TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School girls’ basketball team opened 3A Southeast Quadrant play with a pair of wins over Wheatland and Burns over the weekend.
“We talked about it all week, it doesn’t have to be pretty, but it has to be a win,” THS coach Jeff Halley said. “They took it to heart because it wasn’t pretty.”
On Friday, the Lady Blazers knocked off Wheatland 34-30.
The teams swapped the lead six times in the first half, but a 6-0 spurt by the Lady Bulldogs gave the visitors an 18-12 lead at the half.
It proved to be the largest lead for either team over the course of the entire game.
Coming out of the locker room, the Lady Blazers chipped away at the deficit over the next nine minutes.
“We finally played some good defense,” Halley said. “We knew they have two really good threats in (Danielle) Brow and (Khalya) Otero. We did a better job of recognizing where (Brow) went. We harassed her a lot and didn’t allow her to have free runs and free shots.”
With 7:25 left in the game, Torrington sophomore Reece Halley tied the game at 23, and on the ensuing possession, Lady Blazer A.J. West stole the ball and layed it in, giving Torrington its first lead since midway through the first quarter.
Torrington never trailed for the remainder of the game.
Otero briefly tied the game, knocking down 2-of-3 from the free throw line, but 30 seconds later, Lady Blazer senior Chloe Krick broke the tie.
Krick’s bucket was the start of a 7-2 run by the Blazers over the next four minutes.
Torrington went 4-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final two minutes to help lock up the win.
“Our defense was good tonight, and our offense was awful. We have to get our mojo back shooting the ball,” Halley said. “A quad win is huge. We are going to have battles with them all year, and realistically, you want that No. 1 seed so you can stay away from Douglas.”
Reece Halley led Torrington with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Krick added six. Senior Sam Hill and sophomore A.J. West tossed in five apiece.
On Saturday, Torrington returned to the road to face Burns, and the Lady Blazers defeated the Lady Broncs, 46-34.
Torrington limited Burns to only five points in the first half.
“We really came out and played some great defense the first half,” Halley said. “We did a nice job of keeping their scorers in check and rebounded well.”
The Lady Blazers led 23-5 at the break, but the Lady Broncs cut into the deficit over the course of the final 16 minutes of play. Burns had the deficit down to 12 by the final horn, outscoring the Lady Blazers 29-23 in the final two quarters.
“We got in a little foul trouble, and turned the ball over a little bit, but overall, I thought we put together a pretty good game, getting a lead of nearly 30 points at one time and holding that lead to 20 with one minute left,” Halley said.
Sophomore Mattie Jones led Torrington with 10 points, while Halley added nine and Hill eight.
“This weekend was a great start for us in our quad,” Halley said. “We will need to keep that rolling this next week with Rawlins for the lead for that one seed after one round against everyone.”
Torrington (6-5 overall and 2-0 3A Southeast Quad) will host the Rawlins Lady Outlaws (7-7 and 2-0) on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.