KW Girls Bball

Kelly Walsh Lady Trojans guard Danilynn Schell (13) tries to get around a Star Valley player during their game at Kelly Walsh High School on the second day of the Casper Invitational Friday night, Dec. 8, 2017.

Josh Galemore, Star-Tribune

One constant regarding the Kelly Walsh girls' team this weekend, other than the dependable performance of Madison Vinich, was the present shouts of head coach Sara Tuomi.

This year the Lady Trojans will push the ball in transition. She made sure her team knew that on every rebound.

It was a sound strategy that worked Saturday night in their final game of the Casper Invite.

Kelly Walsh scored the first 13 points against Laramie and led by as much as 17 at the half before allowing the massive third-quarter comeback that cut the lead to three. The Lady Trojans were still able to come away with the win, 60-52.

"We were pushing the ball in transition and getting some of the high-percentage shots we work on in practice," Tuomi said. "Then we were not playing defense (in the third quarter) and they started attacking and they were just getting easy buckets on us."

The senior Vinich led her team with 22 points and sophomore Corin Carruth added eight. Jennifer Aadland led Laramie scorers with 18, 14 of which came in the second half.

Another victory moved Kelly Walsh to 4-0 over the season's opening weekend.

"I think we established a pretty good identity with what we have and who we have," Tuomi said. "We'll be building upon that the next couple of days in practice."

There's a lot about his Sheridan Lady Broncs team that first-year head coach Larry Ligocki doesn't know.

Sheridan returns stars Alli Puuri, Jordan Christensen and Riley Rafferty from a team that missed the state tournament last season. Ligocki hopes to change that fate this season.

But the early outlook isn't necessarily promising. The Lady Broncs looked good in the opening half of the season-opener before losing to Rock Springs. The same story can be told for Friday night's loss to hot-shooting Evanston.

Sheridan was able to overcome its sluggish first two games by scoring late and topping upset-minded Jackson 49-47 Saturday afternoon at Natrona County High School on the final day of the Casper Invite.

"It's been a weekend we needed," Ligocki said. "I brought in a couple of new offenses this year and any time we have five on the floor there's always a couple hesitant and that's to be expected early on."

Jackson took a lead in the fourth quarter of the back-and-forth game. Those Lady Broncs snapped their former losing streak the day before against Riverton and nearly had its first winning streak in 500 days.

Sophomore Molly Morris came up big, however, and scored five of her 11 points in the fourth quarter to give Sheridan the lead and put the game away.

"They really gutted it out yesterday and today," Ligocki said. "They had two fairly close games and they did not back down at all."

Sheridan closed its opening weekend against Natrona County with a 61-42 loss. The Fillies, who struggled at times in their first few games, finally played a more complete game in the victory.

In the other early game Saturday, Rock Springs handled Star Valley for a 62-23 win. The Tigers continued to shoot the ball well and sophomore Ky Buell reminded the state why she was second to only Maggie Justinak on her team last season.

At Casper College it was Evanston pulling away from Riverton for a 53-27 win. Emmery Wagstaff continued her torrid start to the season and the Red Devils shooters stayed hot. The Wolverines nearly beat Jackson and contended with Kelly Walsh for two quarters this weekend, but ultimately extend their losing streak to 52 games.

Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @Brady_CST


High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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