With Douglas struggling to find any rhythm on offense early against Lyman in the Wyoming State High School Class 3A Girls Basketball Championship game on Saturday, the Bearcats turned to their talented sophomore.
No, not 6-foot-4 Allyson Fertig, who had a triple-double in the Bearcats’ semifinal victory over Buffalo on Friday. Instead, it was 5-5 guard Kamdynn Townsend who got the Bearcats rolling. Townsend hit a mid-range jumper and then back-to-back 3-pointers before closing the first quarter with a free throw.
Townsend tied Fertig for game- and team-high scoring honors in Douglas’ 56-41 victory at the Casper Events Center.
“She was huge,” Douglas head coach Cody Helenbolt said of Townsend. “We were a little jittery at the start but she got us going. She calmed us down.”
Townsend added another triple to start the second quarter and give Douglas an 18-11 advantage.
Lyman senior, and Wyoming signee, McKinley Bradshaw cut the Bearcats’ lead to 20-15 with a steal and coast-to-coast layup. But Douglas responded with a 7-0 run and maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the way.
Bradshaw had 12 points in the first half, but finished with just 14 on 4-of-21 shooting, including 0-for-7 from behind the arc.
While they had plenty of help, junior Riley Seeds and freshman Allison Olsen were primarily responsible for slowing down the talented Bradshaw.
“I knew I had to step up,” Seeds said. “I was able to be a little bit more aggressive because I knew my team had my back. And it’s always relieving to have Allyson back there.”
Helenbolt smiled when asked about the defense Seeds and Olsen played on Bradshaw.
“Their defense was huge,” he said. “Riley and Allison don’t get a lot of press, but the way they competed defensively was the difference in the game.”
Any thoughts Lyman had of mounting a second-half comeback disappeared quickly as Douglas scored the first five points of the third quarter and outscored the Eagles 9-2 in the frame to build a 43-26 lead.
Lyman pulled within 45-34 with 6 minutes to play, but the Bearcats iced the game at the free-throw line. Fittingly, it was senior Haedyn Rhoades who made two free throws in the final minute as the Bearcats cleared the bench. After Rhoades’ second free throw she went to the bench while the Douglas faithful rose to their collective feet.
“That was a cool way to end my last game,” Rhoades said. “It’s kind of crazy to think it’s over, but this was a great way to end it. I’ve just been so blessed to have such great teammates and great coaches.”
The Bearcats (26-1) have now won 52 consecutive games against 3A competition and back-to-back state championships.