The Lady Braves basketball team was one of the squads who opened up some eyes on the opening weekend of the season, going 3-0 in tournament play in Casper. The latest WyoPreps.com Coaches & Media Poll have Star Valley ranked #4 after beating the #4 Kelly Walsh Trojans on their home court and then picking up a pair of blowout wins to start the season.
• @ Kelly Walsh
“That was nice to get three wins,” said head coach Dave Moore. “I think it was really a tale of two games. The first game, Kelly Walsh, came out and in the first quarter they really got after us physically and kind of knocked us back on our heels a bit. But the girls responded and started scoring and being aggressive and we were up nine in the fourth quarter.”
The Lady Braves had more turnovers than they would have liked in the final stanza as the Trojans made their final push.
“They put pressure on us and we had quite a few turnovers but we held on for the win and made some positive plays with Cassie Hunsaker hitting some crucial free throws to help us win.”
Caitland Erickson nearly had a double-double in the win, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds. Abby Coles had nine points and six rebounds and Olivia Muir finished with eight points and ten rebounds. Hunsaker hit all four of her free throw attempts.
• Vs Riverton
After shooting terribly in a loss to the Wolverines a year ago, the Lady Braves routed the Fremont County squad 50-31 behind 14 points from Erickson and ten rebounds from Muir. Shay Erickson scored six and Hunsaker finished with nine rebounds.
• Vs Cheyenne South
It was another one-sided win for the Lady Braves, one that Coach Moore credited with the pressure from the Thursday evening game.
“Against South, we just broke the pressure easily,” he said. “The girls executed and learned from the Kelly Walsh pressure and in that game we shared the ball and it was great team win.”
The outcome of the weekend confirmed a lot of the hard work Moore has seen from the players over the last year.
“I knew the girls moving up to 4A was going to be much more physical play so that was great to stand up that way,” he said. “It was encouraging for the girls to get confidence that they can win and be competitive at that level.”
Due to tournament play upcoming between Christmas and New Years at the Star Valley Shootout, there is a gap on the schedule until December 20 when Star Valley plays host to Lyman High School. Moore says the program will try and use the time wisely.
“We’re going to spend quite a bit of time on shooting, offensive skills and try and simulate that pressure in practice so we can get better,” he said. “We also need to make some defensive adjustments. The 4A teams are stronger so we are going to have to be a little quicker on our close outs and such. We’ll be focusing on that.”