By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
After the first quarter, it looked like Chase County was going to give Wray, Colo., all it wanted in the girls’ varsity basketball game Saturday.
It was a 10-10 tie after the first eight minutes, as Chase County went toe-to-toe with the two-time state champions from Wray. But, then the Lady Longhorns hit an offensive dry spell in the ensuing two quarters, scoring just one field goal each quarter.
Wray’s offense didn’t sputter, and the Lady Eagles went on to take a 65-34 victory.
CCS Coach Marc Mroczek said it was a disappointing loss after his team had such a good start in the first quarter.
Wray stepped up its full court press second quarter, and Mroczek said his team just didn’t handle it well.
“We made some bad decisions, too,” he said.
While the Lady Longhorns had their best night of free throw shooting (63%) this season against Wray, Mroczek said good shooting from the free throw line won’t win ball games on its own.
Defense is also a big factor, and Mroczek said his team faltered in that area after the first eight minutes.
He said they did a good job at first Saturday after tweaking their zone defense during practice, but after the first quarter, it didn’t continue. The Lady Longhorns got a little tired mentally, he said.
Entering the second quarter with a 10-10 tie, Wray went on a nine-point unanswered run before Chase County hit its only field goal that quarter from Lexee Reichert.
Chase County hit all four of its attempts at the free throw line that quarter, but tallied only six points total while Wray dropped in 17.
The dry offense continued in the third quarter, when Alexis Tropf hit Chase County’s only two-pointer. Reichert hit six of eight free throws in that eight-minute stretch, but Wray scored another 15 points.
Chase County did a little better in the fourth quarter, but so did Wray.
A big factor in the game was Wray’s three-point shooting. They dropped in seven treys (on 24 attempts), while Chase County went 0-12 beyond the arc.
While Chase County hit 12 of 19 on free throws, Wray scored more from the line, sinking 16 of 29 (55%).
Chase County’s field goal shooting finished at 22% (11 of 50), while Wray hit 14 of 44 (32%).
The Lady Longhorns did better on the boards than Wray, recording 36 rebounds to Wray’s 27.
Reichert, who scored 18 in the contest, was also Chase County’s top rebounder with 12. Tropf came off the bench to score seven, while Karlee Palmer led the team in steals and assists, with four in each category.
Coach Mroczek said even though Wray lost 10 seniors off last year’s team, the Lady Eagles still had a lot of experience on the floor, and played a lot of basketball this summer, too.
Wray entered Saturday’s game with a 7-1 record. Chase County’s loss dropped theirs to 4-5.
2 PT. 3 PT. FT/
FG FG FTA F TP
Morgan Fisher 0 0 0-0 2 0
Chantal Heathers 0 0 0-3 3 0
Michaela Ketter 0 0 0-0 0 0
Kayla Brown 0 0 0-0 0 0
Bethany Sorensen 0 0 1-2 1 1
Jilanne German 2 0 0-0 3 4
Lexee Reichert 5 0 8-10 5 18
Karlee Palmer 1 0 2-2 4 4
Alexis Tropf 3 0 1-2 1 7
Shannon Liewer 0 0 0-0 5 0
Carolina Ramos 0 0 0-0 0 0
Catarina Ramos 0 0 0-0 0 0
TOTALS 11 0 12-19 24 34
Wray, Colo. 65
A. Peterson 2, M. Cure 10, B. Bard 18, I. Vasquez 6, CJ Twiss 6, T. Stults 2, J. Delgado 15, D. Lenz 6.
Wray’s totals: 2 pt. FG—14; 3 pt. FG—7; FT/FTA—16-29; Fouls—16; TP—65.
Points by quarters:
Imperial 10 6 8 10—34
Wray 10 17 15 23—65
Back-to-back games this week; SPVA starts Monday for girls
Chase County will be in Grant tonight (Thursday) to take on the Lady Plainsmen for a second time this season, and will also play Perkins County in Monday’s first round of the SPVA Conference tournament in North Platte.
Mroczek said his team didn’t play well against the Lady Plainsmen in the holiday tournament there, but they know what they have to prepare for in meeting them again this week and next.
“We need to break their press; we didn’t do that very well in the holiday tourney,” Mroczek said.
They’ll also try to slow down the game’s tempo, look for those good shots and rebound better, he said.
Games Thursday start with the JVs at 4:30 p.m., followed by girls’ and boys’ varsity.
The Lady Plainsmen are 4-6 this week, while Chase County is 4-5.
On Friday, Chase County will be back at home to face Gothenburg, whose varsity is 3-7 this week.
Game time in Imperial starts at 4 p.m. Friday with the JV games.
Mroczek said the Lady Swedes are down a bit this year, but still have some height inside. They also play a tough schedule, he said, so records aren’t always accurate.
Chase County earned the No. 5 seed in next week’s SPVA tournament, and will meet No. 4 Perkins County in first round action Monday at 6 p.m. MT at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte.
The winner of that game goes on to meet top-seeded Hershey on Thursday, Jan. 21. The loser of Monday’s game will play Saturday at 11 a.m. MT in the fifth place consolation matchup.