CHEYENNE – Everything surrounding Saturday’s matchup between Douglas and Cheyenne South seemed off.
It was an odd game from the beginning of warm-ups. The officiating crew didn’t show up, which caused nearly an hour-long delay before the opening tipoff.
Even more strange was South’s ability to generate quality looks at the rim, but hardly any of them fell through the hoop. The cold shooting streak allowed Douglas to jump out to an early lead, extend it and ride off to a 56-16 win at Bison Gym.
“We work in practice for them, but I think we were overwhelmed with our shots this game,” said South sophomore guard Jaya Brown, who finished with four points. “It’s really tough for us.”
Points were tough to come by for the Lady Bison (6-8), who were shut out during the first quarter and were held without a point for nearly 9 minutes to start the game.
The Bearcats (13-1) hit three 3-pointers to open up a 13-0 advantage after the first quarter. Bison junior Angelina Liggett bounced a pass to sophomore teammate Riley Van Tassell, who pivoted in the key and got the shot to fall to finally put her team on the board with 7 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the first half.
“We finished the first quarter with zero (points),” South coach Chad DeBruyn said. “We were getting decent shots, honestly, and I didn’t think their defense was terrible in the first half. We did a pretty good job on them.”
But those short-range misses, particularly in the first quarter, came back to hurt South.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Emily Curtis and Haedyn Rhoades pushed Douglas’ lead to 24-6 with under a minute left before halftime. South was just 2 of 16 from the floor, including 0 for 3 from beyond the arc, in the first half.
“In the first half we started out with 17 turnovers,” said Van Tassell, who led South with six points. “That’s huge. We need to move the ball better on our offense and just keep the ball moving, so we can get them out of position to score. I think we were kind of slow, didn’t know how to play against their defense.”
Douglas – which is ranked No. 1 Class 3A – carried a 24-6 lead into the locker room. The Bearcats made five 3s in the half, three of which came from Rhoades, who finished with nine points.
“We gave up a couple 3s to end the first half that I don’t like, but up until that point I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping the ball out of the middle and corralling them a little bit,” DeBruyn added.
“If we made a few of those bunnies in the first half, we’re in a dogfight. And you come in here at halftime and their locker room looks different, our locker room looks different, and all of a sudden you’re in a ballgame.”
Instead, the second half turned into a running clock and created even more frustration for the Bison.
Joslin Igo scored 11 points, all of which came in the second half. The sophomore hit a pair of 3s in the fourth quarter to further the lead. Classmate Kam Townsend also posted 11 points for Douglas.
“When you get a running clock, it’s frustrating,” DeBruyn said. “I don’t blame them. I was frustrated, too.”
DOUGLAS 56, SOUTH 16
Douglas…...........…….................… 13 11 19 13 – 56
Cheyenne South…........................ 0 6 6 4 – 16
Douglas: Hill 0, Townsend 11, Collins 0, Rhoades 9, Johnson 2, Zwetzig 0, Hunsicker 0, Igo 11, Seeds 3, Curtis 10, Porter 0, Fertig 8, Olsen 2.
Cheyenne South: Martinez 0, M. Mirich 2, Liggett 0, Pena 0, Shrove 0, Brown 4, Sena 2, Van Tassell 6, Stensaas 2, Dimas 0.
Tyler Poslosky is a writer for WyoSports. He can be reached at 307-633-3123 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @TylerPoslosky.