We got 3 of them…now we just need to find the yellow and pink one…they are probably on the court, using their secret identity.
Kemmerer vs. Big Horn in the 2A state championship match…first game…Kemmerer wearing the black and on the far side…instead of challenging the defense…Tia Tiller just simply went over it, and the opposition reacted too late…her team is down 9-to-7 at this point.
Meanwhile, Big Horn was trying to finish what they could not do last year in this game…Jadyn Mirich finishes this play and the ball will be mis-handled on the other side…that would give last year’s state runner-ups a 10-to-8 lead.
Now serving…it’s McKenzie Taylor for the Lady Rams…and the other team just had a break down and fell apart…they will take whatever points they can get…now it’s 12-to-8.
Skipping ahead…it’s been awhile since the Lady Rangers have made it this far…I’ll tell you more about that later…Tiller was planning to end her high school career with a win…she got the point here, although her team is still down 22-16.
But the Big Horn seniors were also planning to end their careers with a win…Mirich will get a couple of deflections and the drop for the point…and her team was in pretty good shape…leading 23-to-16.
Kemmerer kept hanging around…Amanda Pinter will send this one right in front of the line judge…that was definitely in…but her team still needs a few more…down 24-18.
However…the Lady Rams were not going to give them anymore…Shelby Mann’s kill is deflected out of bounds…that took care of that for the time being…as her squad would win game 1…25-to-18.
Now in game 2…Kemmerer on the left…and they knew that they could not afford to be in an 0-2 hole…Tiller swings her fist and is rewarded with a much needed point…that opened up some breathing room, with the score at 20-to-16.
…and they knew it was going to take more than offense…the D had to make a play here and there as well…Hannah Nielson and Elizabeth Backman team up to raise the roof and deny access…the Lady Rangers were on the same page…ahead by a score of 21-17.
Now they’re back on the attack…and here comes more from Tiller…opposing teams have had a hard time stopping her for most of this season…she did her job, and now she has her team up 22-to-18.
Big Horn had to respond sooner or later…they just had to change up their game plan a little bit…instead of a hard charge…Mann will just guide the ball to the open spot on the floor…which was also in the middle of the defense…they are back in this one, down 22-to-19.
But 2 could play that game…the defense thought that Tiller was going for the spike…instead she went light and caught them unprepared…Kemmerer would end up winning the second game…25-20…to tie this match up at 1-game a piece.
Over to game 3…the Lady Rams were looking for an advantage…always nice when the opponent sets up the ball for you…Kayla Crouse was appreciative of the free gift and helped herself to a point…it’s a close score, down 19-17.
The lead would change hands…so the Lady Rangers had to work on getting it back…Madison Vickery knew where the ball had to go…saw the path and put it there…she had good vision, and now this game is even at 20-20.
Back and forth things went for a bit…that makes for a good game…not sure where exactly the ball went…but all Hanneah Puckett cares about, is that it did not end up on her side of the court…things are tied again at 21-all.
Some team had to make a move soon…because we’re nearing the goal of 25 points…Vickery finds more open space…she’s pretty good at that…especially when the defense is not ready…Kemmerer is back ahead, by a score of 22-21.
Every game is critical and the top seed out of the west decided to go after it…Tiller strikes again…she was pounding the ground and leaving marks…the Lady Rangers would take game 3, 25-22 to lead this match, 2-games-to-1.
Game 4…and these highlights are short, because we had to keep an eye on the other games going on…the Lady Rams set it up for Pinter who will knock it down for the other team…volleyball players usually like those kinds of points…but it’s Big Horn that’s ahead 9-to-7.
They realized they needed to get their act in gear…and now it was time for some defense…Puckett and Crouse both raise their hands, because they were sure of that block, and that point…that would help build a 15-to-11 advantage.
Kemmerer was trying to finish the job and they had their moments…like this one from Vickery…that got close, but not close enough as the opposition eventually won the fourth game…25-20, to force a deciding game 5.
Now in that pivotal game…The Lady Rams had the momentum for awhile…Puckett had the defense fooled…they thought she was going one way…but a slight course correction proved other-wise…each side has 1 point on the scoreboard.
Big Horn needed some big moments…and the opposition was slightly out of rhythm on defense…that kill try will get bounced around a few times, before eventually going out of bounds…that breaks the tie for last year’s state runner-ups who now lead 3-to-2.
Now they just had to build on it…Puckett is coming full force on this play, and all Kemmerer could do, was duck out of the way…there was no stopping that point, and the score is now doubled up at 4-to-2.
But here is where the tide turned…the Lady Rangers trail 7-to-4, and things started to go their way…Backman’s kill was a little too quick for the defense to stop, and that scores a point…although they are still down 7-to-5.
The bounces were starting to go their way…Tiller is flexing her muscle and the other side can not stop it…a run was in the works, as they would eventually go up 11-to-9.
Big Horn was not ready to surrender just yet…Bailey Bard will see an opportunity for her team and take it quickly…they had a chance despite botching that earlier lead…they trail 12-to-9.
You know earlier when I said it’s been awhile since the Lady Rangers have made it this far…figure this…the current players had not even been born, the last time this team won a state title…it’s a new experience for Tiller and company…and probably one they will not forget.
After a 30-year absence…the title is going back to Kemmerer…as they win it in 5…final scores…18-25, 25-20, 25-22, 20-25 and 15-10. The Lady Rangers would finish the season…with a record of 22-and-4.