Season-long Favorites Make the 3A and 4A Wyoming High School Girls Basketball Title Games
The two girls’ championship games are rematches from a year ago at the 3A and 4A state basketball tournaments.
A pair of undefeated teams will square off in 4A, as Cheyenne East faces Cody again.
The Cody Fillies return to the 4A title game after holding off Thunder Basin in the semifinals, 63-51.
Cody jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter. The Bolts rallied within six in the second period but trailed 34-17 at halftime. The Fillies saw their lead cut to four, at 51-47, but that’s as close as Thunder Basin got. Cody closed the game on a 12-4 run. The Fillies had four players score in double figures led by Molly Hays with 17. Cody scored 16 points off of 16 Thunder Basin turnovers. They also went 23-28 at the charity stripe.
Fillies head coach Chris Wagner said it’s a tough feeling to describe being back in the title game.
“Twelve months of work to get back to where we lost last year. That’s been the ultimate goal, and I’m just super-proud of the girls. That’s their goal, they set, not mine, and they put the work in to accomplish it and get us back there.”
Wagner felt the start was the key to their victory. He also feels having played in the final game last year is a big benefit.
“There’s no other better way to have that preparation than have that experience of being there. It doesn’t mean everything. We’ve still gotta come out and play the game, but that’s a big one to have under our belt.”
Cheyenne East will have a shot to go back-to-back in 4A after a 64-49 victory over Natrona County.
The Fillies hung with the Thunderbirds for the first half. It was 32-26, Cheyenne East, at halftime. The game had six lead changes and was tied four times. The difference was an 18-5 third quarter for the Thunderbirds. Maddie Kaufman led the way with 15 points for Cheyenne East.
Head coach Eric Westling pointed to their defense as the difference.
“It took us to the third quarter to really lock in and do what we needed to do defensively and after that, that kind of set the tone to how we’re accustomed to playing.”
As for the rematch, Westling said of Cody, “They’re a scary team. They play fast. They play downhill. (They’re) just well-coached, it’s going to be a fun one, tomorrow (Saturday) night.”
That will match up two undefeated teams in the championship game. The Thunderbirds are 27-0, while Cody is 24-0. According to wyoming-basketball.com, this will be the first-ever meeting in a title game between two girls’ teams that do not have a loss.
The 4A girls’ championship is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. from the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper.
In 3A, it will be Douglas versus Lyman for the third time in the last four seasons.
The Douglas Bearcats are back in the 3A championship game thanks to a second-half rally. They outscored Lander 17-10 in the fourth quarter. Allison Olsen scored 11 of her game-high 22 points in the final framer for Douglas.
Down 40-38 with under 20 seconds left, Lander had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead. Taline Tendore drove the right baseline and had a shot to tie it, but Douglas freshman Jaden Meyer blocked the shot from behind. The Bearcats’ Lauren Olsen got the rebound. She made the first but missed the second free throw. Lander got the rebound but a three-quarter court shot missed, and Douglas held on.
Lyman rallied from an eight-point deficit in the first half and beat Buffalo in the other semifinal, 37-33.
Charlsie Rose had the game-clinching free throws with 8.6 seconds left. She finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Eagles outscored Buffalo, 13-2, in the third quarter and held the Bison to 22 percent shooting in the game. Lyman overcame 20 turnovers that led to 17 points for Buffalo.
The Bearcats and Eagles will meet for the 3A girls’ title at 6:30 p.m.