Lady Bulldogs on three-game skid
Wheatland High School senior center Jadea Graves has been a strong force in the paint for the Bulldogs this season. Teams keyed on her this past weekend and kept her out of double-figures in both games. Bottom picture: Alex Paulsen, senior guard scored two points Friday night in a hard-fought game in Buffalo. The girls had to travel both days as their Saturday game was in Newcastle.
NEWCASTLE – The Wheatland Lady Bulldogs have played the No.1, the No. 2 and the No. 5 team in 3A for their last three contests and although they have come away on the losing end of all three games, they are gaining some valuable experience both on the road and at home.
Friday night, Wheatland traveled six hours total on a bus to Buffalo where they started strong before getting lost somewhere in the middle of an aggressive Bison herd. The girls began their weekend challenge at No. 2 Buffalo and cruised to a 12-4 lead and took the quarter 16-14.
After a pep-talk from their coach, the Bison then went the rest of the way outscoring the Bulldogs 70-25. They outscored the Bulldogs 18-4 in the second quarter, 22-6 in the third and 20-15 in the fourth. The final score was not pretty at 74-41 and a long, cold bus ride home gave them some time to reflect.
Lily Nichols led the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points followed by Kacey Otero with nine, Grace Battershell with six, Jadea Graves with five, Annaliese Matthews with three, Alex Paulsen with two and Brinley Heimsoth with one.
The next day would not give the Lady Dogs much relief as they would head two and a half hours to Newcastle to play the No. 5 team in 3A. Newcastle would be without their starting center who they have lost to injury for the remainder of the season, but the strength in their guards more than made up for the loss of their teammate.
Again, the Bulldogs came out with a strong, gritty first quarter and trailed only by two, 10-8. The Wyoming winds of momentum quickly changed and Newcastle outscored the Lady Bulldogs 12-6 to take an eight-point lead to the locker room. By the middle of the third quarter Newcastle had opened the throttle and at the end of the third quarter had a commanding 43-16 lead. Although the Bulldogs outscore the Dogies in the fourth 7-5, it was not nearly enough and the final score stood at 48-23.
“The girls played two of the top 5 teams in the state this past weekend," said head coach Michelle Coplen. "The girls held Newcastle under 50 points that usually put up 50-60 points. These games this weekend will help clean up some offensive details as the girls start heading into the second half of their conference games in the next couple of weeks.”
With the three-game slide, the Lady Bulldogs have moved their season record to 14-5.
Graves and Battershell each had eight points to lead the Bulldogs for the game followed by Nichols with four, Heimsoth with two and Laynie Goertz with one.
Wheatland will play two more away games this week as they travel to Glenrock for a 5:30 game on Friday and then back to Douglas Saturday for a 5:30 rematch against the 3A No. 1 Bearcats.