Feb 22, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterIt wasn't the outcome the Shoshoni girls were looking for back in November when basketball practice began.
A promising season came to an end Friday morning at Wolverine Gym in Riverton with Shoshoni losing 48-45 to Kemmerer in the Class 2-A West basketball regional. The loss ended Shoshoni's hope for a state tournament berth. Thursday, the Wranglers fell to Lovell 39-24.
No matter how well you play defense, it's tough to win if you can't score. Shoshoni took on the top-seeded North 2-A team and fell 39-24 in a low-scoring contest.
Close contests come down to free-throw shooting. Kemmerer had it, Shoshoni did not in the final six minutes of the game.
The teams combined for an incredible 83 free throws in the physical, foul-plagued affair. Kemmerer converted 22 of 42, while Shoshoni hit just 17 of 41 from the line.
In the final period, Kemmerer hit 11 of 16 from the stripe, while the Wranglers managed just six of 23. In a three-point game, poor free-throw shooting is deadly.
Shoshoni looked fabulous in the opening minutes, taking a huge 12-0 lead on solid drives to the basket by Olivia Thompson and Kolbi Pickinpaugh, plus solid post play from Sarah Thompson.
Kemmerer didn't score until 1:20 remained in the period, when Marie McClaren hit a free throw.
Kemmerer battled back in the second to tie the game at 21 and took a 23-21 lead at the half.
The game was tight for the entire second half, with the scored tied again at 34 with 5:11 left in the contest.
Kemmerer took control of the game from the line to hold on for the win.
Officials called 58 personal fouls in the game, with Shoshoni whistled 30 times and Kemmerer 28, but it did little to slow the girls from slamming away at each other.
It seemed like Shoshoni would never score against Lovell's tight half-court defense. The Bulldogs built a 9-0 lead behind a pair of follow shots from Chelsey Ellis and five more first period points from Amanda Robertson before Shoshoni head coach Max Mills called time out.
The Wranglers finally lit up their side of the scoreboard on an Olivia Thompson shot from the low block and following free throw, but they trailed 11-3 after one.
Shoshoni couldn't muster much offense in the second period either, scoring just four points on baskets from Natalee Goff and Sarah Thompson as the Wranglers fell behind 21-7 at the intermission.
The Wranglers rallied in the third behind seven points from senior Kolbi Pickinpaugh, and though they were only scoring in the teens, they trailed by just 10 points for much of the period and cut the margin to single digits twice.
Lovell recovered in the final period and pulled ahead by 15 late, scoring most of its points at the free-throw line on seven of 14 shooting in the final period.
Lovell traveled all the way to Riverton to face Rocky Mountain, a school located just six miles west of Lovell in a 6 p.m semifinal Friday night.
Shoshoni graduates five seniors off this year's team.
Kemmerer awaits the loser of Friday's semifinal between Wind River and Thermopolis for Saturday chance to go to the state tournament.
SHOSHONI 3 4 12 5 -- 24
LOVELL 11 10 6 12 -- 39
Shoshoni -- Annika Dechert 0-2 0, Kolbi Pickinpaugh 2 3-6 7, Natalie Goff 1 0-02 2, Sarah Thompson 2 0-3 4, Celsey Martin 1 0-0 2, Olivia Thompson 3 3-6 9. Totals 9 6-19 24
Lovell -- Shyann Wilske 0-2 0, Lauren Hinckley 1 1-2 3,Chayli McArthur (1) 0-0 3, Kassidy Hetland 1-3 1, Kim Shumway 3-4 3, Amanda Robertson 4 4-6 12, Chelsey Ellis 6 3-3 15, Emily Reasch 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 (1) 13-20 39
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