Emmery Wagstaff drives to the post against Natrona at the 4A West regionals in Rock Springs last weekend. The girls finished third and are preparing for the state championship starting Thursday. (COURTESY PHOTO/Jenny Welling)
Lady Red Devils victorious over the Wolves 50-42
The Evanston girls basketball team faced Green River again at the 4A West regionals held in Green River on Thursday.
This was a game that had some worried. The Lady Red Devils have beaten the Wolves this year but the games were close.
Green River scored first and built a 6-0 lead before Evanston was on the board.
Ajahonna Archuleta scored five points in the first quartert with two field goals and one point from the foul line. Emmery Wagstaff had scored a 2-pointer and Hailey Barker had one from the foul line. The eight points scored by the Lady Red Devils was matched by Green River with three players scoring field goals and two scoring from the foul line.
The second quarter was much the same as the first. There were a lot of turnovers and it was a low-scoring quarter. The Wolves scored 7 points and the Lady Red Devils had six points. Going in at halftime, the Wolves led Evanston 15-14.
Hailey Barker sank a 3-pointer and Wagstaff had a field goal. For the Wolves, Madelyn Heiser sank a 3-pointer and so did Hannah Hix. Each team had one point from the foul line.
The third quarter started with Wagstaff stealing the ball after the Wolves, bringing it in and then passing to Hailey Barker for a quick two points. Ashelynn Birch quickly answered with a field goal of her own to give the Wolves a one-point lead.
Archuleta put Evanston back in the lead with a two-point basket.
Evanston came alive in the third quarter. The only 3-pointer came from Hailey Barker but the third quarter was about a focused team effort looking to take the high-percentage shots. Evanston scored 20 points in the third quarter with Barker leading with eight points. Tayler Groll had four, Aspen Anderson had four points. Archuleta and Wagstaff each had two points.
The Wolves scored 11 points, a 3-pointer from Hannah Hix, four points from Heiser and one each from the foul line from Birch and Hix.
The third quarter ended with Evanston leading 34-26.
The Lady Red Devils went head-to-head with Green River in the fourth quarter. Both teams scored 16 points.
Evanstonís win may not have been flashy but it was accomplished through hard work and talent. Barker and Wagstaff each ended the game in double-digit scoring, Braker with 18 points and Wagstaff with 11 points. Groll had six points, Fisher three, Anderson four and Ajahonna Archuleta had seven points.
The Lady Red Devils won the game 50-42 and prepared to move on the next day to play the No.1 seed in the 4A West Natrona County.
Evanston vs Natrona 50-41
The Lady Red Devils were looking to improve their No. 4 seed in the 4A West. They had defeated Green River but faced No. 1 seed Natrona County on Friday. It would be a tough game, one that they lost.
The first quarter started fast and Natrona took a quick lead. They started with a 3-pointer by Jaye Johnson that was followed up by a couple more field goals before Hailey Barker put up two points for Evanston.
Jaye Johnson fired a field goal before the end of the first quarter. Amber Johnson also had a 3-pointer. Bre Kelly had two 3-pointers. Kate Robertson, Kristy Dick and Jordan Quig each had field goals.
As the quarter passed the midway point, it started looking like the Lady Red Devils were starting to settle down. Barker hit a 3-pointer and Ajahonna Archuleta scored a field goal.
At the end of the first quarter, Natrona had a 20-7 lead.
Evanston continued to improve throughout the second quarter with great play by Wagstaff, who was suffering from a slight back injury from the game against Green River, during which she hit the floor. Wagstaff had seven points in the second quarter Natalie Robbins sank a 3-pointer and Barker scored a 3-pointer and a field goal.
Natrona kept sinking 3-pointers with three players contributing from 3-point land. Kristy Dick sank a 3-pointer and a few field goals to add to the scoring. Bre Kelly and Jaye Johnson each had five points with a 3-pointer each.
At the end of the first half of play, Natrona was leading 39-24. Considering at one time they had as much as an 18 point lead over Evanston, the Lady Red Devils were slowly gaining ground.
The Lady Red Devils continued to step up their game in the third quarter, scoring 11 points compared to nine points by Natrona. Megan Fisher had four points to lead Evanston. For Natrona, Dick has six points, four from the foul line and one field goal.
The game slowed considerably in the third quarter but Natrona maintained its lead, ending the quarter 48-35.
The Lady Red Devils could not find their way back from their first quarter deficit. They kept working hard throughout the game and fought back to as little as an eight point deficit. In the end, it wasnít enough.
In the fourth quarter, Emma Piper had seven points, Natalie Robbins sank a 3-pointer, Tayler Groll had five points and Emmery Wagstaff had two. The 17 points scored by the Lady Red Devils were more than the 14 points scored by Natrona. Bre Kelly had seven, Dick had two, Jordan Quig scored two points and Jaye Johnson had three points.
Natrona won by ten points, 62-52 and Evanston would go on to face Kelly Walsh on Saturday to determine who would be the No. 3 seed going into the state championship.
Evanston vs Kelly Walsh 50-41
To enhance their No. 4 seed Evanston had to defeat Kelly Walsh. A win would give Evanston a No. 3 seed at state.
Thet played Saturday in Rock Springs and both teams were looking to improve their standings. Evanston was ranked No. 4 and Kelly Walsh No. 5.
In previous matchups with the Trojans, Evanston had lost. The last time was Feb. 17 and Kelly Walsh won 58-46.
The first quarter started out with Kelly Walsh scoring first but Evanston was going head-to-head with the Trojans. Jamia Johnson, who didnít appear to be playing as aggressively as she has in the past possibly due to getting in foul trouble the day before, still managed to score six points, matched Evanstonís Megan Fisher. Hailey Barker scored first for Evanston by sinking a long 3-pointer and then a field goal.
Madison Vinich scored two for Kelly Walsh and Hallie Jimenez had four points.
The game stayed close through the first quarter, ending with Kelly Walsh leading 12-11.
Kelly Walsh opened the second quarter with a five-point run before the Red Devils came back and five players scored two points each. The Red Devils had close the gap quickly and ended the half in better position than they had when playing the Trojans earlier this year.
Kelly Walsh scored 11 points, four points were made from the foul line at the end of the second quarter.
Going into the locker room at the end of the first half, Kelly Walsh led the game 23-21.
The Trojans extended their lead over Evanston in the third quarter. The Lady Red Devils could only manage six points but that was enough to keep Kelly Walsh within reach. The Trojans could only muster up nine points against the Evanston defense. Madison Vinich led the Kelly Walsh team with six points. The Lady Red Devils had three players score two points each, Barker, Wagstaff and Anderson.
The third quarter ended with Kelly Walsh leading 32-27.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Lady Red Devils. Evanston scored 24 points, due in large part to shooting from the free throw line. Hailey Barker scored six points from the line and dropped in a 3-pointer for a total of nine points. Tayler Groll had four points from the foul line. Emmery Wagstaff had three from the foul line and two field goals for seven points. Aspen Anderson had two from the foul line and a field goal.
Kelly Walsh had eight points for the fourth quarter, two field goals and three from the foul line.
In the end, Evanston won the game 51-40 and moved up from the No. 4 seed to No. 3 going to state on Thursday.
Evanston will face the No. ranked Cheyenne East on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.