The Cody girls basketball team finished a weekend road trip with a split taking a tough loss to Star Valley on Friday before getting a crushing win Saturday at Jackson, with the Fillies (10-3, 2-1 4A Northwest) setting a new season record for points scored.
“The loss to Star Valley was upsetting, but there were definitely learning moments from it to carry into our future games,” senior Brittan Bower said. “We went into our Saturday game against Jackson keeping in mind that it was a new day and a new team.”
After the Saturday bounce-back win, Cody now has a chance to play at home for two consecutive nights against more 4A Southwest opponents Evanston (2-11, 1-2 4A Southwest) at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Green River (9-3, 3-0 4A Southwest) 2 p.m. Saturday at Sweitzer Gym.
Star Valley 41, Cody 37
Cody went down to the wire at Star Valley on Friday but couldn’t finish, falling in the final seconds for the Fillies third loss of the season.
Senior Torrie Schutzman said Friday night’s loss was a game to learn from.
“I think we just need to keep our composure in tough situations and execute on the offensive end,” she said.
It was a rematch of last season’s conference tournament game won by Star Valley (4-7) in overtime. This time, a player not in high school at the time, freshman Molly Hays, led Cody with 11 points.
Neither team could score early, with Schutzman getting the Fillies first points from the field with under three minutes left in the opening quarter on a corner trey for a 4-3 lead. The teams traded baskets afterward, with Cody leading 6-5 after one.
The Fillies offense continued to struggle in the second quarter as turnovers continued to hamper them, finishing with 12 in the first half. After Hays finished off a steal and fastbreak with a layup to go up 14-11, the Lady Braves finished the half on a 9-1 run to lead 20-16.
Hays led Cody with nine points in the first half.
The Fillies rallied in the third half, using an 8-0 run to take a 24-22 lead. After Star Valley tied it, Schutzman sank a pair of free throws to retake the lead, Reece Niemann sank a layup soon after and Kennedi Niemann hit a pair from the charity stripe for a 30-25 lead after more back and forth. After a Star Valley layup, Cody led 30-27 entering the final quarter.
The teams were back and forth in the fourth, with Hays sinking a late layup for a 37-35 lead. The Lady Braves owned the final minute, tying it with a layup and taking the lead for good with four consecutive free throws on two trips to the line.
Cody had more than 20 turnovers in the loss.
Cody 61, Jackson 15
Cody surpassed its previous season high in points scored while also playing lockdown defense in a win that ended with a running clock.
The Fillies spread the scoring around, with Schutzman scoring 12 points – she finished four of seven from beyond the arc. Kennedi Niemann also scored 12, Reece Niemann 11, Brittan Bower nine, Hays seven, Jessa Lynn three and Ava Meier two.
Cody started slow for the second consecutive night but, with bench players Meier and Lynn getting heavy minutes, the Fillies rallied late in the quarter. Lynn converted a fast break layup and one halfway through for a 5-2 lead. Cody was ahead 11-5 late in the quarter, thanks to five points from Hays. With five seconds left, Lynn passed to Reece Niemann at the top of the arc and the sophomore sank a trey before time expired for a 14-5 lead after one.
The Fillies were even more stifling on defense and as explosive on offense in the second quarter. After an early jumper by Reece Niemann, sister Kennedi drove for a layup despite contact and finished the three-point play to jump start a 14-4 second quarter. Reece Niemann capped off the half with a long two-point shot on a pass out from Ally Boysen. Hays and Reece Niemann each scored seven points in the first half.
“We started with a tough mindset, wanting to get out ahead of them early, and finished with that same mentality,” Bower said. “We did a great job at being aggressive and everyone really stepped up and worked together.”
After seeing limited time in the first half due to foul trouble, Schutzman caught fire in the third, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers, the last two on kick-out passes by Hays, as Cody turned a big lead into a rout, as the Fillies shut out the Lady Broncs in the third for a 44-9 lead.
Cody backed off the full court press in the fourth but still expanded the lead, with Schutzman scoring her fourth trey of the night and a continuous clock making for a quick final quarter.
Stat of the week: 61 and 15
Cody scored both its most points of the season and allowed its least Saturday.
While the Fillies have been close to the middle of the pack scoring in 4A, they are the best defensive team and holding a team to 15 points would’ve been the lowest mark in 4A this season had Evanston not held Rock Springs to nine on Saturday.