BURNS – Pine Bluffs coach Linsey Forbes calls senior Kammie Ragsdale a game-changing type of player when she is on her game.
The 6-foot Ragsdale with a sharp shot from the perimeter and the ability to drive the lane when needed was just that Friday, steering the Lady Hornets to a 54-31 win over Wheatland at the Burns Winter Classic.
“(I’m) just working with my teammates,” said Ragsdale, who finished with a game-high 25 points for Pine Bluffs. “We’re creating our defense, and that’s helping us create our offense.
“We’re finally getting those rough edges worked out and playing together. It’s helping all of us get those points.”
Ragsdale and junior Hyleigh Fornstrom were the most dominant players on the floor Friday. Fornstrom posted 17 points in the win.
The veteran tandem helped spring the Hornets (2-1) to a 17-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Ragsdale got the final touch, an open look from beyond the arc, and drained it as the clock expired.
Wheatland utilized a 5-2 run to cut the margin to 19-12 to open the second quarter. But Ragsdale swiped back the momentum with a 3-pointer off her own steal to put Pine Bluffs ahead 22-12 with 4 minutes, 20 seconds left before halftime.
“Any time you can get somebody that has that perimeter presence and can go inside too, it definitely is a game-changer,” Forbes said of Ragsdale.
Fornstrom knocked down a deep 3 with 1:26 to play to put her team ahead by 15.
Pine Bluffs took a 31-15 lead into the locker room, and Ragsdale and Fornstrom accounted for all of the scoring. The former led all scorers with 16 at the break.
“We managed to play within our system a little better (Friday) than we have on both ends of the floor,” Forbes said. “We had to make adjustments early and take away that corner 3, but other than that, (we) were able to put pressure on them and convert on the other end.”
Ragsdale’s buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter and Fornstrom’s late 3 near halftime ushered in a wave of confidence for the Hornets, who continued to have their way in the second half.
“It helped knowing that we’re getting into our rhythm of getting our shots up and knowing that we can make those shots in the close times like that and to make those big plays like that,” Ragsdale said.
Wheatland’s Kaesha Davis hit a 3 late in the third quarter to slice the deficit to 16 points at 36-20, but Pine Bluffs kept up the intensity on the defensive end of the court and seemed to turn every turnover into easy transition points.
With 1:48 remaining in the third quarter, somebody not named Ragsdale or Hyleigh Fornstrom penciled their name into the scorebook for the Hornets. Junior Maddie Fornstrom drew a foul near the rim and knocked down both of her free throws to bump her team ahead 38-20.
As the season is just getting underway, the Hornets are still ironing out some kinks on offense. Points will come, especially if they play defense the way they did Friday.
“We’re hoping to get all five of us double-digits,” Ragsdale said. “It’s the beginning of the year, people are working stuff out and getting back into the groove of basketball.
“We’re hoping to get at least six or seven players getting points for us at the end of the year.”
PINE BLUFFS 54, WHEATLAND 31
Pine Bluffs…...........… 17 14 12 10 – 54
Wheatland….............… 7 8 7 10 – 31
Pine Bluffs: M. Fornstrom 2, Howard 4, Long 2, Ragsdale 25, H. Fornstrom 17, Thompson 2, Sweeter 2.
Wheatland: Brow 3, Mann 4, Matthews 4, Davis 6, Stevenson 1, Otero 8, Cook 2, Anderson 3.
Pine Bluffs 84, Moorcroft 46
BURNS – Ragsdale poured in 45 points as the Pine
Bluffs girls basketball team rolled to an 84-46 win over Moorcroft on Friday morning at the Burns Winter Classic.
The Pine Bluffs senior sank 10 field goals, including three 3-pointers. She was 16 of 22 from the free-throw line.
Freshman Jaden Shelit finished with 11 points, while senior Torri Long added 10.
PINE BLUFFS 84, MOORCROFT 46
Moorcroft….............… 11 18 7 10 – 46
Pine Bluffs…...........… 16 26 28 12 – 84
Moorcroft: Te. Fischbach 0, Jones 1, Ky. Petz 2, Feehan 4, Ka. Petz 18, Peterson 0, Williams 4, Bonaguidi 8, Cranston 2, Braden 1, Lefave 2.
Pine Bluffs: M. Fornstrom 2, Howard 0, Long 10, S. Fornstrom 1, Shelit 11, Ragsdale 45, H. Fornstrom 3, Thompson 6, Sweeter 6.
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.