The Saratoga Sun -

Lady Miners get wins vs. Wheatland, Saratoga

 

Mike Armstrong

Lady Panther Kaylyn Herring, left, is guarded by Lady Miner Cloe Olsen.

Hanna, Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow (HEM) Lady Miners basketball team came out on top both Thursday and Saturday.

Wheatland Lady Bulldogs Sophomores

Wheatland Sophomores took on the HEM at 5:30 p.m. but struggled against the Lady Miners, losing 37-5.

The Lady Bulldogs were more evenly matched to the Lady Miners by age than what the score might indicate. Wheatland Sophomore team had all participants in 10th grade. HEM had three starters that are in 9th grade. The Lady Miners only have one senior and of the 11 players on the roster, seven are in 10th grade or younger.

Wheatland was hampered by their low scoring although they did play strong defense.

Jackie Jones, HEM head coach for girls basketball, was happy she was able to give all the players time on the court.

"We were able to have Lexie Mann score her first basket and she did a really nice job on defense," Jones said. "It's fun to highlight girls who have never been on the court. This was her first game."

Jones was also happy with Jessica Nelsen's and Taylar Scott's playing time, saying both are natural runners so they are great about getting the ball up the court.

"Our lone senior, Morgan Kenneda, does more for us than people realize," Jones said. "She does those intangible things sometimes overlooked. Hustling and directing her team defensively. She is the epitome of a court leader."

Amy Campbell was the highest scorer for the Lady Miners against the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points. She also had 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

Kenneda scored 6 points and 6 rebounds. Scott had 5 points and 8 steals.

"I think this was a great game for us to open up with and then we will come into Saturday against a very strong Saratoga team," Jones said.

Saratoga versus HEM

Saturday, a little after noon, the Lady Miners faced the Saratoga Lady Panthers in a packed HEM gymnasium.

The first quarter it was all Lady Miners with the score being 12-0. The next quarter, it was all Lady Panthers with the score being 12-13 going into the half.

"No question, we took our lumps that second quarter," Jones said. "Saratoga mixed up their defenses and they were more aggressive with their offenses and it obviously showed."

Jones said she told the team at halftime, they had to do something to change the momentum back to the Lady Miners.

HEM came out and proved they had taken their coach's words to heart and the team found itself on top at the end of the quarter. The Lady Panthers played tough but the score stayed in the Lady Miner's favor until the end at 33-26.

Jones said the second half showed all the girls contributing to a balanced game.

"When we are balanced, we can bring our sixth man with Cloe Olsen–and she works so hard defensively–it makes a difference," Jones said.

Saratoga outrebounded HEM, so it is something Jones said the team has to work on.

Mike Armstrong

Taylar Scott makes a break toward basket on Saturday.

"Also I do want to say, not having Aubrey Berger definitely changes how Saratoga has to play their game," Jones said. "She is a young lady who is missed not just on how she plays the game, but because she is poised and has a wonderful character."

Jones said not having Berger there probably impacted the Lady Panthers game, but she didn't want to take away from the Lady Miners victory.

"These are the wins that on Monday, we want to highlight what went well. But, without question, we also focus on what didn't go well," Jones said. "Still, I am absolutely thrilled with how the game turned out."

Campbell had 15 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists to be the leading scorer for the Lady Miners, followed by Scott 7 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Nelson had 6 points and 3 steals.

The Lady Miners face Rawlins JV at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 at HEM.

 

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