Qualifying for the 1A state basketball tournament was a goal of the Little Snake River Valley School (Wyo.) girls varsity basketball team at the start of the season.
With one day left in the 1A west regional tournament, the Rattlers have done just that.
With a 54-46 victory over Dubois on Thursday in the first round and a 48-26 win over Farson-Eden on Friday in the semi-finals, LSRV is guaranteed at least a second-place finish when they play Burlington today in the championship game.
The Rattlers had already beaten Farson-Eden twice in the regular season, and head coach Jodi Stanley said the third time could have been tricky.
“Because we have already beat Farson twice, I thought it was important for us to get a fast start,” Stanley said. “We jumped to an early 15-6 lead after one quarter and I think that set the tempo for the whole game.”
Seniors Kelsey Kazmar and Cora Foster led the Rattlers offense with 17 and 12 points, respectively.
Stanley said the two seniors were an important part of the Rattlers victory.
“Kelsey and Cora controlled the middle of our defense,” she said. “For our defense to be successful, we need the middle to get the job done, and the two girls did that tonight.
“The seniors definitely set the tempo for the rest of the team.”
Stanley said defense was key to LSRV’s victory.
“We didn’t allow (Farson) to get a lot of second-chance opportunities,” she said. “We played with a lot of effort and it was a big game for our team.”
Kazmar had nine rebounds for the Rattlers and Foster added seven.
Junior Morgan Wille had six steals for LSRV and fellow junior Shelby McKee had five assists.
The Rattlers got into foul trouble early and Wille added more fouls late, but Stanley said the bench helped keep the team up.
“I think it was big that our team was able to keep up the intensity after adversity early on,” she said. “Everyone put forth effort in the victory.”
By qualifying on Friday, Stanley said her team made big strides.
Three years ago, when Foster was a freshman, Stanley said the Rattlers were knocked out in the play-in game.
“We are excited for the opportunity to play for the regional championship,” she said. “None of these girls have been in this position before, and I think it will be one of their biggest games.”
The Rattlers will play for the 1A west regional title at 1 p.m. today at Lander Valley High School.
Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.