The Cody girls basketball team didn’t open the season intending to shy away from a challenge.
The Fillies finished 1-2 at the season-opening Re/Max Professional Gillette Tournament at Thunder Basin High School, in a weekend that included games against two top-ranked 4A teams in the state.
After opening with two losses on Saturday Cody rallied to defeat No. 4 Campbell County 56-53 in overtime.
Junior Torrie Schutzman led the way with 17 points, junior Brittan Bower added 14 and Lake Harrison eight.
“Yes, this first tournament was a really awesome experience,” Bower said. “The teams that we played were very competitive. Over each game we seemed to progress and come together even more as a team.”
Cody fell to top-ranked host Thunder Basin 78-31 on Thursday and stayed close Friday against Scottsbluff, Neb., before falling 52-44.
Senior Teagan Thompson and Schutzman both scored seven points in the opener, while Harrison tallied 13 points and Schutzman 12 against Scottsbluff.
“The first games were against two solid teams, and we did a lot of good things at times, but we just weren’t consistent throughout the entire game,” Schutzman said. “Even though we lost, we learned good lessons and each game we improved on the little things and hopefully that’s just how the season goes, is we just keep improving and fixing things that need to be fixed.”
Some of those lessons may have paid off in the tournament finale.
“Overall, I am very pleased with the effort this weekend,” coach Chris Wagner said. “Being such a young team and playing against tough competition, this was a huge learning experience. We were down big in all three games, but the girls never quit.”
In the game against the Lady Camels, the Fillies found themselves down 16 near the end of the first half. Then Cody went on a 13-0 run to close the gap and finally took the lead on a floater from Schutzman in the fourth quarter.
Campbell County tied it at 50 to force overtime, but solid free throw shooting sealed a Cody win.
“The game against Campbell County was especially fun because it was such an awesome team win and seemed like everyone really came together,” Bower said. “I was super proud of all of the girls and especially how great the freshmen are playing on a varsity team. Everyone contributed to help us succeed, and it’s always fun to end up with the win in overtime.”
Wagner said the grueling weekend and big victory provide a good push into the next week of practices.
“I think the biggest takeaway is that we now know what competitive basketball really feels like and we can step up the intensity in our practices,” he said.
The Fillies host Powell at 5:30 p.m. Friday.