WREA Cowboy Shootout starts girls basketball

After a break in 2020 the White River Electric Association Cowboy Shootout was hosted for the girls last weekend. It was the 20th anniversary of the event. Competing this year were Meeker, Lotus, Coal Ridge, Soroco, Hayden, Coronado, Mancos and Nucla. Coal Ridge took home the top trophy, Soroco was second and Meeker took third place.

“The senior girls really stepped up this weekend and did their jobs,” observed head coach Jamie Rogers.

The Cowboys opening game was Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. against Lotus.

“Lotus made it into the playoffs last year and we were anxious to see them. It was a really great test for the first game of the year,” Rogers said.

Meeker came out early and commanded the lead the entire game. At the half the score was 25-13 and the final score was 62-43. Sarah Kracht, who also earned a spot on the all tournament team, led with 22 points and 10 steals. Hailey Knowles, who is returning to the team this year after injury, scored 17 points and led in rebounds with 11. Ainsley Selle took two defensive charges in game one of the tournament

“For a girl to take one charge in a season is a big deal, but for a girl to get three in a tournament is huge. Ainsley took two charges against Lotus and one against Coal Ridge; she stood her ground,” Rogers said.

The win against the Meteors gave the Cowboys the opportunity to play Coal Ridge Friday in the semifinals.

“Coal Ridge is long and fast and we just had too many turnovers,” commented Rogers.

The Titans were able to hold the Cowboys to less than 10 points in both the second and fourth quarter.

“In the second quarter they threw a different defense at us and we got stuck, but the girls followed our halftime adjustments and we were able to play with them again,” said Rogers.

The final score was 53-36, with Kracht once again scoring 20 points for the team lead. Knowles had eight rebounds, Hadley Franklin had seven, and Jadyn Overton and Ainsley Selle each had five.

The loss against Coal Ridge meant that Saturday the Cowboys took on the Hayden Tigers to battle for third place.

“Sarah shot really well against Hayden and had zero turnovers. For a point guard that is really awesome,” said Rogers. “We were down in the first quarter 10-7 but the girls found the next step and picked it up.”

Kracht scored another 32 points in the 58-34 game win, giving her 72 for the weekend, 15 of which came from her five three-point shots. Knowles had a shot at the half that was all net from half court, “it was a great confidence booster for the team,” said Rogers.

“Hadley Franklin was so strong on the rebounds and her defense was excellent,” wrapped up Rogers.

Savannah Mendenhall and Kracht each had four steals, and Franklin led with nine rebounds.

The tournament hosts a three-point contest Saturday for the teams. Kracht, Knowles, Brea Garcia and MyKayla Wille competed; Kracht made it to the finals, Knowles to the semi-finals, and Garcia had two extra tie breaking rounds.

The girls now have a break until Dec. 17 when they travel to Vail Christian for their final game in 2021.

By TIFFANY JEHOREK – Special to the Herald Times

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