LSRV hoops keeps up winning ways
BAGGS, WYO. — Thanks to hard work and determination, the Little Snake River Valley School basketball teams are already enjoying their Christmas present for the year — a well-deserved rest.
The boys and girls varsity teams of Baggs, Wyo., finished the 2011 portion of their schedules on a high note.
The 8-0 teams each added two to the win column after a pair of games against Colorado teams Rangely and Hayden.
Home opener yields wins
The boys gained a huge victory in the home games against Rangely on Dec. 16, winning 78-41.
Coach Paul Prestrud said he had some concerns with an 18-18 score at the end of the first quarter.
But, a positive second quarter and a halftime locker room pep talk helped the team solidify their lead.
“We really ran away with it,” Prestrud said.
Seniors Miles Englehart and Daniel Wille led the scoring with Englehart notching 22 points and Wille 17. Junior Conner Lee netted 13.
The boys completed what was already a hot night for the Rattlers, following their female counterparts, who beat the Panthers, 70-38.
“We came out great in the first quarter with 27 points,” girls coach Jodi Stanley said. “They couldn’t handle our full-court pressure.”
Senior Caelee Criswell and sophomore Lydia Skalberg each scored 18 points, and senior Morgan Wille scored 15.
Defensively, the team had 26 steals overall.
“We caused a lot of havoc with those steals,” Stanley said.
Nail biters in Hayden
The Rattlers kept up the energy for the next day’s road game against the Hayden Tigers on Dec. 17, but not without a good fight.
The girls faced their toughest game yet, with their opponents taking an early lead of 18-12 in the first quarter.
“Honestly, Hayden was on fire,” Stanley said. “Everybody was hitting their shots from every place. I think we were outplaying them in every category but the scoreboard.”
Tied 24 all at half, the scoring went back and forth only to come to another tie at 43 to prompt overtime, the first the team has experienced for almost two years.
“The seniors haven’t had a game go into overtime since they were sophomores,” Stanley said.
Something awakened inside Stanley’s players, refusing to suffer a loss or even allow the Tigers to score in OT, finishing 50-43.
“I thought we handled it really good,” Criswell said.
Criswell added 15 points, with Morgan Wille close behind with 13.
“I was glad we didn’t freak out when the game got close,” Morgan said. “We usually aren’t known for that.”
The boys ended the night with a 66-53 triumph, with Daniel Wille leading the scoring with 18 points.
Prestrud said it was a closer game than he’d anticipated, with Hayden always nipping at their heels.
“We kept ahead of them most of the game, and I was never really that nervous,” he said. “It was on their home court, but we shook them out of their game a little bit. We pressured the ball well and hit a lot of three-pointers, so that helped.”
Conference games ahead
With games over for 2011, the Rattlers will start conference play in Wyoming 1A starting with a Jan. 6 home game against Hanna Elk Mountain.
Stanley said she wants to make sure not to overexert the girls, many of whom came straight from volleyball season to the basketball court.
“We haven’t worked too hard on getting in shape, so I don’t think we need to worry about getting out of shape,” she said. “We should have a week off before we get back into it. We mess up every holiday like that.”
Prestrud also said he plans to give the team a break over the holiday.
“With football, they’ve been going since August, so they haven’t had a day off yet,” Prestrud said. “When we practice, we’ll be working on defense, and we’ve had some hard third quarters getting good shots off, so we want to work on that.”
Daniel Wille said he is looking forward to the shift in the season.
“With the conference games, there’s just a little more on the line,” he said.
Prestrud said the varsity team’s goal is to follow up their solid record from the past year.
“I was just reminding them in the locker room that in 2011, we are 25-1,” he said. “I’m not looking as far ahead as the state tournament yet, but we are about where we want to be.”