Lady Tigers claw for more wins

 

Doug Radunich

Alyssa Barkhurst makes a swift pass against Dubois defense during the Lady Tigers' first game of the Carbon County Classic, which they won 38-13. Encampment also won their tournament game against Hayden, Colo., with a score of 51-39.

After winning only one basketball game last season, Encampment's Lady Tigers are primed to bounce back this season.

With half of its players freshmen, the Lady Tigers won two out of three games at this past weekend's Carbon County Classic, the first competition of the 2013-14 season. They won with wide leads over the Dubois Lady Rams (38-13) and Hayden, Colo., Lady Tigers (51-39).

Coach Amy Clay said they went into their first season game against Dubois not knowing what to expect.

"Dubois struggled a bit like we have in the past couple years and last year actually beat us in overtime, but I think with these small schools we're all on a roller-coaster ride," she said.

"Bailey Miller surprised me in the Dubois game, since I put her in toward the end and she nailed two. In that game, I think we finally got some confidence, and the experience we gained is huge. The new freshmen we have are also all really good kids, and all of our team members work really hard in practice."


Clay said she currently has four seniors on this year's team, and that Jennifer Morgan is the only one who has played since freshman year. The other three include Michelle Hooker, Taylor Pedersen and Lacey Dale.

"Jennifer will bring basketball knowledge and leadership to the team, and I expect the girls to work hard to become better every day," Clay said. "Last year there were six girls on the team, with Jennifer being the only one with any high school experience. We won one game last year, and the team lost to Meeteetse by seven last year in the regional play in game."

Adding to the team are two returning seniors, four returning sophomores, Alyssa Barkhurst, Shawneka Sifford, Cassidy Little and Randa Sorensen, and seven freshman, Bailey Miller, Ashley Turner, McKenzie Powell, Emily Morgan, Sierra Loftice, Konnar Knotwell and Shelby Howe.

Clay said she will work with her young team to face the hard competition that lies ahead of them this season.

"Our conference is very competitive year in and year out, and Cokeville is the defending state champions," she said. "We always want be at the top end of our conference and make it to the state tournament."

To avoid not playing to their full potential, Clay said the girls will go into each game with the mindset that every team will be a tough play.

"We don't ever think anyone is easy to beat, because if we start thinking like that we will have a lot of disappointments," she said. "I'm looking forward to having junior varsity games as well as varsity games this year, and the only way the younger and inexperienced kids get better is by playing the game. I expect the girls who played last year to have grown both in basketball skills and mental toughness. It was a tough year, but they never gave up and I'll always be proud of them."

The 2013-14 year will be Clay's fifth season as the head coach for Encampment girls' basketball. She said she enjoys watching her team members grow athletically and as people in general.

"All of my coaching has been in Encampment, and I coached the junior high girls for 13 years and had been the high school assistant for four," Clay said. "My favorite part of coaching is helping kids experience success and grow in both basketball and life. This is a good group we have this year."

The Lady Tigers played Rock River Tuesday night. Scores were unavailable at press time. The Lady Tigers travel to Saratoga to play at 4 p.m. Friday.

Carbon County

Classic results

Friday, Dec. 6

HEM High School

Encampment vs. Dubois

38-13 (win)

Emily Morgan- 2 points

Jenny Morgan- 4 points

Bailey Miller- 4 points

Alyssa Barkhurst- 4 points

Cassidy Little- 18 points

Konnar Knotwell- 6 points

Saturday, Dec. 7

Encampment School

Encampment vs. Wright

31-44 (loss)

McKenzie Powell- 5 points

Alyssa Barkhurst- 15 points

Cassidy Little- 6 points

Konnar Knotwell- 5 points

Encampment vs.

Hayden, Colo.

51-39 (win)

McKenzie Powell- 4 points

Bailey Miller- 2 points

Sierra Loftice- 1 point

Alyssa Barkhurst- 23 points

Cassidy Little- 17 points

Konnar Knotwell- 4 points

 

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