Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Lady Cats split the week with two wins, one loss


Tonia Copeland

Savannah Jordan breaks away during the Banner County game against Bayard.

The Banner County Lady Wildcats split the week beginning with a 35-30 win against the Minatare Indians on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Though no statistics are available, coach Chad Miller said that the team knew going into the game that Minatare would be much improved and would provide several challenges for the Banner County girls.

"Fortunately we were able to draw a lot of fouls and get them into foul trouble early. However, we too had a few ladies get into foul trouble of their own but we had players that were ready to step into those roles off the bench and provide us with much needed minutes," Miller said. "We had spurts where we would get some breathing room, score-wise, but then also see those leads diminish quickly through incorrect decision making."

Miller added that despite mistakes, the Lady Cats approach each game and every opportunity with the right attitude to learn, grow and win.

"Our ladies were very resilient by shaking off our mistakes and refocus themselves on the tasks at hand. That has been the makeup of our team through these first three games. A never say die attitude and a, "I'm going to do whatever I can for the betterment of our team," mentality," he said.

Banner County 10 6 10 9 – 35

Minatare 10 6 7 7 – 30

With just two days to recover and practice, the Lady Cats hosted Bayard and though they offered their guests a hard fight, the Tigers walked away with a 51-36 win against the home team.

Half time showed Bayard up just two points, 19-17, but the Lady Tigers came back in the third quarter with renewed vigor leaping ahead 37-20.

The Banner County girls rallied in the fourth to close the gap, but their efforts proved insufficient.

"We had three really exciting quarters of basketball and one where we just fell out of sync. Unfortunately for us we were unable to fully recover from that hole we dug ourselves into, however, I have no doubt that our ladies will learn from that experience and become even stronger in the near future," Miller said. "These student-athletes give everything they have on the court and you can never say anything negative about their efforts. Physically we are prepared to lace them up with any team, we just still have a ways to go when it comes to the mental nuances of the game and the psychological preparations it takes to consistently make the correct decisions on the court at game speed. Fortunately for us we have very coachable players that are wanting to learn and get better and that is very exciting to see as a coach and a fan."

Tonia Copeland

MaKenna Dahlgrin uses height and a great vertical jump to block the pass of a Bayard player during the Banner County home game against Bayard on Thursday, Dec. 8.

Banner County 8 9 3 16 – 36

Bayard 3 16 18 14 – 51

With just one day of rest, the Lady Cats bested the Pawnee Coyotes 49-33 in Grover, Colo., on Saturday, Dec. 10.

While pleased with his team, coach Miller kept his comments short following a tough week that tested and proved the Lady Cats.

"We are still in the early stages of the season and currently progressing on developing an identity that we want to be known for," he said.

Banner County 14 14 19 2 – 49

Pawnee 5 6 3 19 – 33


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