SIDNEY — The Sidney girls basketball team was unable to slow down Wyoming’s top-ranked Class 3A squad, falling 51-32 to Douglas in the championship game of the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout on Saturday afternoon.
The Red Raiders (7-2) had a nice run through their home tournament, edging Gothenburg 46-43 in the first round on Thursday and then cruising to a 37-15 win over Cheyenne South in a semifinal game on Friday.
Sidney coach Tyler Shaw said that both teams may have been showing some fatigue over a grueling three-day tournament schedule, but Douglas was able to reach down and find the intensity it needed to get stronger defensively as the game went on.
“Douglas is a very good basketball team. They’re very well coached, and they just took us out of our game in the second and third [periods] today. [Douglas’] defensive intensity was raised a notch in that second and third quarter and that was kind of the difference.”
Sidney grabbed an 8-6 lead after the first quarter on buckets by Sara Mahr and Karissa Segelke, along with a 3-pointer by Katelin Cole. However, the Bearcats bore down on defense, allowing Sidney just four points in the frame, to take a 19-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Douglas ignited for 20 points in the third period, holding Sidney to just five, and racing out to a commanding 39-17 advantage going into the final period.
Shaw said that by the time his squad was able to recover, it was too late.
“They stepped up their game a little bit. They disrupted us. It was too long – it took us too long to recover,” Shaw said. “By the time we adjusted, the game was out of hand.”
Despite the lopsided score after three periods of play, Sidney continued to battle, posting its best eight minutes of the game by outscoring the Bearcats 14-12 in the stanza.
Shaw believes that playing a team like Douglas helps his team gain experience and will benefit them as the season moves forward.
“It shows us what we need to work on and it gives us something to aspire to be in terms of how we want to play defense, and how we want to practice against that kind of pressure day in and day out so we’re not so shell shocked,” Shaw noted. “It was a good eye opener for us and we’re hoping to learn from it.”
Shaw added that he was pleased with his team’s overall performance throughout the tournament and said that they were happy to get the opportunity to play for the championship.
“We’re definitely very happy to be in the position to play in that championship game,” he said. “We were very happy with our play throughout. We are always looking at little things that we can do better and we’re going to take the good and be happy about those things, but then we’re going to learn from the bad things and the things that we need to improve upon. At this stage of the season, that’s what we’re trying to do is just build our team and improve until we get to post-season play.”
Douglas finished the night going 16 of 24 from the line, while Sidney hit 6 of 11.
The Bearcats were led by a pair of players in double figures with Molly Kreyoik finishing with 14 points and Carlie Edelman-Cecil collecting 17.
Sidney was paced by Segelke, who finished with 11 points; while Mahr chipped in nine points, and Cole added seven.
Sidney will next be in action on Friday when it travels to Gering for a boy/girl doubleheader.
Douglas (10-0)...............................6 13 20 12 — 51
Sidney (7-2)...............................8 4 5 14 — 32
Caitlin Boe 1, Jill Espeland 1, Kassidy Scott 7, Kelsey Steele 2, Heather Townsend 4, Molly Kreyoik 14, Lateasha Hiser 2, Carlie Edelman-Cecil 17, Jessie Underberg 3.
Sara Mahr 9, Sarah Kreuger 3, Karissa Segelke 11, Katelin Cole 7, Cody Rowley 2.