Eighth grade girls season shows continued growth

Posted 1/13/22

A mostly inexperienced eighth grade girls’ basketball team ended the season on a high after showing continued growth throughout the campaign. The Cubs finished the season with a 7-8 …

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Eighth grade girls season shows continued growth

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A mostly inexperienced eighth grade girls’ basketball team ended the season on a high after showing continued growth throughout the campaign. The Cubs finished the season with a 7-8 record.

“We had a group that did not have a whole lot of basketball experience,” Cubs head coach Dale Estes said. “It was a group with a lot of athleticism, but not a whole lot of practice and experience.”

The season started out slow for the Cubs, as they lost by a point to Riverton, 11-10, and fell 47-16 to Lander.

The Cubs then started to win as they defeated Lovell 43-8 and Worland 34-24 to take their record to .500.

The up and down season continued as they lost their next two games, 40-22 to Thermopolis and 38-18 to Cody. Those losses were followed by a three-game win streak: 38-20 over Lovell, 35-29 over Rocky Mountain and 21-20 over Worland.

But then game a four-game losing streak, with losses to Thermopolis (29-27), Cody (30-14), Burlington (32-14) and Thermopolis again in the opening round of the conference tournament (33-32).

The Cubs finished the season on a high note by defeating Worland 41-22 and Riverton 37-27 to win the consolation bracket of the tournament.

“I felt really good about how we ended with a couple of wins,” Estes said. “It was probably the most athletic group that I have ever had, that just had to learn the technical skills.”

The one player who had prior basketball experience was Coy Erickson. Estes said she was the best all around player and helped elevate the team.

Early on in the season, when Erickson got in foul trouble, the team struggled at times. But by the end of the season, the team was able to keep pace if Erickson picked up fouls.

“We saw a lot of improvement throughout the season, with most of the players working hard,” Estes said.

One player the coach pointed out as making a massive improvement was Ivy Agee.

Agee came into the season primarily as a soccer player, but was able to work her way from being new at the sport on the B team to starting on the A team before the end of the season. Hali Hancock was also able to work her way up from the B team to starting on the A team by the end of the campaing.

Other players who were able to make the jump included Neveah Garcia and Lexi Reeves on the A team. 

Estes ended up with 15 players in total on both the A and B teams, and he said each player got better, no matter which level they played at.

A season full of ups and downs ended on a high, as the eighth grade girls’ season wrapped up in December.

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