Much to the delight of head coach Alexis Bird, the Wolves didn’t show much rust after a relatively lengthy break.
Green Canyon’s girls basketball team poured in 51 points during the middle two quarters en route to a 81-52 victory over Ririe (Idaho) on Day 1 of the Star Valley Shootout Friday afternoon in Afton, Wyoming. The Wolves returned to the court Friday evening and earned a 55-44 triumph over host Star Valley.
“It was an exciting way to come back from our Christmas break,” Bird said. “The girls worked hard during the break on their own and it really showed to me that they did put in some time on their own with their fitness and their shooting.”
The Wolves (8-1) outscored the Bulldogs (7-4) in every quarter in their tournament opener, although Ririe kept things close in the early going.
Kinley Falslev and Kennedy Eskelson combined to knock down eight 3-pointers and score 48 points against Ririe. Falslev drained five treys and netted a game-high 26 points.
Jordyn Thompson and Shante’ Falslev chipped in with 10 points apiece, while Allee McKenna pulled down nine rebounds for Green Canyon, which buried 14 shots from beyond the arc.
Green Canyon jumped out to a 17-9 lead after the opening quarter against Star Valley and never looked back, although the Braves remained somewhat within striking distance for the majority of the contest. Bird was pleased with how her team defended in both games.
“We really believe that defensive intensity creates our offensive opportunities, and that second game was a little tighter, (but) we got stops,” Bird said. “I mean, we ran different defenses and (our players) were ready to go with them. There were times where we were lacking on rebounding and we had a timeout to regroup, and we came back and just really did an excellent job of keeping Star Valley off the boards at the end of the (game).”
Kinley Falslev paced the Wolves in scoring against the Braves as she finished with 15 points. Shante’ Falslev netted 13 points, while Thompson added 11. Kinley Falslev and Thompson each sank a trio of treys. McKenna Crane paced Green Canyon with six boards.
“The best thing is this team is super unselfish,” Bird said. “The girls are just buying into this whole team aspect of the little things matter. Sometimes the biggest (factor in the outcome of a game) is not going to be found on the stat sheet, and they’re buying into that. We’re figuring that it doesn’t matter who scores as long as it’s Green Canyon; it doesn’t matter who gets a rebound as long as it’s Green Canyon.”
Ridgeline is also competing at the Star Valley Shootout, and the Riverhawks went 1-1 on Day 1. Ridgeline beat Thunder Ridge (Idaho) 43-29 in its opener and was edged by Ririe (Idaho) a few hours later, 58-54. The Bulldogs outscored the Riverhawks (4-4) 14-6 in the fourth quarter to steal the win.
“We never really could get in a rhythm,” Ridgeline head coach Ainsli Jenks said. “Struggled defensively to get stops.”
Haley Anderson and Emma Anderson scored 22 points apiece for Ridgeline against Ririe. Emma Anderson, who netted 12 of her points in the first quarter, recorded a double-double as she snared 12 rebounds. Brinlie Crosbie chipped in with nine boards.
In their opener, the Riverhawks put the clamps on the Titans as they limited them to a measly 18 points in the first three quarters. It was an uneven offensive performance for Ridgeline, which scored a combined 27 points in the first and fourth quarters, but only eight points in each of the middle two quarters.
Emma Anderson led the Riverhawks with 16 points, while Shelby Murphy and Haley Anderson combined for 18. Emma Anderson and Murphy finished with seven rebounds apiece, while Brayli Jenks dished out 10 of her team’s 15 assists. Jenks and Emma Anderson combined for 11 steals, to boot.
“Fifteen of our 17 field goals were assisted,” coach Jenks said. “We struggled shooting, but we were able to play good D.”