Snapping a four-game losing streak that dated back to mid-December, the Rich High School girls’ basketball team went 3-0 last weekend, including wins over a pair of Region 22 rivals.
The Lady Rebels opened the weekend at home with a nail-biter against Cokeville, overcoming a 7-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 52-45. Rich opened region play on the road Friday at Tabiona winning 37-34, then returned home Saturday, routing Intermountain Christian 65-28.
“I’m very happy with our girls,” said Rich head coach Cody Lundgren. “The resiliency they showed with a very tough preseason schedule, to trust the process and keep doing what we’ve been working on, it was great to see it all come together for them.”
The Lady Rebels (5-6, 2-0 in Region 22) host Region 22 rival Manila Friday, then travel to North Summit Saturday for a non-region contest.
“North Summit is a high-octane, pressure defense,;they’ll look to turn the ball over and score in transition,” Lundgren said. “It will be a fast-paced, high-energy game — the girls always love playing North Summit, it’s great competition. For both games, we have to be able to take care of the ball, and be comfortable with pressure. We want to be able to take the shots we want to take — not the ones they’re trying to make us take.”
Lady Rebels 52,
Led by a double-double from Rich senior McKina Stacey, the Lady Rebels battled back from a 7-point deficit in the fourth quarter to outlast Cokeville (3-3), 52-45.
“Cokeville is a great team — they’re coached very well, and they have some very good athletes,” Lundgren said. “That’s a big win for us against a quality program, and it came at the right time. There was a time in that game that the girls could have quit, but all of a sudden I saw a page turn — they started believing they could win it. We get a stop here, and a score there, and all of a sudden we’re right back in it.”
Stacey netted a game-high 26 points — including three 3-pointers — and grabbed 11 rebounds to post a double-double; she also led the team in assists with seven, and steals, with six.
“McKina is a competitor — she battles, and does whatever she needs to do to win,” Lundgren said. “She destroyed the glass on the weak side — she cleaned up all those boards, and was there for the put-backs. She did a good job for us, and I was grateful for her leadership.”
Tayla McKee followed with 10 points, while Jaycee Cornia chipped in five. Taylee Cornia and Makynzee Smith finished with four points each.
Lady Rebels 37,
The Lady Rebels opened region play on the road at Tabiona (10-6) Friday, surviving a defensive battle to win 37-34.
“Tabiona is a very good program,” Lundgren said. “They took away some of our offensive weapons, and did a good job on us defensively. The girls that aren’t normally known to score for us, they stepped up and knocked down shots.”
Rich senior Sage Tingey was the lone Lady Rebel in double digits, netting 10 points in the win. Tayla McKee finished with nine points, followed by Makynzee Smith with seven; Smith sank a pair of 3-pointers to lead the team.
McKina Stacey pulled down six rebounds, while McKee and Taylee Cornia grabbed five apiece.
“At the end, we were able to take care of the ball, and make our free throws,” Lundgren said. “Tabiona held McKina Stacey to six points, but we had other girls step up and score the ball — I think Sage [Tingey] went 6-for-6 from the free throw line, and Tayla McKee had a nice night going to the basket, and hit a couple of open threes. Makynzee Smith knocked down a couple of threes as well. It was a huge team effort.”
Lady Rebels 65, ICS 28
The Lady Rebels moved to 2-0 in Region 22 play Saturday, with a decisive 65-28 win over visiting Intermountain Christian (3-7).
“It was fun to see the girls enjoy the game of basketball, play a little bit looser than they have been playing, as well as get some other girls some minutes,” Lundgren said. “It was a big team morale booster this weekend.”
Sage Tingey again led the charge for the Lady Rebels, netting 13 points. Ambria Lutz followed with nine points, Jaycee Cornia added eight and Darleen Petersen and Dixie Huffaker chipped in six apiece. Thirteen different players scored for Rich in the contest.
Cornia led the team in rebounds with seven, while McKina Stacey led in assists with six.
“I like where we’re at — we’re always striving to get better,” Lundgren said. “A couple of our sets, we were getting a little stagnant, so we have a lot of things to still get better on. But there are a lot of things to be happy about, as well.”