Dec 28, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterETHETE -- If it were a boxing match, the corner men would have been busy. Wind River's girls survived a 32-minute brawl with Riverton High School sophomores to advance to the Friday championship game of the Fremont County Shootout against Wyoming Indian.
In the end it was Wind River's experience that proved to be the difference in a 65-57 win over the young Wolverines.
A brutal opening half saw both teams in the double-bonus midway through the second period. Repeated whistles did little to slow the slugfest. On the game Wind River committed 24 fouls and Riverton 26.
Wind River freshman Lexa Wagon gave the Cougars a lift with 3:00 left in the opening period, coming off the bench to drain a baseline 3-pointer to bump the score to 9-4. Riverton answered with a trey from Savannah Salisbury as the Wolverines rallied on a 5-0 run to end the first with the score knotted 9-9.
Riverton's momentum extended into the second period, with the Wolverines picking up a pair of quick baskets from Jayci Schultz and a trey from Taylor Harris to break open the tight game. Salisbury was fouled by Lydia Johnson on a shot just inside the arc and hit the following free throw to start the run with 3:31 left in the second. Johnson hit a pull-up jumper just seconds later, but Riverton rolled on a 6-0 run to end the half up by nine points.
Wind River's Macayla Arrington battled well inside against the taller Wolverines, blocking out well and drawing fouls.
Wind River played much better in the third. A short-range jumper by Josee Vogel closed the score to 34-31 with 3:18 left in the period.
After a Cougar timeout Wind River went inside to Lexi Brown, who hit a spinning finger roll with at 2:22 to cut the margin to one. After a Riverton turnover Arrington scored on a post move followed by another Cougar steal and a jump shot from Brown. Riverton called timeout with the Cougars in the lead 37-34.
Riverton went straight to Kiley Ridgway in the post and came back with a Salisbury jump shot to regain the lead at 38-37. A trey by Salisbury put the Wolverines back in the lead 41-37 with 32 seconds remaining in the quarter.
A Vogel follow shot closed the game to two, but the Wolverines ran a perfect press breaker. Ridgway hit the layup as the third came to close.
Vogel took a pass from Brown for a layup to open the final period, but Salisbury hit a jumper to answer just seconds later.
The game closed to one with 5:19 remaining on a 3-pointer from Brown but both teams moved into the bonus and play began to slow. Brown knotted the game at 48-48.
Tory Thoman fouled out on a blocking foul, and the call rallied the Cougars.
Brown scored on a post move, and Vogel hit a transition basket to give Wind River a four-point lead with four minutes to play.
Riverton closed again to a single point on a Ridgeway drive but Wagon hit a 15-foot set shot to put the Cougars up by three with 3:04 left in the game.
An Arrington free throw followed by a huge trey from Wagon put the Cougars up by eight.
Riverton had its chances at the line but hit only a couple of charities.
The Cougars took advantage as Riverton fouled to stop the clock, maintaining their lead and bumping it to double-digits with under a minute to play.
Salisbury hit a trey with :38 left followed by a quick Riverton timeou,t but Brown was as cool in hitting her final four free throws to hold on for the win.
Salisbury led all scorers with 21 with Shultz adding 10 for Riverton.
Brown tallied 20 and Vogel 18 to pace Wind River.
RIVERTON 9 19 15 14 -- 57
WIND RIVER 9 10 20 26 -- 65
Riverton -- Savannah Salisbury 3 (3) 6-8 21, Kiley Ridgway 4 1-4 9, Camey Fegler 2 0-2 4, Cara Carper 1 1-2 3, Taylor Harris (1) 2-4 5, Jayci Shultz 4 2-5 10, Hannah Hauck 2-4 2. Totals 15 (4) 15-29 57
Wind River -- Josee Vogel 6 6-9 18, Taylor Gordon 1-4 1, Tory Thoman 1-2 1, Amanda C'Bearing 1 5-6 7, Lexa Wagon 1 (2) 2-2 10, Lydia Johnson 4 (1) 9-15 20, Macayla Arrington 1 1-5 3. Totals 15 (3) 26-40 65
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