Lady Devils get first win (slideshow 3)
By Anthony Varriano
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
The Dawson County High School Lady Red Devils got their first win of the year against conference rivals the Laurel Lady Locomotives at the DCHS gymnasium, Friday night.
“They figured it out, and they’re figuring it out early enough in our season,” DCHS head coach Kayla Rivas said of her team.
Lady Devils 53, Laurel 46
The Lady Devils needed something and got something from just about everyone on the roster in a must-win game at home to avoid falling into the basement of the conference standings all alone.
Junior Jayley Wyse got the scoring started for Dawson by moving to the middle of the key and hitting a wide open shot to tie it at two. It was just the start of what turned out to be an effective offensive night for Wyse.
Senior Taya Torres grabbed an offensive board and putback to make it 4-3, and Carrie Nagle followed that with an offensive rebound and putback of her own to make it 7-6 Laurel.
Senior Wyniah Mintz got behind the full-court defense of the Lady Locomotives for an easy layup that made it 9-8 Laurel. It was the last time Laurel tried its fullcourt press.
It was 13-8 after the first quarter of play that flied by after a late start due to the Lady Locos experiencing some issues with their transportation.
Mintz opened the second with a three for Dawson to cut the deficit to four. Sophomore Bailey Pearcy followed it with a three to make it 17-14 Laurel, and then Wyse found Pearcy around the free throw line to cut the deficit to one.
Freshman Karsen Murphy drained a three to give Glendive it’s first lead since 4-3, but the Lady Devils were stuck at 19 points for much of the second quarter due to poor free throw shooting. The Lady Locomotives didn’t do any better at the charity stripe, and it was tied at 19 at halftime.
It felt like Dawson’s night when Wyse banked in a trey to make it 22-21 early in the third. Nagle then grabbed another offensive board and putback to push the DCHS lead to three.
Mintz hit her second three to make it 27-23, and Kendra Kaufman got her first bucket to force a Laurel timeout up 31-23 with 5:03 left in the third.
Mintz didn’t cool off during the timeout, hitting her third trey to push the lead to 11 – the largest of the game.
Nagle continued to dominate the game defensively, corralling a steal and then finishing through a foul for an and-one opportunity that electrified the home crowd and made the lead nine.
“Our defense dictated what they did on offense,” Rivas beamed.
Laurel sophomore Aspen Cotter wasn’t going to let Glendive run away with it, though. She hit a three to make the lead just five, 41-36. She led Laurel with 19 points.
Torres found Wyse with a crosscourt pass to push it to 43-36, but a pair of banked threes fell for Laurel to make it a four-point game.
The way Dawson was shooting free throws, it seemed anything could happen down the stretch. But sophomore Thea Robson hit both of her attempts to make it 51-44, and Mintz went six for six in the fourth quarter from the charity stripe to give Dawson the win.
“We were 0-for-8 in the first half at the line, and we talked about the importance of free throws at halftime, and they responded really well,” Rivas said.
Mintz finished with 21 points to lead all scorers, but Nagle was a difference maker on the glass and defending the rim. She finished with eight points, and Wyse added nine.
Rivas seems to have found a winning formula for the Lady Devils going forward, as young players like Pearcy, Robson, Kaufman and Murphy all contributed in different ways.
“Every person that played contributed either offensively or defensively,” said Rivas, later saying that the youngsters are “playing to their role” and are “sparks off the bench.”
The win by Dawson shakes up the Eastern A, creating a three way tie between DCHS, Laurel and Sidney for fourth place. Every team has at least one loss in the conference, including the Lady Devils next opponent, Billings Central (4-3, 2-1).
The Lady Rams visit Glendive on Saturday at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Then the Lady Devils will get some time off before their next game against Colstrip in Glendive on Friday. Freshmen are scheduled to start at 2:30, JV tips at 4 and varsity starts at 7:30 p.m.
DCHS—Mintz 21, Wyse 9, Nagle 8, Pearcy 5, Murphy 3, Kaufman 2, Torres 2, Robson 2
LHS—Cotter 19, Rylee Clark 8, Dakota Boehler 6, Riley Chapman 4, Ellie Kildahl 4, Kaitlyn Dawes 3, Paige O’Toole 2