Girls heal up with win vs. Rattlers, boys still feeling effects of flu with loss
The Encampment High School Girls’ Basketball team, rebounding after a week of illnesses that left a large fraction of the student body—including basketball players—home sick, dealt a loss to conference rival Little Snake River at home in Baggs Friday.
The Lady Tigers cruised into town during a week when other schools in the district and the state were canceling and postponing games due to large numbers of players sidelined by a flu bug ravaging the state.
Girls’ Basketball head coach and Encampment athletic director Clint Bromley said over the course of the week, about half the team had been out sick, but by Thursday, most of the Lady Tigers were back and at least somewhat ready to face off against the Little Snake River Rattlers on Tiger hardwood.
The game’s score yo-yoed back and forth several times during the evening as the girls from the South Valley took on their rivals from across the Sierra-Madres.
After the first quarter, the score was 12-10 in favor of Encampment. But at the end of the second Baggs had come back to lead 24-20. At the end of the third, The Rattlers still held the lead with a score of 36-32. In the end, though, the Lady Tigers took the game 48-42.
“The game was a game of runs,” Bromley said. “Both teams had some runs and we were fortunate to have the last one.”
At one point in the game, Baggs was up by 12 points, but the Tigers managed to rally. “We played well enough to get back in the game and we had a run, and fortunately got the last one,” Bromley said.
To come back from such a deficit to win against a team like Little Snake River was quite the accomplishment, especially when considering the fact that several of the players were still suffering flu fatigue.
“They weren’t 100 percent and that was a little bit of a factor in the game, some fatigue,” Bromley said. “We had some kids that had to sit down quite a bit, but we worked through it and came out of it all right.”
And, Bromley said, Little Snake River is no slouch.
“They have two good players in (Kristin) Gourlay and (Addie) Stanley,” he said. “Snake River is definitely a contender: we’ve got four or five teams in this conference that any given night, they can win a game and Snake River is definitely one of those.”
But the Lady Tigers had weapons of their own. Noelle Peterson delivered the goods to her teammates with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Paige Powell brought 15 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks while Hailey Barkhurst hit 12 points.
The win gave the girls from Encampment an overall record of 12-3 and increased their conference standing to 3-1.
Bromley is optimistic about his team’s odds in the last half of the season. “We’re glad to be 3-1 and we’re looking forward to the next four games,” he said. “I think we’ve got as good a chance as any.”
The conference is tough, Bromley said, but mental focus and preparation are key for the Tigers the rest of the season. “To me the toughest conference in the state is this one right here,” he said. “If you can do well in that, hopefully it carries on the tournament.
“You have to come to every game mentally prepared.”
The Encampment boys’ team also faced off against the Little Snake River Rattlers over the weekend. The boys however found their outing to be less successful than the girl’s game. The Encampment boys lost to Baggs 71-48.
“Last Friday’s game is a game that the Tigers will learn from,” said Jake Johnston, head coach of the Encampment boys’ basketball team in an email to Saratoga Sun. “We learned that our style of basketball is only successful when everyone is selling out and giving maximum effort.”
Johnston’s email also alluded to the issue of illness, as he did last week in a different interview with the Saratoga Sun.
“We need everyone to heal up from sickness so we can put the work in necessary to improve,” Johnston said.
Johnston also said the team was critically aware of the problems faced, and that the team is working to improve on those areas.
We learned that our style of basketball is only successful when everyone is selling out and giving maximum effort,” he said. “As a team we watched a lot of basketball and got caught on our heels.”
With the loss against the Rattlers in Baggs, the Encampment boys’ win/loss record now stands at 1-3 in conference play, and 9-6 overall.
The Lady Tigers will next take on Farson-Eden 4 p.m. Feb. 3 in Encampment. The next day, the team will host Cokeville at noon.