Storm outscore Cowgirls 25-11 in the third quarter to break open a close contest

The Crook County Cowgirls knew going into the contest that their Wednesday game at Summit was going to be difficult.

The Storm had won five of their last six contests, and was ranked fifth in the Class 5A power rankings. The Storm proved to be as strong as their ranking, pulling away from the Cowgirls late in the first half, en route to a 63-38 win in the Intermountain Hybrid opener for both teams.

Playing without starting point guard Jena Ovens and with staring post Kelsie Smith still hobbling from an earlier ankle injury, the Crook County Cowgirls knew that they had to play a nearly perfect game to knock off the Summit Storm.

“We missed Jena even more than I thought we would,” said Crook County Head Coach Mark Malott. “They just brought the pressure the entire game and we struggled with their press. They are well coached. They are long and athletic and they are a good ballclub.”

The Storm forced some turnovers early in the first quarter, but the Cowgirls adjusted and were able to stay in the contest. Crook County trailed 11-10 at the end of the first period and was behind by just four points with a minute remaining in the first half. Then the Storm’s Sarah Heinly hit a late 3-pointer and Summit scored on a Cowgirl turnover to take a 27-18 lead into the locker room at half time.

The Storm increased their defensive pressure in the third quarter and capitalized on Cowgirl turnovers to outscore Crook County 25-11 in the period, putting the game out of reach.

“With Ovens missing we had to move Michaeline Malott and Kimmer Severance into the back court to break the press,” Malott said. “Then we had some difficulty getting into our offense. It took us out of position, but when we did get into our half-court offense our execution was outstanding.

Malott led the Cowgirls in scoring with 12 points, while Severance finished with eight. The Storm (7-3) was led by Sarah Reeves with 20, while Heinly added 16 and Raja Char finished with 11.

The Cowgirls (5-5) are on the road again tonight when they take on the 1-6 Mountain View Cougars.

“We are going to go to work on Thursday and hopefully we will have everyone back on Friday and we can get rolling again.” Malott said.

Summit 63, Crook County 38

at Summit

Crook County (38) — Michaeline Malott 12, Severance 8, Smith 6, Martin 4, Bannon 4, Thomas 2, Wood 2, Byram, Morgan. Totals 16 6-13 38.

Summit (63) — Sarah Reeves 20, Heinly 16, Char 11, Hasenoehrl 5, Cornett 5, Gordon 2, Huntsman 2, Manley 1, Naegele 1. Totals 21 18-27 63.

Crook County 10 8 11 9 -- 38

Summit 11 16 25 11 -- 63

Three-point goals -- Crook County: none; Summit: Heinly 2, Reeves.

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