EVANSTON — The Lady Red Devils picked up a 35-30 quadrant road win over Jackson to close the conference and regular season on Saturday, Feb.23. The Lady Red Devils ended the season with a 12-10 overall record and a 3-3 mark in Southwest Conference play, identical to the Lady Wolves of Green River, in both standings. The Lady Wolves, however, by benefit of tie-breaking formulas, will enter regional tournament pairings as the second seed, while Evanston will be the third seed from the Southwest 4A division.
Star Valley is the top-seed with an undefeated Southwest Conference record of 6-0 and the Lady Braves, ranked third in all of Class 4A girls’ basketball teams, completed the season at 18-3. Jackson, on the other end of the conference standings, was winless in quadrant play and 2-18, overall.
The Lady Red Devils completed the sweep of Jackson last Saturday, after winning 48-25 in Evanston on Jan. 26, but the Lady Broncs kept it much closer in the second meeting. Evanston relied on its patented tough defense to come away with a victory, as the team has struggled as of late on the offensive end.
The Lady Red Devils led 11-8 at the completion of the first quarter and were up 16-10 at the half. The Lady Broncs made it a one-possession game at the close of quarter number three, 25-20, and actually pulled to within two with 49 seconds remaining at 30-28.
Senior Kaelyn Hiatt hit one of two free-throws, but then came up with a big steal on the ensuing rebound for Jackson and delivered the ball to senior Natalie Robbins for a layup to put Evanston on top, 33-28. Senior Kori Deru’s two shots from the charity stripe with two seconds remaining sealed the win for the Lady Red Devils.
Senior Ajahonna Archuleta led all scorers with 12 points, including seven in the first quarter to spark Evanston. Robbins had six, while senior Sierra Burleigh added 5 and Deru ended with four points. Hiatt and junior Amber Lowe each contributed three points, and senior Hannah Sowers chipped in two.
Jackson was led by 11 from Bella Gwilliam, with seven from Isabelle Uptain and five from Grace Turner.
Evanston will play Cody to open the 4A West regional tournament. See the tournament brackets on B3. Cody defeated Evanston in a game in which Evanston had led most of the way back on Feb. 8, in Cody, thanks to the heroics of future Wyoming Cowgirl basketball player Paige Powell, who scored seven points for the Fillies in the waning moments to give Cody the 35-34 come-from-behind home win. Tip-off from Cody is set for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, as both teams open postseason play, hoping to earn a state tournament bid.