SIDNEY, Neb. – The Torrington High School girls’ basketball team went 1-1 at the Cabela’s Holiday Tournament in Sidney.
After the tournament was pushed back due to winter weather, the Lady Blazers opened the two-day event with a 70-38 win over Gordon-Rushville on Monday, Dec. 30 before falling 64-41 to Sidney in the championship game the next day.
“We played pretty well all weekend, finally,” THS coach Jeff Halley said.
On Monday, the Lady Blazers came into the game feeling they had a size and experience advantage on Gordon-Rushville.
A 44-18 run highlighted the victory for Torrington, while the Lady Blazers also controlled the rebounds.
THS racked up 29 offensive rebounds while grabbing 53 total.
“We didn’t shoot well, but we flat out dominated the boards,” Halley said. “We needed one of those to learn how to beat people and make sure it’s over.”
Everyone on the Lady Blazer roster found the scoring column in the win, led by sophomore A.J. West with 13, while sophomore Reece Halley added 11. Senior Dani Masterson and sophomore Mattie Jones had 10 each.
Senior Chloe Krick led THS with 11 rebounds, while Masterson tallied eight steals.
The next day, the Lady Blazers came up short in the championship game against the host Sidney Lady Red Raiders.
“Sidney is a good basketball team. We knew we’d have to play one of our best games of the year to have a chance to beat them,” Jeff Halley said. “We really did some good stuff for the first half.”
Torrington was only down four late in the second quarter before Sidney hit a trey, pushing its lead to seven just before halftime.
The game started to slip away from the Lady Blazers in the second half.
“They are a big, strong, physical team, and with the way it played out, the officials let it be a physical ballgame. It took a toll on our kids,” Jeff Halley said. “They started getting frustrated and a little beat up.”
By the end of the third, Torrington trailed 49-39, but the Lady Blazers only scored a pair of free throws over the final eight minutes.
Reece Halley led the team with 14 points, while junior Michaela Moorehouse added seven.
“I was tickled with the way we played,” Jeff Halley said. “I would guess, it was our best game of the year so far. It was even better than the Gordon-Rushville game. We did a lot more things right because we had to.”
However, Halley also said there is still plenty of work to be done as they begin 3A East play on Friday, Nov. 10 in Newcastle.
“One thing we have to fix is our shooting,” he said. “It was a problem last year. We have to do better with the bunnies and the free throws. It’s going to jump up and bite us one of these days.”
The Lady Blazers shot 33 percent from the floor while going 18 of 48 from the free-throw line at the tournament.
The Lady Blazers (2-4) resumes play at Newcastle on Friday, Jan. 10. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.