that, but today everybody brought it, and the crowd’s energy was amazing. That was my favorite part of the game.”
Lone Peak dropped their fourth straight contest and saw their home record fall to 3-2 on the season. The team currently sits at 4-5 overall. “We all played really hard. We worked together as a team and we put up a really good fight I think, and I’m just excited for next time we play them because I think we can really do it … we can beat them,” Cone said.
Box Score Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
Lone Peak 7 6 9 6 28
West Yellowstone 8 8 9 13 38
Lone Peak: Maddie Cone 10, Ivy Hicks 7, Jessie Bough 5, Kate King 4, Carly Wilson 1, Sara Wilson 1
West Yellowstone: Emmie Collins 19, Danna Ochoa 9, Ashlyn Roos 6, Trista Finney 3, Averi Parker 1