Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lady Bulldog shooting guard Ivery Fritzler attempts to wrest the ball from a Laurel player’s control during a Friday home basketball game.

Lady Bulldogs outshoot Laurel

Back in December, Laurel’s Locomotives took down Hardin’s Lady Bulldog basketball team 60-45 for their only loss so far this season. Hardin returned the favor in a Friday home game thanks to a 53-46 victory assisted by the Ladies’ 15-6 lead in the first period and a 22-point shot streak by point guard Karissa DuShane.
Unlike their December match-up, Hardin Head Coach Cindy Farmer said, her team came out “ready to play” and defend against Laurel’s quick guards. Last time, she continued, “the defensive intensity wasn’t there” in the second period, allowing the Locomotives to take multiple 3-point shots.
As in December, the Locomotives’ main point guard Aspen Cotter couldn’t entirely be stopped, Farmer said, but the Ladies could “contain” her by keeping the ball from her grasp. 
“The girls came out with a lot of intensity and energy, and set the tone that first quarter,” Farmer said of Friday’s game. “Laurel made some runs, but the girls were able to match it and keep the lead.”
One weakness during the game, she noted, was the Ladies’ low free throw average of 34 percent. If they sank more of those shots, she said, the Locomotives would have had less success in gaining on their score. They’ll learn from this experience, she said, and “move on.”
Where the Laurel game was a challenge, the Ladies gained a 23-7 lead on the Sidney Eagles in the first period and kept them from scoring in the second at 22-0. 
DuShane, still on a hot streak, led the Ladies in shooting at 23 points. Thanks to the Ladies perfecting their “inside-outside game,” Farmer said, guards and post players have been able to coordinate shots more effectively.
By the end, despite pulling off “some of the pressure,” the Ladies claimed a 64-19 victory over the Eagles.
“They’re struggling this year,” said Farmer of Sidney, “but they’re working hard.”
Hardin will face Shepherd at home on Friday, followed by Billings Central – who recently brought them to double overtime – in an away game on Saturday.