By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Lady Bobcats take their lumps during East-West Classic in Lander


December 21, 2017


THERMOPOLIS - Record-wise the East-West Girls Basketball Classic was a tough go for the Hot Springs Lady Bobcats. In Lander, they went 0-3 losing to Riverton 53-30, Lovell 55-45 and Lander 55-43. The losses were not the desired result but Thermopolis gained valuable experience in the process.


The first game of the East-West Classic was not only the Lady 'Cats worst performance of the tournament but also of the early season. Riverton shot 16 of 64 from the field compared to Thermopolis' 9 of 40.

Also hurting the cause for the Lady 'Cats was having 11 of their shots blocked and losing the offensive rebounding battle 21 to 12.

"Riverton simply shot the ball much better than us and had nine more offensive rebounds than us. The other key stat is that we had 11 shots blocked or at least deflected. It was our worst outing of the year and we could get no rhythm or momentum," said HSCHS girls basketball coach Cory Sova.

Sophomore McKenna Bomengen paced the Lady 'Cats with 17 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in the loss.


Rebounding from their loss to Riverton, the Lady 'Cats had a better showing against the Lovell Lady Bulldogs, the only problem was the Lady Bulldogs were on fire from 3-point range.

The Lady 'Cats scored an impressive 15 points in the first quarter but Lovell dropped 21. For the game, the Lady Bulldogs shot 11 of 15 3-pointers, hitting their first 8 of 9.

Even with the Lovell 3-point onslaught the Lady 'Cats hung in there and fought until the very end. But each time they made a run to cut into the lead, the Lady Bulldogs had an answer.

"We played some pretty good basketball this game but Lovell was unconscious shooting the ball from beyond the mark. I can't ever remember a boys' or girls' team making 11 out of 15 3-point shots. It was very impressive and we actually scored the ball well in the first quarter but were still down by six.

"It seemed whenever we made a little mini-run they would always answer. Lovell had 30 points with 4:30 left in the second quarter but to our girls' credit, we buckled down defensively and only allowed 25 points the rest of the way," said Sova.

Thermopolis did win the turnover battle committing only 18, compared to Lovell's 24, and went 14 of 33 from inside the 3-point line. "A positive was we had six fewer turnovers than Lovell which added extra possessions as well as having eight more offensive rebounds than them. Overall, we shot fairly well but couldn't match Lovell's 3-point barrage," said Sova.

Bomengen had another stat-stuffing performance with 15 points, nine rebounds, four steals and two assists. Senior Haley McDermott added 14 points, six assist and three rebounds.


In their final game of the Classic against Lander, the Lady 'Cats first quarter doomed them. They went 1 of 13 from the field leading to a 17-5 deficit.

Thermopolis was able to improve their shooting from the field after the first, as they slowly climbed about of the hole they dug for themselves. Sophomore Ashley McPhie had a career and team-high 16 points and her hot shooting in the second kept the game from getting out of hand.

"It was obvious both teams were tired. We shot the ball poorly in the first quarter (1/13) and got down 17-5, Lander shot 8 of 15 in the first quarter. It became an even game after that. We had good looks at the basket inside and out but could only buy one hoop. Ashley got hot in the second quarter and kept us in the game," said Sova.

McDermott scored 13 points to go with five rebounds and two assists, sophomore Sesi Jensen put up seven points and pulled down 10 rebounds and sophomore guard Tahja Hunt played her best game of the season running the offense and hitting a timely 3-pointer.

"Tahja hit a big 3 in the fourth as we made one last run at the Tigers. She took care of the ball and facilitated a lot of our offensive output," said Sova.


Over the Christmas break the Lady 'Cats will work on their game and look for ways to prevent those slow starts as they prepare for the Big Horn Basin Hoops Fest on January 5-6 at Lovell High School and Rocky Mountain High School.


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