EVANSTON — The Lady Red Devils basketball team opened Southwest Conference play with a split, winning an exciting, see-saw battle against the visiting Lady Wolves of Green River, 41-39, on Thursday evening, Jan. 17, but were outclassed by the Star Valley Lady Braves in Afton, 64-25, on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Against Green River, a single point separated the two teams with one quarter in the books, 7-6, in favor of Evanston. Green River outscored Evanston, 13-11, in the second quarter to take a 19-18 lead into the halftime locker rooms.
Evanston recaptured a one-point advantage with three complete, 27-26, in a contest that came right down to the wire, with a number of lead changes throughout the game.
Ajahonna Archuleta led all scorers with 16 points and Kori Deru chipped in nine to lead the Lady Red Devils to the conference season-opening victory at Red Devil Gym, with eight Lady Red Devils reaching the scoring column. Natalie Robbins added four points, with three each for Zocia Nowakowski and Amber Lowe, along with two apiece for Kaelyn Hiatt, Sierra Burleigh and Taryn Wagstaff.
Ashlynn Birch and Tayanna Crowder both reached double-digits for the Lady Wolves, finishing with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Things did not go nearly as well for the Lady Red Devils on Saturday in Afton, as it was all Star Valley Lady Braves. The home team jumped out to a 14-5 lead with the first quarter complete. Star Valley tripled the scoring output of Evanston in the second quarter, 21-7, and led 35-12 at the break. The Lady Braves relied on the long ball in the third quarter and equaled the second quarter feat of tripling Evanston’s offensive production, 18-6, to take a 53-18 balloon into the fourth, and the Lady Braves won going away, 64-25.
Deru paced Evanston with eight points and Archuleta contributed seven. Hiatt and Lowe each added four points and Burleigh ended the ballgame with a deuce.
Star Valley placed nine players in the scoring column, with Shay Erickson showing the way with a game-high 14 and Otessa Olsen knocking down a dozen.
The Lady Braves sit atop the Class 4A Southwest Conference standings with a 2-0 quadrant mark, as the Lady Braves also defeated the Jackson Lady Broncs, 61-32. Evanston and Green River are tied for second place with 1-1 records with Green River also handing Jackson a loss, 58-46. The 0-2 Lady Broncs will travel to Evanston this Saturday, Jan. 26.