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East Benches Natrona’s Top Scoring Threats In Early Season Surprise [VIDEO]

Natrona at Cheyenne East - Girls Basketball 2012
Kevin Koile – wyopreps.com

Highlights of the Friday, November 30th Girls Basketball game, between #1 Natrona at #5 Cheyenne East.

Scroll down to watch the highlights of the game!

The Lady Thunderbirds would get the leading scorers for Fillies into early foul trouble, and comeback twice to stun the top ranked team in 4A.

Well…ok…dinner at the game. That’s one way to spend time together on a date. Actually, they picked the right game to go to.

#1 Natrona at #5 Cheyenne East…first quarter…Natrona wearing the black…and they did not waste much time off of the opening tip. Kaylee Johnson takes the inside lob from Gabby Johnson and last season’s Gatorade Player of the Year puts in the first 2 points, to give the Fillies a 2-nothing lead.

Then the 2 would switch roles and try something similar…but East was ready for it this time. Rachel Erickson says “Sister…I don’t think so, girl!” NC would need a new game plan after that.

On the ensuing inbounds…they used that new plan…Kaylee deflects the pass back to Gabby and by the time the defense realized it…it was too late. The Fillies are up 5-to-2.

Now last year’s state runner-ups did have some problems dealing with the full court defense, and the Lady Thunderbirds took advantage of those mistakes. Leah Cheney gets the back-court turn over, then feeds the ball ahead to Erickson, and the junior will lay in 2 of her 15 points…and the home team is only down 5-to-4.

And then at times….Natrona found ways to beat that defense. Jena Milliken led all scorers with 17 including this bucket here. She did her part and then some…and her squad has a 7-to-4 advantage.

The visitors were making some quick passes to get the pressure off of their back…and shot a few from long range as well. That’s not quite far enough for 3, and Milliken will have to settle for 2 instead, but it would increase the score to 9-to-4.

The junior was off to a hot start and you’re about to see more…this 3-ball is going to find nothing but the bottom of the net and she was feeling it…now the score is doubled up at 12-to-6…but she was not done…she’ll get the back court steal and try again from up close…no good, but her team-mates had her back. Sierra Bartsch with the offensive rebound and then Kaylee Johnson will score from up close to make it a 14-to-6 contest. Kaylee though, was held to just 5 points because she got herself into foul trouble early and spent a lot of time on the bench.

NC kept right on going for awhile…here’s Emman Norvelle canning a 10 foot jumper to add on…as the Fillies got out to a good start and led 16-to-7, after the first 8 minutes.

2nd quarter…they’d build on it a little bit more. Milliken is wide open behind the arc and the defense kept forgetting about her. This game was starting to turn into a rout, with the Fillies up 22-to-8.

It took East a little while to get going…and they had to reach into their bag of tricks to do it. Shayne Carter takes the inbounds pass and scores up close and easy, but her team is still down 22-to-10…however, the momentum of this game was starting to turn.

Now at this point…both Johnson girls for Natrona are on the bench with 3 fouls each, and the home team was starting to take advantage of that. This is Elissia Johnson for East…offensive board, put back and 1…they were finding ways to get to the free throw line and those little points were starting to add on to the comeback bid…they still trail 24-to-16 at this point.

The Lady Thunderbirds would slowly get closer. Cheney thought about going for 3, then decided to go around 3 defenders and settle for 2 instead. That plan worked and the deficit is down to 6…the scoreboard reads, 24-to-18.

They were hitting the big shots as well…Anna Reiner…takes aim…lets ‘er fly and that girl has some wings. The home team is right back in this one and they’re only down 26-to-22.

The visitors needed to get some offense going soon, or else they were going to be in trouble. Bartsch has a lane…puts up a shot…draws the contact, gets the whistle and the bucket…that relieved a little bit of pressure and her team went into the locker room up 29-to-24.

3rd quarter…East would not go away…they knew they had a chance…in fact Erickson gave them 3 chances! That 14 point deficit is gone and we got ourselves a whole new ball game…it’s 29-all.

But they did not stop there. The long ball was working, and they would stick with it. This is Abby Brown…all alone in the corner…and what can Brown do for you? The Lady T-Birds have now taken their first lead of the game, up 32-to-31.

Natrona may have blown a big lead, but they would make sure that things did not get out of control. Veronique Gallegos passed up the fast break, because Milliken was in the corner, causing trouble. That would keep things close…they’re only down 36-35.

Now Gallegos got her points in as well…she didn’t just dish out assists…check out this under-handed lay-in as she’ll kiss one off the glass for 2, and the visitors are back on top by a score of 37-36.

Let’s get someone new in here…aside from the regulars….this is Lexie Switzer coming off of the bench…she drains a 3 for Natrona’s cause and the pendulum had swung back in their favor, and they were up 42-to-38, going into the final 8 minutes.

4th quarter…the Fillies were pushing their luck and it was working for awhile…Milliken drives…shoots…whistle…bucket and 1 more…that would cap off a 9-zip run, and the visitors appeared to be pulling away, with a 46-38 advantage.

But this game was not over…East had another run in them and here it comes in the form of Erickson…she’ll get around 1 defender and lay the ball up and in to get things going…her team still trails 47-43.

The junior was taking charge and mixing things up…this is one of those, what the heck type shots. Look out! The Lady Thunderbirds are breathing down Natrona’s neck, because they are down by 1…it’s 47-46.

Now things have gotten critical…Kaylee Johnson fouled out for Natrona with 4 minutes left on the clock…and Erickson was still on the floor for East…she was a 1-girl army getting around 2 defenders and finding a way to score again, and that would give her team the lead for the moment…it’s now 49-to-48.

Then the defense and transition game showed up…Cheney…picks off the pass…gives it up…gets it back and scores…an upset is brewing…the Lady T-Birds lead 53-51 with 26 ticks left on the clock.

Natrona did not cave in though…Bartsch hits a pair of free throws with about 10 seconds left, to knot things up again…and this game needed some more time, because it was knotted up at 53 at the end of regulation.

Now anyone who knows basketball at East, knows that this is what they do for free throws…and in the extra period, they did it a lot, because all the points scored in overtime, came from the charity stripe. Bottom line…the Lady Thunderbirds found ways to get to the free throw and Natrona did not. That played a factor…as East would stun the top ranked Fillies when it was all said and done in overtime…61-to-56.

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