The Cody Middle School eighth-grade girls basketball took the region by storm this year, finishing a perfect 15-0 season and winning the 2022 conference tournament in the post-season.
“This is an amazing group that has put in a ton of work,” coach Sam Buck said. “Everything they got they earned and I can’t wait to see them in high school.”
The work started in the off-season.
A handful of the girls decided to join the traveling team coached by Buck, improving their skills and learning the system the high school Fillies have mastered.
They also worked out over the summer, attending league games and team camps, and even playing against high school competition.
“So we already had the majority of our offense and defense in,” Buck said. “It was just a matter of catching some of the girls who didn’t participate this summer up to speed.”
The Fillies hit the ground running with a 39-21 win over a traditionally solid Lander team, and then a 46-1 rout of Riverton at a tournament in Powell.
They followed that up with a 56-19 victory over Thermopolis and 39-4 win over Worland.
“Powell and Lovell gave us some good competition during the regular season,” Buck said. “The games were tight early at least, but our girls were always able to make the plays they needed to pull away.”
The early-season success set the stage for a showdown midway through the year for a matchup with the St. Stephens team that had been scoring 60-70 points per game.
The Fillies held St. Stephens to just eight points in the first half and rolled on to a big win.
“I think this group really rises to the occasion and it showed in that game and throughout the season,” Buck said. “And this group always had a ton of fun on and off the court and were just a great group to be around, plus they are so talented.”
While the roster featured reliable shooters, the speed to slash to the rim and solid post play on offense, the defense was one of the main keys to an undefeated season.
“We have a very aggressive group of girls that likes to get after it, but are also very basketball savvy and know how to play within our team concepts,” Buck said. “So we were able to get out and pressure teams full court and cause a little bit of chaos.”
Every team was looking to take Cody down in the conference tournament, but once again it was the Fillies on the attack, racking up a 40-point win over Riverton to start things out.
They then pulled away from Lovell after a slow start to get a 37-21 victory to set them up for a championship showdown with Powell.
The Fillies jumped out to a quick lead in the title game, leading wire-to-wire in a 45-29 victory and a conference championship.
“This is a great group, and combined with last year’s group they are going to make a lot of noise throughout the ranks over the next few years.”
A team players included Evelyn Augedahl, Macy Ball, Emma Barton, Kimber Christler, Grace Hays, Quora Hoffer, Averi Jackson, Lillie Kirkham, Paige Kondelis, Mali Merager, Reagan Moss and Molly Ryzewicz.