Sports

Cowgirls lasso Bulldogs

In a battle of two of the area’s top girls basketball teams, the host Cowgirls took advantage of early-season experience to topple Bowman County 60-43 Friday night."EDDIE"EDDIE

Bowman County girls head basketball coach Pam Fisher instructs her players during a timeout Friday night in Lemmon during the Lady Bulldogs’ season opener. The Cowgirls upended Bowman County 60-43. - EDDIE HIBBS III/Bowman County Pioneer
Bowman County girls head basketball coach Pam Fisher instructs her players during a timeout Friday night in Lemmon during the Lady Bulldogs’ season opener. The Cowgirls upended Bowman County 60-43. – EDDIE HIBBS III/Bowman County Pioneer

Posted Dec. 21, 2012

By EDDIE HIBBS III

Pioneer Publisher & Editor

LEMMON, S.D. – In a battle of two of the area’s top girls basketball teams, the host Cowgirls took advantage of early-season experience to topple Bowman County 60-43 Friday night.

It was the third game of the season for Lemmon, while the contest was the season opener for the Bulldogs.

“This is one of the best teams we will face – no doubt,” Bowman County head coach Pam Fisher said after the game.

Bowman County has high expectations this year as well, but Lemmon dominated the start of the game. Following a steal and basket by Bowman junior Brittany Hansey for the game’s first points, the Cowgirls put on a show. Lemmon responded with 11 unanswered points, capped by a basket from freshman Morgan Ham. The freshman also started the run with a trey.

The Bulldogs responded with four points – a free throw from senior Haley Sabe and a 3-pointer from Hansey.

After trading baskets, Lemmon tallied seven straight to end the quarter with a 22-7 advantage. Bowman committed nine turnovers in the opening frame, in part to the full-court pressure applied by the Cowgirls.

Lemmon would build a 25-point advantage, 40-15, on a steal and fastbreak basket by senior Haley Froelich with 2:10 left in the first half. Bowman County, though, wasn’t finished yet.

The Bulldogs finished the half on a 9-1 run to close the game to 41-24 at the break. Senior Kit Miller sparked the rally, scoring six of those points. She swished a pair of free throws, stole the ball and converted at the other end and was successful on an offensive rebound and putback.

“We had our ups and downs,” Lemmon head coach Sara Gebhart said after the game. “Fouling got us in trouble (in the second quarter). We were not getting position, not blocking out. We basically lost our intensity.”

Ham tallied 17 points in the first half, hitting a pair of treys in the process. Freshmen Bailie Beer also popped a couple of 3-point bombs.

The break didn’t help the team’s intensity to start the third quarter either, according to Gebhart.

“We had a good start and a good finish, but we have to work on what is in between,” the coach added.

Bowman County closed the 25-point deficit to seven, scoring the first 10 points of the third quarter and closing the gap to 41-34. Slowly, but methodically, the Cowgirls pulled away the rest of the way. By the end of the third quarter, Lemmon enjoyed a 49-36 lead and outscored the visitors 11-7 in the final eight minutes to secure the victory.

“We finally settled down a bit and played like we can,” Fisher said. “It was our first game and we were a little disorganized. Once we settled in, we were ok. Mostly, it was just first-game jitters. Once we calmed down, we did a lot of things right.”

Ham finished with 20 points to lead all scorers. Unofficially, she also tallied eight boards, including four on the offensive end. Beer was Lemmon’s second-leading scorer with 14 while Froelich added 10.

Sabe led Bowman County with 13 points. The senior tallied six in the second quarter, helping rally the Bulldogs. She made 7-of-12 free throws. Miller finished with 10 points and hauled in 17 rebounds, unofficially.

Both teams struggled from the charity stripe. Collectively, the Cowgirls made only 9-of-17 free throws (52.9 percent) while the Bulldogs were only slightly better, sinking 15-of-27 free throws (55.6 percent).