ROCK SPRINGS – One night after qualifying for the state tournament, the Rock Springs Lady Tigers continued its strong play as they moved into the 4A West Regional finals with a win over second-seed Kelly Walsh, 66-57.
The two teams needed extra time to decide a winner but the overtime period belonged to the Lady Tigers. Rock Springs scored 12 in OT while holding the Lady Trojans to only three points.
Rock Springs started fast and jumped out to a 9-0 lead behind buckets by Maggie Justinak, Taylor Jenkins and Ky Buell. Kelly Walsh finished the first quarter on a 6-2 run with the only points coming from Emily Quigley. The Lady Trojans continued to run to start the second with the first seven points. Buell connected on a three to end the run and points by Selena Cudney and Sarye Thomas in the final minutes of the second gave Rock Springs the 24-18 lead at the break.
Jenkins opened the third with a bucket for Rock Springs but the Lady Trojans scored the next nine to take the lead. Quigley ended the run and a three-point play by Justinak put the Lady Tigers back in front, 33-29. Kelly Walsh came right back and scored with eight seconds left to take a 38-36 lead heading into the final quarter.
Cudney started the fourth strong and sparked a 9-0 run. It was Kelly Walsh’s turn as they battled back to within one with a minute left. After a Cudney free throw put RSHS up two, the Lady Trojans tied it at 52. Justinak took control and a strong drive with 15 seconds left had the Lady Tigers in the driver’s seat, 54-52. A foul with 10 seconds left put KW at the line and they evened the game sending it to overtime.
In the extra period, Buell, Justinak and Quigley came up big to send the Lady Tigers to the title game. Justinak led the way with 23 points while Buell followed her 27-point outburst on Thursday to finish with 15 points, 7 rebounds and seven assists. A key to the Rock Springs win was on the boards with Jenkins, Quigley and Cudney leading the way. Quigley finished with a double-double scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while Cudney finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Jenkins added six boards in the win.
The Lady Tigers will play for the title at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Rock Springs High School and will either face No. 1 seed Natrona or Evanston.
Rock Springs High School
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