Ladies sweep Bobcats

By: 
Sonja Karp

Photo by Nicole McFarland/NLJ

Hunter McFarland pulls up for a jumper in the lane last Friday in Thermopolis. The junior helped her team to a 72-49 win over the Lady Bobcats, which is the Lady Dogies highest scoring game of the season.

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Editor

 

As the regular season winds down, the Lady Dogies continued their domination by picking up two more decisive wins over Bobcats last week against Upton on Tuesday, then improved their quadrant record to 4-0 in Thermopolis on Friday. 

Tuesday’s contest against the 1A Lady Bobcats of Upton was a pick-up game for each team after losing contests early in the season due to weather. Both the Lady Dogies and Upton are ranked No. 1 in the state in their respective classes, so both were looking forward to meeting each other on the court.

Head coach Chad Ostenson’s crew proved to be too much for Coach Materi’s squad, however, as Newcastle came away with the 54-29 win.

“We came out and played some pretty good defense, and Upton is a better team than we saw,” Ostenson said. “Our defense looked good at all five positions so we made it hard for them.”

Newcastle led at every quarter break — 12-4, 22-8, and 35-13 — and pulled away to a 33-point lead at one point in the second half, however, Ostenson admitted, the Lady Bobcats made his crew work for what they got.

“Offensively we shot the ball pretty well and it was a good game for us to have in the middle of the week, playing against a pretty decent team,” he said. “And it was a pretty full house in the Dome so that was fun.” 

The Lady Dogies certainly were in a rhythm offensively, finishing the game with four players hitting eight shots from beyond the arc. 

Jaylen Ostenson finished the night with 23 points, and MacKenzie Conzelman had 14 including 4 from 3-point land. Shelby Tidyman added 7, Tiernan Stanton 4, Hunter McFarland 3, Savannah Carr 2, and Jayde Harrington rounded out the scoring with 1 point.

On Friday, the squad made the long trip over the mountain for a re-match against an improved Lady Bobcat team in Thermopolis. The last time these two teams met in the Dogie Dome, Newcastle put them away with a decisive 50-11 win. This time, Thermopolis made them work a little harder for their 72-49 victory.

“Thermopolis played well and shot the ball really well on their home court,” Ostenson said. “I had watched a little
film and I knew they had gotten a lot better from the first time we played them, and we just weren’t playing our usual defense. We let them get by us, and they took advantage
of that.”

Fortunately, what Newcastle may have lacked in defense they made up for on offense and were able to maintain control of the contest throughout. The first quarter ended with the Lady Dogies on top 20-14, and they out-scored the Lady Bobcats 17-13 to take a 10-point lead into the locker room. 

“We probably needed to have to grind through some things when they weren’t working the way they were supposed to,” Ostenson said. “We needed to be hard-nosed enough to stay with them and get it done.”

Despite not being able to get into their usual flow, the Lady Dogies’ defense did start to wear Thermopolis down, and toward the end of the contest the team was able to pull ahead and finish with the most points they’ve scored in a single game all year.

Once again the team hit eight shots from beyond the arc and leading the way in scoring was Ostenson, who put up a double-double scoring 28 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Tidyman also had a good night with 20 points which included hitting 3 from downtown. Conzelman had two 3-pointers and finished with 10 points, McFarland scored 7, Stanton added 3 while Harrington and Amesha Cummings each chipped in 2 points to round out the scoring.  

In their final week of the regular season, the Lady Dogies are facing two very big and important games with Northeast Quadrant re-matches against Douglas and Buffalo. Both teams will be out for revenge as Newcastle beat Buffalo at their house by 6 and Douglas on the road by 5.

If the Lady Dogies win against the Lady Bearcats, they are guaranteed the No. 1 seed at the regional tournament. If they tie, it will come down to a coin flip for the No. 1 seed. They will also need to defeat the Lady Bison to maintain their No. 1 seed.

“These are two great games to end the regular season as
we head into regionals,” Ostenson said. “We are the only 3A team to have handed Douglas a defeat in many years, and they are probably ready to even the score.”  

Games against Douglas on Thursday start at 4 p.m. with varsity set to tip off at 5:30. On Saturday, games are early starting at noon with varsity scheduled for 1:30.

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