A flurry of offensive rebounds and frantic put-back attempts all caromed off the Star Valley rim for the visiting Evanston Red Devils in the final seconds of a 36-35 Braves win at the end of the girls’ varsity contest.
Star Valley erased a six-point halftime deficit to lead for the majority of the fourth quarter but a strong game from Evanston’s Stacia Barker kept the Devils close. Barker fouled out with 29.5 seconds left in the game with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Star Valley got big second-half contributions from Brierly Battleson and Amber Milne who each finished with eight points and combined for 13 points in the second half. Star Valley’s defense was also key as they collected a whopping 21 steals in the game. McKenna Brog led the way with seven of those steals.
The win gives the Braves two in a row for the first time this season and improves their record to (3-7) overall but more importantly puts them at (2-0) in the 4A Southwest. The girls will host the Green River Wolves on Saturday afternoon in Afton with a 2 p.m. start time.
In the boys game the Braves were aggressive early as they dismantled the Devils guard line in the back court to build a double-digit lead. In the second half Star Valley kept the ball away from Evanston and capitalized on the opportunities that presented themselves in a 50-37 victory.
Tristan Kleeman led Star Valley with 18 points as Kolter Merritt and Brant Nelson also chipped in ten points apiece.
The Devils got 19 points and eight rebounds from Braxton Lind but no other players made into double-figures for Evanston.
It was the fourth straight win for the Braves who improved to (4-5) overall and (2-0) in the 4A Southwest. The squad can put themselves in the driver’s seat within the district if they are able to pick up a victory over visiting Green River on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.