Ladies finish regular season with a win

By: 
Sonja Karp

Photo by Alexis Barker/NLJ

Jaylen Ostenson didn’t let much stop her in the Lady Dogies’ last regular season game against Wheatland last Saturday. Ostenson ended the night as her team’s leading scorer 15 points.

 

Sonja Karpe

NLJ Sports Reporter

 

Closing out the regular season with a win is just what Lady Dogie head coach Chad Ostenson was hoping to do, and his crew didn’t disappoint. 

Though they dropped their second contest to the undefeated Lady Bearcats in Douglas on Friday by a score of 32-76, they rebounded to get their second win against the Lady Bulldogs of Wheatland on Saturday at home, 36-25.

Newcastle ended with an 11-6 overall record and a 4-2 quadrant record with their only losses after Jan. 8 handed to them by Douglas. In the two team’s first meeting on Jan. 29, the Lady ‘Cats defeated Ostenson’s crew by 23 in the Dome, but last Friday at their house, they seemed determined to make a statement.

“Douglas was on a mission and I do think they were out to prove a point that they are the best team in the state and there shouldn’t be any conversation about it,” Ostenson chuckled. “The second time around, they kind of thumped on Buffalo, too. I guess only winning by 23 wasn’t enough.”

The Lady Dogies were plagued by turnovers which were uncharacteristically high. They ended the night with 35 total, and 30 of those were because of steals by Douglas.

“Other than the turnovers, we did do some good things, but the points they scored off of their steals had to add up to the 40-point differential in the score,” Ostenson sighed. “Many of those steals happened up top between Jaylen [Ostenson] and Shelby [Tidyman] who committed 20 turnovers between themselves. When they pick off a pass up high like that, it leads to pretty easy points for them.”

One of the positives from the loss was that the Lady Dogies were able to hold 6-foot, 4-inch Allyson Fertig, a University of Wyoming signee, to only 10 points after she scored over 30 the last time they played. They also succeeded in minimizing Joslyn Igo’s assists to only four. Unfortunately, other players picked up their slack.

“We double-teamed Fertig and face-guarded Igo and accomplished what we wanted to there,” Ostenson insisted. “We clean up our turnovers and play defense like we did, I still like our chances to be the one team sometime to get them. They are good and a pretty special team though and even up by 40 points, Helenbolt doesn’t pull his starters so it will be a challenge. We will have to play a perfect game but we match up with them pretty good.”

Tiernan Stanton was tasked with guarding Fertig throughout the contest, and according to Ostenson, she played her best game of the year.

“Tiernan, Jay and Shelby didn’t come out until the last couple of minutes when he pulled his dogs, and Tiernan did a great job defensively and rebounded well,” Ostenson nodded. “She toughed it out and it was fun to see her compete and make it hard on Allyson.”

Ostenson led her team in scoring with 12 points, Tidyman also hit double figures with 10, Stanton added six while Claire Beastrom and Shawnee Miles each chipped in two points.

After their tough battle on Friday evening, the Lady Dogies had a short turnaround before hosting the Lady Bulldogs in an early game on Saturday, which was also their last contest of the regular season. 

Wheatland too was coming off a hard-fought contest against Burns the night before, and it was apparent early that both teams were just a step or two slow.

“It may have been their game plan to slow things down, but even they seemed a little uninspired,” mused Ostenson. “Both Friday games were quadrant matchups so there was a little more at stake than there was on Saturday.”

In their initial matchup in Wheatland on Jan. 31, the teams duked it out until Newcastle came away with a one-point victory in overtime. This time, the Lady Dogies took an early lead and held onto it comfortably throughout the contest. Though admittedly tired after playing Douglas, which led to some offensive struggles, defensively it was one of the best nights for Ostenson’s crew. 

“We held them to only 25 after they had scored 50-some the night before. We also rebounded well and only had 14 turnovers,” Ostenson offered. “We did all of that with only six players due to Mercedes [Voelker] being sidelined from a sprained ankle last week, and MacKenzie [Conzelman] suffering a sprained ankle during the JV game on Saturday.”

Having played only one home game in the last month, the Lady Dogies gained valuable road experience as they head into post-season play this week. Their 4-2 quadrant record has earned them the No. 2 seed for the Northeast Quadrant Regional Tournament, which begins on Thursday in Buffalo. The Lady Bison of Buffalo
are seeded third, so Newcastle will have to get the better of them for a third time this season, and on their home court, if they are to extend their season another week.

“With the high stakes format of regionals this year, everything is on the line this Thursday,” Ostenson admitted. “We’ve worked pretty hard to get the two seed, and now we get to go to Buffalo and play them on the home court, but if we just go and play we’ll be fine. Basketball wise, we are a pretty solid team so we just need to go and play within ourselves and play defense the way we are capable of playing.”

The ladies will play for a spot in the state tournament at 3 on Thursday afternoon. With a win, they will play Douglas for seeding in preparation for the Saturday games in Cheyenne. A loss means their season is over. 

Burns was to host the Saturday state seeding games, but their gym flooded earlier in the season. As such, Cheyenne Central will be the venue for those contests.

Games will begin at noon on Saturday in Cheyenne with the third/fourth place game followed by the first/second place game at 4.

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