One massive losing streak was destined to end Friday morning. The only question was which program would get the long-elusive win.
For much of the early game of the Casper Invite at Kelly Walsh High School, it appeared Riverton would be the victors. The Wolverines came into the season on a 49-game losing streak that stretched over two full seasons. A loss to Kelly Walsh on Thursday extended that streak to an even 50.
But eventually, Jackson’s defensive pressure got to the Wolverines and the Broncs started to hit shots. Jackson tied the game at 48 with 1 minute, 55 seconds remaining. Just over a minute later senior Raychl Fairbanks sank two free throws to ice a 56-48 victory.
The win ended a winless slump for Jackson that spanned 35 games and 692 days.
“This is a tough game for either team,” Jackson head coach Sean Shockley said. “We try to keep it that both teams are 0-1 because everyone else knows what’s going on.”
Riverton held a 10-point lead going into halftime but the Broncs made their own breaks in the second half. Junior Grace Turner scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half and Fairbanks added 18 of her own for Jackson. Senior Jordan Lewis finished with 15 points while sophomore teammate Naya Shime had 14 for Riverton.
“This is a new team, a new season. We don’t have to carry the burden of 30-some losses,” Shockley said. “We’re part of it, but it’s not on this team’s shoulders.”
Elsewhere in Casper, the Rock Springs girls were able to use their up-tempo style and run past Laramie, 54-33.
The Tigers came in with confidence from their strong second half performance against Sheridan on Thursday and rode it to victory.
Laramie was still shaken from a loss to Evanston on Thursday night and couldn’t recover in time to run with Rock Springs. The Tigers are 2-0 after two days and Laramie is 0-2.
A big first half was enough for Kelly Walsh as the Lady Trojans hung on for a 43-34 win over Star Valley.
Jamia Johnson, Michaela Gromer and Corin Carruth were all able to pull down rebounds and quickly catalyze a transition offense that the Braves were not able to run with out of the gate. This allowed Kelly Walsh to establish a 14-2 lead after the first quarter and maintain that level of intensity for the rest of the first half.
Emmery Wagstaff continued her hot start to the season by scoring a game-high 26 in Evanston’s 39-31 victory over Sheridan on Friday afternoon. The senior forward has now scored 56 in the Red Devils’ first two games after torching Laramie for 30 on Thursday.
Friday’s loss sends the Lady Broncs to a 0-2 record. Sheridan led in the second half of both games but conditioning became a factor once again.
Natrona County hosted Laramie in the late game that was not finished by press deadlines.