The Meeteetse girls basketball team opened its season last weekend, facing off against the Worland sophomore squad Friday and Shoshoni on Saturday, splitting the games.
The No. 5 Lady ’Horns came away with a 46-37 victory against the Worland sophomores to open the season.
Meeteetse got out in the transition game and put up points on the break. It used its speed and grit in the first half, scrapping for 50-50 balls and never letting Worland get anything easy in transition. Senior Samantha May led the way with six first-half points, picking up where she left off a season ago.
“She’s got the green light,” coach Ernie May said. “When she gets going, that gets the rest of the girls running a little bit harder.”
Worland mounted a push in the second half, taking a two-point lead into the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough. The Lady ’Horns evened the score at 30 before going on a little run at the end to ice the game. Senior Lexi Allen (four points, six rebounds, four steals) got a big bucket with 45 seconds left in the game, then got the steal at the other end to keep the advantage at five points. In the last 30 seconds, the Lady ’Horns were able to add four more to the scoreboard to secure the win.
Samantha May put up a team-high 17 points, just three points away from her career high of 20 set last season while her twin sister Abigale led the team in rebounds with 9.
In the second game, Meeteetse lost an interclass match-up with the 2A Wranglers 56-29.
Things started off looking good for the Lady ’Horns, who held a small advantage through much of the first quarter behind strong play from Samantha May (seven points, five rebounds, seven steals), but the Wranglers took the lead with just under 2 minutes left in the first frame. Hot shooting from beyond the arc against the Lady ’Horns zone gave Shoshoni an 11-point lead heading into the break.
The Wranglers defense clamped down in the second half, allowing Meeteetse to score just 10 points. Shoshoni kept the pressure up the entire second half and generated a lot of its scoring in the transition game, firing outlet passes to waiting players at the other end of the court for easy baskets.
“When you lose by 20 there’s not much to say,” coach May said. “The good thing is this group of girls is very resilient. A loss like this, they really do take it as a learning opportunity.”
The Lady ’Horns want to play fast, but the Wranglers won the battle in transition and in turnovers, forcing Meeteetse to give the ball away 31 times.
“After the Shoshoni game, that opened our eyes to what our weaknesses were,” Samantha May said. “We realized that we needed to slow it down more and run through the play before taking the shot.”
Meeteetse has struggled the last two years with turnovers, but it hasn’t struggled with effort, evidenced by the play of Allen (eight points, 10 rebounds) in the final minutes of the blowout loss. Allen mixed it up on every play and did everything she could to give her team a spark as the clock wound down.
“When it comes to basketball, I’m still learning the game,” Allen said. “Since I’m not one of the main scorers, my mind mainly focuses on defense and each play individually. I just try to do as good as I can at that moment until I get tired to where coach takes me out for a break.”
The Lady ’Horns travel to Basin to take on 2A Riverside (0-1) next Friday. They’ll follow that up with a return to their home court on Saturday to take on 2A Wright (0-2).