Girls' hoops head into regionals as two seed

Robert Galbreath Photo

BIG PINEY – Although the Big Piney girls’ basketball team fell to Wyoming Indian High School on Feb. 18, the team is poised to enter the 2A Southwest Quadrant Regional Tournament in Big Piney ranked second.

The Punchers put up a fight against WIHS, but their opponent took advantage of a second-quarter barrage of points to take the win, 65-50.

Big Piney hosts regionals, and the Puncher girls’ basketball team will hit the court at 3:30 p.m. against Wind River. The top two teams from the regional tournament advance to Riverton on Saturday to compete against the top 2A teams from the northwest conference.

In a close first quarter, the Punchers trailed WIHS by only a few possessions. Junior Sierra Keiter set the momentum for Big Piney with a pair of 2-pointers and a free throw.

WIHS outscored the Punchers, 24-16, in the second quarter. Senior Ryker Goodman swept the court with three 2-pointers and a free throw. Fellow senior Cassidy Espenscheid shot in her first 3-pointer of the night. Keiter made good on four of five free throws.

The halftime score stood at 39-27 in favor of WIHS.

The third quarter turned into a physical fight for possession, with both teams answering each other basket for basket. Espenscheid tossed in a pair of 2-pointers and a 3-pointer. Junior Hanna Hansen scored double 2-pointers and a free throw. Senior Jakobi Hibbert helped keep Big Piney on the scoreboard with a 2-pointer and free throw.

Wyoming Indian edged ahead in the final quarter, scoring 12 points and holding Big Piney to eight. Keiter shot in a pair of 2-pointers, the last beating the buzzer as the final seconds ticked down. Hansen and junior Lena Hatch both added a 2-pointer to the tally.

Keiter ended the match against WIHS with 13 points. Espenscheid scored 10 points with Goodman and Hatch both shooting in nine points. Hibbert scored seven points and Hatch two.