Ladies fall to the Bison

Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

Photo by Nicole McFarland/NLJ

Hunter McFarland had one of her shots blocked by a Lady Bison defender Saturday in Buffalo, however, the senior put up two good games over the weekend, scoring 12 points on Friday and 6 points on Saturday.


The Lady Dogies opened up 3A Northeast Quadrant play last weekend as they hosted the Lady Wolves of Moorcroft on Friday, then traveled to Buffalo to take on the second-ranked Lady Bison on Saturday.


Head coach Chad Ostenson’s crew came away with their seventh win of the season on Friday, defeating Moorcroft 50-22, then picked up their second loss of the season against Buffalo, dropping the game 47-58.


“It was good to be back in the Dome against Moorcroft on Friday. It was a great atmosphere and a great crowd and the kids just love it,” said Ostenson. “And then on Saturday, the game was back and forth and I love it when they are tight like that. It was great to have a game like that for the girls, because we need to have those situations to get ready for the post-season. It was good to get the test.”


On Friday, fans were in for a three-point shooting extravaganza from the two teams on the court. Moorcroft came into the contest having taken 256 shots from beyond the arc while Newcastle had put up 168. In the game, the Lady Wolves put up 28 to the Lady Dogies 19 attempts. Despite shooting nine less, Newcastle was successful on six of their shots while Moorcroft only connected on five.


“We shot okay, but I’m hoping we can get into the groove and get used to seeing some more game speed shots so we can get our percentage back up where it should be,” Ostenson began. “We have shooters who are capable of lighting it up from out there, so we just need to get into a rhythm so they can do that.”

The Lady Dogies led 12-5 at the end of the first quarter, then extended that lead to 29-7 by halftime. 


“Our defense looked pretty good,” Ostenson continued. “We also took really good care of the ball. Neither team pressed a lot, so that contributed, but only having six turnovers by the end of the game is pretty impressive.”


In the second half, Newcastle out-scored the Lady Wolves 21-15 to come away with their first quadrant win of the season.


Jaylen Ostenson finished as the team’s leading scorer with 16 points. She was followed by Hunter McFarland with 12, Shelby Tidyman with 8, Jayde Harrington with 6 points and 14 rebounds, MacKenzie Conzelman with 5 and Sydney Pederson with 3 points. 


On Saturday, the Lady Dogies knew they were in for a battle in the Big Horns, as Buffalo rosters a talented and athletic team. 


“They shoot the ball well and they have two pretty solid posts, so they have a good inside-out game,” Ostenson pointed out. “They also work their tails off and you know what you’re in for when you play them.”


The game played out as nearly everyone expected, with the two teams exchanging blows throughout the first three quarters. Newcastle trailed 13-15 at the end of the first quarter, but out-scored Buffalo 15-9 in the second to go into the locker room with a four-point lead. 


The Lady Bison cut the Lady Dogies lead to two by the end of the third quarter, then a four-minute scoring drought by Newcastle gave Buffalo the opportunity to take back the lead and they did so by hitting two of their five threes to stretch out their lead a bit.


In the waning minutes of the contest, Newcastle had to ramp up full-court pressure, which the Bison used to create scoring opportunities when they broke the pressure.


That, combined with Newcastle having to foul, increased Buffalo’s margin of victory to 11 by the time the final buzzer sounded. 


“It certainly wasn’t an 11-point game,” Ostenson said. “I think we learned some things that we will do differently next time. We don’t win or lose a state tournament in January.”

The Lady Dogies ended the contest only shooting 19% from the three-point line and 23% overall, which Ostenson identified as the major reason for the loss.


“We created opportunities to score, but we struggled to finish,” he said with a sigh. “If we’d have shot 75% from the free-throw line and even 25% from three, it’s a completely different outcome.”


Ostenson and Harrington each finished the night posting double-doubles to their stat lines. Ostenson led the team with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Harrington was second with 11 points and 12 rebounds.


“Jayde played an excellent game, getting backside rebounds and putting them back up and then making her free-throws. I told her after the game that it was the best game of her career so far,” Ostenson said. “Pretty soon, she will be someone that teams will have to account for as well.” 


McFarland finished the contest with 6 points, Oakley Checketts scored 4, Tidyman and Conzelman each put in 3 points while Pederson added 2.


The Lady Dogies will play their third quadrant contest this Friday in Glenrock, and then will host Wheatland in the annual Pink game on Saturday. 


“This weekend will be another good test for us,” said Ostenson. “Hopefully we fill the Dome again, because last Friday was so much fun.”


Games start at 4 p.m. on Friday in Glenrock and 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Dome.


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