CHEYENNE – Cheyenne Central thought Cheyenne South controlled the tempo during the first half of their meeting Wednesday evening.
Lady Indians coach Glen Kirkbride wanted his team to turn the tables during the second half. It did.
No. 2-ranked Central cranked up the pressure defensively and got several second-chance points to take a 53-32 victory at Storey Gym.
“The entire first half, we were a little too geeked up and we were going too fast and making mistakes,” Kirkbride said. “South deserves a lot of credit for that. They like to play a quicker tempo, and they got after us and made us play that way.
“We went into halftime and told our kids to take the emotion out of it and do what we do. Our defense got some things going and, offensively, we were a little more patient than we were in the first half.”
Central (10-1 overall, 1-0 Class 4A Southeast Quadrant) led 20-14 at halftime. Bison coach Chad DeBruyn was happy with where his team was at going into the intermission.
“We were 6 for 16 from the free-throw line during the first half, but it was still a two-possession game,” he said. “We were getting a lot of what we wanted offensively. In the second half, there was a stretch where we only scored one point, and that’s where it got away from us.”
Makenna Harlan’s rebound and basket with 25 seconds remaining in the first half was the Bison’s last field goal until junior guard Calysta Martinez scored with 1:56 remaining in the third. Central outscored South 16-3 during that stretch.
“They were outrebounding us and scoring a lot of second-chance points,” DeBruyn said. “You can’t give up those sorts of baskets against a good basketball team like that. I have said all year long, I think they might be the best team in the state, and they showed that (Wednesday).”
Central senior Ellie Fearneyhough led all scorers with 19 points. She scored 15 of those in the second half.
“We were forcing a lot of things in the first half when we needed to slow down and figure out what they were giving us,” Fearneyhough said. “We did a really good job of cutting down on our turnovers and taking what they gave us.”
Junior Kelsey Basart added 10 points for Central, while classmate Baylee Delbridge and sophomore Jordan Jones both scored eight.
Junior Calysta Martinez paced South (3-8, 0-1) with 11 points.
Central hosts Laramie at 6 p.m. Friday, while South squares off with top-ranked Cheyenne East at 5:30 p.m. at Storey Gym.
CENTRAL 53, SOUTH 32
Cheyenne Central…… 8 12 18 15 – 53
Cheyenne South…… 8 6 6 12 – 32
Cheyenne Central: Boltz 3, Jo. Jones 8, Bush 0, Fraley 0, Cowley 2, Sallee 1, E. Fearneyhough 19, Basart 10, Delbridge 8, Ja. Jones 2, Brant 0, Jardine 0.
Cheyenne South: Martinez 11, Liggett 0, Deibert 0, Brown 0, Tovar 1, Moore 7, Van Tassell 5, Palermo 0, Harlan 4, Dimas 4, Riter 0, Cahill 0.
Cheyenne Central 73
Cheyenne South 45
CHEYENNE – The No. 1-ranked Indians grabbed a 10-0 lead in the first 3 minutes, 29 seconds and never looked back during a 73-45 victory over South on Wednesday at Storey Gym.
“We wanted to establish a mindset and the way we’re going to go about playing the second part of this season,” Central coach Tagg Lain said. “We had a very good first part of the season, but we got tripped up at a tough Scottsbluff (Nebraska) team Saturday.
“This is a new season, and we have 10 big games where we want to play a certain way. Our guys did a good job of focusing in on what they do best, and then went out and did it.”
Central (10-1 overall, 1-0 Class 4A Southeast Quadrant) led 20-11 after the first quarter, and steadily padded its lead throughout the night.
“We did a good job of really looking for each other and playing unselfish,” said Indians junior Brady Storebo, who scored all of his game-high 20 points in the final three quarters. “We’re have a really tight-knit crew, and we don’t care who scores. We share the basketball, get the ball in the post to Lawson (Lovering) and play through him.”
Lovering finished with 13 points, while Nathanial Talich added 14. Randall LeBeaumont came off the bench to score 11 for Central, which hosts Laramie at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
South coach Jeff Bailey was complimentary of Central, describing the Indians as tall, strong, athletic and deep.
“They’re a tough matchup for any team in the state right now,” Bailey said. “But there were a lot of positives for our guys. There were times when we had a lot of sophomores and juniors on the floor doing some good things.
“Sometimes you need to play games like that to have your weaknesses exposed.”
Senior guard Cameron Bird paced South (6-5, 0-1) with 12 points, while sophomore LeeAndre Ray added 10.
The Bison face Cheyenne East at 7 p.m. Friday at Storey Gym.
CENTRAL 73, SOUTH 45
Cheyenne Central…… 20 20 20 13 – 73
Cheyenne South…… 11 10 12 12 – 45
Cheyenne Central: Cates 3, Stampfli 2, Whitworth 0, Lobatos 4, LeBeaumont 11, Talich 14, Bra. Storebo 20, Bro. Storebo 6, Burns 0, Lovering 13, Narrod 0, Lewis 0, Filbin 0, Cummings 0.
Cheyenne South: Bird 12, Ray 10, Barto 1, Bell 2, T. Moyte 4, J. Moyte 4, Alexander 4, Manzanares 2, Van Tassell 0, Mascarenas 0, Scott 4, Simmons 0.