They knew what they had to do and they did it.
The Meeteetse girls basketball team had to bear down on defense, cut down on turnovers and prevent lapses in concentration.
When the Lady Longhorns hit the trifecta it paid off in double victories.
Meeteetse bested the Rocky Mountain JV, 43-27, and rival Burlington, 42-31, last week to raise its record to 3-7.
“It was a very good weekend,” said guard Delanie Salzman. “We picked up the intensity. We went out on the floor and played the game we know how to play.”
Forward Sammy May led the Longhorns in scoring in both games, with 15 versus Rocky and 13 against Burlington. Salzman went for 9 and 11.
Guilty of those sins against the Powell junior varsity the week before when the Trappers let a 10-point lead slip away, coach Ernie May drilled his team harder and got good results.
“The girls played a strong first half on both offense and defense,” coach May said of the Rocky game.
Sammy May and Salzman took advantage of the Rocky scheme to make drives and get fouled. The return of center Lauren Shepperson from a knee injury also gave the opponents something else to worry about.
“Lauren, while playing limited minutes, seemed to have her hands on every rebound,” Ernie May said. “Offensively, she gave us a nice post option down low we hadn’t since she went down injured.”
Patience was the difference for the Longhorns in these games as opposed to the Powell game, Sammy May said.
“We calmed down and took care of the ball compared to the Powell game,” she said. “We were more frantic. Now we’re settled. That’s one thing (cutting back on turnovers) we set a goal for.”
Ernie May said the Longhorns came out nervous in their first conference game against Burlington. They fell behind 15-4, and then took over, including limiting the Lady Huskies to two points in the third quarter.
The boys split, besting the Rocky Mountain JV, 46-40, in overtime after Rocky used a three-pointer to tie near the buzzer. But the Longhorns, now 4-8, couldn’t handle Burlington, losing, 61-50, after falling behind by that margin in the first half.
Coach Zeb Hagen said the Huskies came out shooting hot and beat the Longhorns on the boards, but overall he liked the way his guys competed in the two games.
“We are starting to play better defensively and the players are starting to see the positive effects it has for us,” Hagen said. “It is giving us more scoring opportunities and along with a reduction in turnovers, we are starting to get more shots up. We played well against a much taller Rocky JV team and despite going scoreless in the third we battled back in the fourth and overtime.”
Dale McBride, with 22 points, and Mickle Ogden, with 16, were big weapons versus Rocky. Dace Bennett collected 17 points against Burlington and Ogden added 11.
“We had a change in intensity,” said Ogden, who said he took advantage of openings on the perimeter. “We had a change in heart.”
Rocky’s 2-3 zone left him free.
“I took the shots,” he said.
Both the Meeteetse girls and boys play four times at home between Thursday and Saturday in their own Little Six Tournament.