Feb 22, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterTournament opening games between the top seed from one side and the bottom from the other are often blowouts but can entertaining. Thursday's opener between Wind River and Greybull was both and neither at times. The Lady Cougars eventually pulled away for a solid 65-52 win, but it came in an erratic pattern of play by both teams.
Wind River opened an 8-0 lead via a pair of Lexi Brown follow shots, a Josee Vogel free throw, and a 3-pointer from freshman Lexa Brown.
All looked good in Cougarville as the Class 2-A Southwest champs cruised to a 12-5 lead after one. But sometimes, you just can't stand prosperity. After an opening eight minutes of perhaps the best man defense the team has played all season, the Cougars let up. Greybull roared back to tie the game at 17.
Ceirra Carlson, Brett Stephens and Madi Kraft all scored in a 10-0 Buff run capped by trey from Carlson at 4:57 that tied the game.
Wind River recovered on a 12-3 run of its own behind a swirling, full-court press that forced Greybull out of its half-court offense.
While junior Macayla Arrington hit just two shots in the game, she was perfect from the line on six attempts and played stellar half-court defense while pulling down 13 rebounds.
Leading 29-21, it looked like the Cougars were in firm control, but a 3-pointer from Jordan Hunter closed the gap to 29-25 late in the second period.
Wind River finally put the game away in the third behind a seven-point burst from senior Brett Groesbeck. Groesbeck hit a layup, a follow shot and 3-pointer. Tory Thoman hit a jump shot, and the Cougars led 42-29.
Greybull threatened once more, closing the gap to seven on a Carlsoné─˘s final trey, but Wind River recovered and advanced to a 3 p.m. Friday semifinal matchup with Thermopolis.
GREYBULL 5 20 12 15 -- 52
WIND RIVER 12 18 16 19 -- 65
Wind River -- Josee Vogel 5 6-15 16, Shaylee Lonedog (1) 4-6 9, Tory Thoman 1 0-0 2, Brett Groesbeck 3 (1) 0-1 9, Amanda Cé─˘Bearing 2 1-2 3, Alexa Wagon 1 (1) 2-2 7, Lexus Brown 3 4-7 10, Macayla Arrington 2 6-6 10. Totals 17 (3) 22-39 65
Greybull -- Michaela Denniston 1-2 1, Georgi Hall 2 0-0 4, Ceirra Carlson5 (2) 3-4 19, Hunter Grant 0-2 0,Biri Gallegos 2 0-2 4, Brett Stephens 1 4-4 6,Karlina McIntosh 3 3-4 9, Madi Kraft 2 2-4 6. Jordan Kraft 2 (1) 0-2 7. Totals 16 (3) 11-21 52
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