Ladies dominate in home opener

By: 
Sonja Karp

Photo by Alexis Barker/NLJ

Hunter McFarland didn’t give her opponent any room to maneuver last Thursday in the Lady Dogies’ home opener against Sundance. Pressure defense by Newcastle all night held the Lady Bulldogs to only 21 points on the night.

 

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Reporter

 

The Lady Dogie hoopsters faced a mixed bag of competition last week as they hosted the No. 4-ranked 2A Lady Bulldogs from Sundance on Thursday then travelled to Laramie on Saturday to take on the 4A Lady Plainsmen. 

In their home opener against Sundance, the Lady Dogies put on a clinic for fans both offensively and defensively as they held the Lady Bulldogs scoreless for most of the first quarter. 

A three-point shooting spree ignited by Jaylen Ostenson sinking three consecutive shots from beyond the arc inspired MacKenzie Conzelman to get in on the action and she nailed her own in the next trip, and then Shelby Tidyman didn’t want to be outdone, so the next time down she drained
one herself.

“It’s contagious,” head coach Chad Ostenson said. “When one starts to hit those shots from outside, they all seem to, and it’s pretty fun to watch.”

Five consecutive threes gave the Lady Dogies a 19-0 lead with 49 seconds to play in the first. Sundance was finally able to get on the board with 26 seconds to go but the first frame ended with Newcastle up 19-2 over the Lady Bulldogs.

The Lady Dogies also did work on the defensive side of the ball, turning Sundance over 24 times, out-rebounding them and holding them to only 21 points on the night. 

“I thought our man-to-man defense was really good,” Ostenson nodded. “We got up in their face and really bothered them pretty much all night. They can shoot the ball when they’re open, but we didn’t leave them open to do that.” 

Newcastle held a 30-9 lead at the end of the half, a 43-14 lead at the end of three, and then Sundance outscored the Lady Dogies 7-4 with the Lady Dogies cruising to a 47-21 win.

Ostenson finished the night with five threes accumulating 21 points and filled up most of the other stat columns with seven rebounds, two assists, five steals and one block. Tiernan Stanton added seven points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, Shelby Tidyman added five points, Mercedes Voelker and Shawnee Miles each had three and Hunter McFarland added two to round out the scoring for the team.

The Lady Plainsmen presented a challenge to the Lady Dogies. The 4A squad was coming off a win over Green River on Friday, and threw full court pressure and a 1-3-1 zone defense in the half-court at the Lady Dogies which coach Ostenson admitted they don’t have much experience playing against.

“We handled their full court pressure well enough that they actually didn’t stay in it long,” Ostenson declared. “However, it took us a minute to adjust to the 1-3-1 because we haven’t had a lot of looks at that so far. We will definitely need to work on that.”

After hitting nine threes on Thursday, the Lady Dogies struggled from beyond the arc going 0-15 on the night, and they also had a hard time shutting down outside shooters with their zone defense. That combination caused the squad to dig themselves into a hole by the end of the third quarter.

“Their defense had us a little off our game from beyond the arc,” Ostenson admitted. “And I should have stuck with our man-to-man defense because that was pretty good, but we went zone and stayed in it a little too long and let the one girl get a little too hot for too long, and that really hurt us.”

Newcastle battled with their opponent in the first half going into the locker room down only four points. However, a run on threes in the third quarter by the Lady Plainsmen combined with a scoring drought by the Lady Dogies left them in a 20-point deficit with only one quarter to go.

In the final eight minutes of play, the Lady Dogies battled back to get within 11 points, but a final three by Laramie closed out the 57-43 win for the 4A team.

“I thought we came out and played pretty well against them,” Ostenson insisted. “It was a really great opportunity for us because we learned that we can hang with a team like that, and it also showed us areas of the game that we need to work on.”

A highlight of the contest was that though they were outsized by Laramie, Newcastle actually dominated them on the glass, pulling down 10 more rebounds than the larger team. Stanton and Ostenson were particularly aggressive on the boards, snagging 15 and 12 respectively.

Tidyman was the team’s leading scorer on the night with 14 points, Ostenson picked up her first double-double of the year scoring 13 points to go along with her 12 rebounds, Stanton and Miles each added six, while McFarland and Claire Beastrom each contributed two points to the team’s total.

The Lady Dogies have a couple of weeks off and will come back by going to Worland on Monday, Jan. 4, and then will host Torrington on Friday, Jan. 8, when they will also be honoring
the seniors on the team.

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