EVANSTON — Uinta County bragging rights are on the line this weekend as the Evanston boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will square off against Mountain View and Lyman in back-to-back nights. The four Bridger Valley teams will have tune-up games prior to facing Evanston.
Mountain View will have already competed against Star Valley by the time this issue of the Herald reaches you, as the Lady Buffs and Buffalos hosted the Lady Braves and Braves on Thursday evening, Jan. 10. A pair of fourth-ranked teams will have faced one another as the 6-2 Lady Braves of Star Valley are ranked fourth in Class 4A, according to the latest WyoPreps.com Coaches and Media poll. Meanwhile, the 6-3 Lady Buffs are Class 3A’s fourth-best team in the voters’ eyes.
The 6-4 Lady Red Devils and the 3-6 Red Devils will travel to Mountain View on Friday night, Jan. 11, for their first time out in 2019, as full-fledged varsity squads, since their final games in the Star Valley Shoot-Out tourney on Dec. 29.
The Lyman and Mountain View squads were in action the weekend past during the East-West Classic tournaments hosted by Pinedale for girls’ tournament and Rawlins for the boys.
In girls’ action, Mountain View entered the tourney ranked third and Lyman was ranked fourth in Class 3A. The teams have since swapped positions in the rankings, as Mountain View went 0-3 in the tourney, while Lyman registered a 2-1 record. Mountain View was an undefeated 6-0 entering the Pinedale tournament. Both girls’ teams were soundly defeated by the top-ranked Lady Bearcats of Douglas, who defeated Lyman, 70-39, and downed Mountain View, 67-46.
The Lady Eagles recorded a win over Thermopolis, 49-29, and also knocked off No. 2 Buffalo, 57-48.
The Lady Buffs fell to No. 2 Buffalo, 55-51, and were also narrowly defeated by Rawlins in an upset, 48-47.
Both Lyman schools face a more daunting task than Mountain View, as the Lady Eagles and Eagles will host Thunder Basin on Friday night, before traveling to Evanston for a Saturday evening showdown. The Thunder Basin Lady Bolts are the top-ranked team in Class 4A, with an 8-1 mark so far on the season. The Bolts are ranked fourth on the guys’ side of the ledger and sport an 8-2 record.
Neither the Lyman Eagles nor the Mountain View Buffs are ranked and both teams went 1-2 in the East-West Classic tournament in Rawlins. The Eagles picked up a 43-33 victory over the Thermopolis Bobcats, but fell to third-ranked Douglas, 67-52, and to the top-ranked Buffalo Bison, 72-37.
Mountain View was also defeated by Buffalo, 49-24, and lost to unranked Rawlins, 61-49. The Buffs closed strong, however, upsetting No. 3 Douglas, 56-51.
Haily Stephens leads the Lady Buffs in scoring with a 14.3 points per game average. Lyndee Hereford pours in 13.2 points per contest and leads her team in rebounding, pulling down 7.3 boards each time out. Charity Harmon also averages double-digits at 10.1 per game, with Ailee Bugas contributing 6.3 points on average, while dishing out 3.1 assists.
Ajahonna Archuleta shows the way for the Lady Red Devils as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder with 8.5 points per game to go along with 6.7 caroms. Natalie Robbins scores at a 6.7 clip and leads the team in steals with 3.7 takeaways per contest. Kori Deru and Zocia Nowakowski average 6.6 and 6.1 points per game, respectively.
For the Lady Eagles of Lyman, it’s one of the standout players in the entire state in McKinley Bradshaw. The future Wyoming Cowgirl scores 18.8 points on average and leads Lyman in rebounding at 7.5 per game, along with six steals and two blocked shots every time she takes the floor. Bradshaw scored 44 points against Green River earlier this season for a career-high, for now. Olivia Smith averages 9.7 points and freshman Brice Hansen, head coach Jason Hansen’s daughter, contributes 6.7 points per game. Sadly, the Lady Eagles lost McKinley’s cousin, fellow standout athlete, McKailey Bradshaw, to injury, for the season. She was contributing 10 points per game.
Braeden Walk average 13.9 points per game to top the Mountain View Buffalos’ scoring attack. Briggen Bluemel is next at 11.8 per game and also leads the team with 6.8 rebounds each time out. Colby Rees contributes 9.2 points per contest and Trenton Wells averages 7.3 points, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals. Kimball Madsen is another utility player for the Buffs.
Dawson Crofts leads the way for the Evanston Red Devils scoring 12.8 each time out. Mason Ellingford averages 10.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and almost two blocks per game. Brady Hurd adds 8.6 points and leads the team in dimes with 2.8 assists every game, though Garrett Berger is right behind at 2.6 assists and tops the team and the 4A division with 3.3 steals per game. Seth Lloyd is averaging six points per game and Lance Evans adds 4.7 points per contest.
The Lyman Eagles are led by Andrew Housekeeper’s 12 points and 3.3 assists per game. Lucas Anson adds 9.6 points and is the team’s leading rebounder at 9.2 per game. Michael Kunzler contributes nine points and 1.8 steals, with Kollin Rogers and Jett Dickerson adding 5.8 and 5.1 points to the Eagles’ scoring column, respectively.
Tip-off for the Lady Red Devils at Mountain View is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. with the guys’ game to follow on Friday night. The same girls’ tap-time of 5:30 p.m. will start things off when Lyman invades Red Devil Gym on Saturday.