Mar 1, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterGREEN RIVER -- The Riv-erton Lady Wolverines fell behind early and could not catch up to the Evanston Lady Red Devils in the first round of the Class 4-A West tournament Thursday in Green River.
The 51-39 loss ends the season for Riverton, the fifth seed in the tournament, while Evanston, the fourth seed, has now qualified for the state tournament and will advance to a Friday semifinal game against the Casper Natrona Fillies, the top team in the conference.
In the other first-round game played Thursday, sixth-seeded Green River surprised No. 3 Kelly Walsh 55-42 and now advances to a semifinal match with second-seeded Rock Springs Friday evening.
"We picked the wrong time to play our worst game of the year, basically, and nobody feels worse than our kids. But that happens. For whatever reason, we just didn't come out very well," Riverton head coach Ron Porter said.
Evanston jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter and by halftime, the Lady Wolverines were down 30-16.
But as they had done all season, the Lady Wolverines didn't quit. The third-quarter efforts of sophomore Jensyn Pettit and seniors Kaitlyn Wells and Annie Phister, who were diving for loose balls time and time again and making big defensive stops, seemed to give spark to the girls from Riverton.
Riverton tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter. After a technical foul was assessed against the Lady Wolverines with 1:44 left to play, senior Maci Evans nailed a 3-point shot at the 1:31 mark to pull Riverton within seven at 43-36. Evanston then converted one of two free throw attempts and senior Bree Olson's putback cut the lead to six with a minute to play. Evanston converted free throws down the stretch, and Riverton could get no closer.
"I thought we had a chance, but we had to have some shots. We fouled the right people, for the most part, but they made their free throws," Porter said.
Sophomore Kiley Ridgway, Riverton's leading scorer who is still recovering from a foot injury suffered in a late-season game against Kelly Walsh, ended the game with 14 points and Camey Fegler, also a sophomore, added 11.
Evanston's McKensie Herold led all scorers with 15.
Riverton ends the year with a 5-20 overall record, 2-8 in Class 4-A West play. Seniors Olson, Evans, Wells, Phister and Celia Logan, along with Amy Woodward, who was injured early in the season, have played their final game as Lady Wolverines.
"Our seniors have aspired to elevate our program a little bit more and I am grateful to them for their efforts and we will miss them. We will continue to move forward, and they will always be an important part of our program," Porter said.
Riverton 6 10 6 17 -- 39
Evanston 13 17 6 15 -- 51
Riverton (39) -- Bree Olson 1 0-0 2, Camey Fegler 5 1-2 11, Jensyn Pettit 2 0-0 4, Kiley Ridgway 5 4-7 14, Maci Evans 0 0-0 (1) 3, Savannah Salisbury 1 0-1 (1) 5, Annie Phister 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Wells 0 0-0 0, Celia Logan 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 5-10 (2) 39.
Evanston (51) -- Ali Barker 2 0-1 (1) 7, Hailey O'Neill 2 5-6 9, Kylie Hurd 1 1-2 3, MacKenzee Barker 1 3-4 5, McKensie Herold 6 3-5 15, Meghann Cranford 3 5-10 11, Pearl Marquez 0 1-2 1. Totals 15 18-30 (1) 51.
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