Lady Devils face uphill climb to state tourney

Lady Devil Zocia Nowakowski drives past a Jackson defender during Evanston’s 41-38 win over the Lady Broncs last week. Nowakowski is one of five seniors on the team who would like to earn a trip to state. (HERALD PHOTO/Don Cogger)

4A Girls Northwest Quadrant Teams

No. 1 Kelly Walsh (14-5, 5-1 in NW Quadrant)

Kelly Walsh has lost just once since Jan. 25, a 45-44 heartbreaker to cross-town rival Natrona County. The Lady Trojans are 8-1 in that stretch, proving, like their counterparts on the boys’ side, that they’re the team to beat.

Players to watch: Corin Carruth (9.7 pts, 7.6 rebounds per game); Danilynn Schell (9.1 pts, 2.8 rebounds per game); Isabel Lyons (7.1 pts, 3.7 rebounds per game).

Kelly Walsh opened the regional tournament Thursday against No. 4 Jackson.

No. 2 Rock Springs (13-8, 4-2 in NW Quadrant)

Both of Rock Springs’ Northwest Quadrant losses came against Kelly Walsh; the Lady Tigers had season sweeps of Riverton and Cody. They posted solid wins over Cheyenne Central and Sheridan as well.

Rock Springs faced host Evanston in Thursday’s opening round; the Lady Tigers won the first meeting of the two teams 62-49.

Players to watch: Brenli Jenkins (19.4 pts, 8.9 rebounds per game); Aislyn Pecolar (7.4 points, 2.4 rebounds per game); Makalie Mignerey (6.5 pts, 5.5 rebounds per game).

No. 3 Riverton (13-9, 3-3 in NW Quadrant)

The Lady Wolverines lost four of their last five games in the regular season, and have a tough draw in the opening round against Star Valley, a team that beat them 47-37 earlier this season.

Look for Riverton to be a tough out for anyone they play this weekend.

Players to watch: Alexxis Motisi (14.6 pts, 7.5 rebounds per game); Savannah Martinez (9.4 pts, 4.4 rebounds per game); Kelsey Milleson (8 pts, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game).

No. 4 Cody (7-12, 0-6 in NW Quadrant)

The Fillies have struggled against Northwest Quadrant opponents, but have posted impressive wins over Campbell County, 3A Worland and 2A powerhouse Wyoming Indian.

Cody faced No. 1 Green River Thursday to open the tournament.

Players to watch: Torrie Schutzman (11.3 pts, 3.5 rebounds per game); Kennedi Niemann (7.6 points, 3.5 rebounds per game); Brittan Bower (4.8 pts, 5 rebounds, 2.2 assists per game).

4A Southwest Quadrant Teams

No. 1 Green River (18-4, 6-0 in SW Quadrant)

Winners of 10 straight to end the regular season, the Lady Wolves have been the team to beat out of the 4A West, running the table against their quadrant opponents and posting upset wins over Natrona County and Cheyenne Central.

Green River opened the tournament Thursday against Cody.

Players to watch: Ashelynn Birch (13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds per game); Madelyn Heiser (12.1 pts, 6.6 assists per game); Kayde Strauss (9.4 pts, 4.2 rebounds per game).

No. 2 Star Valley (11-10, 3-3 in SW Quadrant)

The Lady Braves struggled down the stretch, losing three of their last four games to end the regular season. Star Valley played Riverton to open the tournament, a team they beat 47-37 last month.

Players to watch: Paige Nield (10.4 pts, 4.9 rebounds per game); Otessa Olsen (8.9 pts, 5.2 rebounds per game); McKenna Brog (6.9 pts, 3.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists per game).

No. 3 Evanston (9-12, 2-4 in SW Quadrant)

Evanston won four of their last five games to end the regular season, including a 36-25 win at Star Valley last month; if the Lady Devils get on a roll, they could be tough to beat.

Evanston opened the tournament Thursday against Rock Springs.

Players to watch: Zocia Nowakowski (11 pts, 6.1 rebounds per game); Amber Lowe (8.5 pts, 2.1 rebounds per game); Taryn Wagstaff (4.8 pts, 2.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists per game).

No. 4 Jackson (2-18, 1-5 in SW Quadrant)

The Lady Broncs play harder than their record would indicate, with wins over Pinedale and Evanston.

Jackson opened the tournament Thursday against Kelly Walsh, a team that beat them 68-31 earlier this season.

Players to watch: Hailey Hardeman (9.2 pts, 2.8 rebounds per game); Bella Gwilliam (8.1 pts, 6.2 rebounds per game); Gracie Hardeman (4.9 pts, 4.6 rebounds per game).

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