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Front Page » March 3, 2009 » Emery Sports » Green River Lady Pirates 8th in state
Published 2,092 days ago

Green River Lady Pirates 8th in state


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By GARY ARRINGTON and EUGENE SWALBERG
Sports Writers

The Green River Lady Pirates returned to a familiar venue the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield that has been both kind and cruel to them. They played what proved to be a very interesting game against the Altamont Lady Longhorns who they managed to beat on their home floor earlier in the season; but basketball is a great team sport that demands that each player give their all plus a little bit more to make an outcome the team desires. This might not have been one of those games.

The Lady Pirates hit the floor and kept the game competitive hitting the quarter mark tied at nine apiece and going into half time down by five. They came in the third quarter keeping it close until the last seconds. Down by four, with under a minute to go, Altamont hit a 3-pointer to get the crowd going. Green River goes down the floor and comes away with no score while Altamont hurries down the floor and launches one at the buzzer - 'nuttin but net' - ouch.

With the Pirates down by 10 going into the fourth quarter they had their work cut out for them. They ultimately went down by 12 but whittled it back to within a bucket or two. With just under a minute to play, Green River was down by four. Some good defense and a made basket by the Pirates, the score is now 45 to 47 with 21.4 seconds remaining, Altamont with the lead.

Both teams were feeling it now and the crowds for each team were ramping up the volume.

A missed shot underneath by the Pirates and needing to quickly foul to save what time remained put the Lady Longhorns to the line and they made them when they needed to. Final score, Lady Pirates 46; Lady Longhorns 50. This one hurt. This was a game the Pirates needed to win and they knew what they needed to do.

The game proved to have some interesting twists which will be chewed on for some time and then the lessons will be learned. In three quarters the Pirates scored 23 points. They scored 23 points in the fourth quarter. Brandi Webster who has led all scores for just about all season managed one field goal with no points from the charity stripe. Cady Mecham who has proven to be a force down low and has steadily improved as the season progressed busted out a career game with 23 point in the paint. Cady was on fire. The next highest point totals came from Courtney Carter with six points followed by Crosby Hatt with five. Tracy Engleman and Lindsay Spadafora each added four points with Brandi Webster adding two while Bailie Packer and Sarah Swalberg each added one.

Call me crazy, but in the sports world there's something magical about a win, it seems to set the world straight again. That's exactly what happened during the girls basketball game with Green River Lady Pirates against St. Joseph Lady Jayhawks. It was a battle of the beatens. Looser goes home and the winner survives for another day...the excitement of high school basketball.

The Lady Pirates were fired up and ready to take it to the Jayhawks. Talk on the ride to the SVC was of a desire to thrash their opponent in hopes of easing the pain of being where they were in the bracket. Well, come to find out early, the Lady Jawhawks must have had similar feelings because the game was anything but a blowout. The first quarter ended with the Pirates up by two with the scoring spread equally between Bailie Packer, Brandi Webster, Cady Mecham, Crosby Hatt and Lindsay Spadafora - the five starters.

During the second quarter, Lindsay Spadafora found her shot and added five more points while Brandi Webster added four. The Pirates left the floor at half time with a 25 to 14 lead.

It's a good thing the Pirates had a pretty good lead because the Jayhawks came out in the third quarter with a fire built under them. Their third quarter total of 15 points bested by one their previous two quarters; while the Pirates managed to put in 11 points to keep a lead.

The Lady Jayhawks wouldn't take a hint that the Pirates wanted this game pretty bad and they kept making plays. A timely 3-point shot late in the quarter brought it to with four points; while Brandi Webster and Crosby Hatt took over the fourth quarter scoring all nine points, six and three respectively.

Though the Pirates were hoping for a larger margin of victory, a win is a win and they were excited. They were still at State and were getting pumped to play Duchesne for the second time this year.

On Friday, Green River took on Duchesne and won again, this time by the score of 48-34. Brandi led the team with 14 points, all in the second half. Brandi picked up her third personal foul four minutes into the game and sat the rest of the first half as Duchesne built a 10 point lead at the half 24-14.

After narrowing the gap in the third quarter to a five point lead for Duchesne at 30-25, Green River blew them out in the final period to win going away. The Pirates won the fourth quarter 23-4. After having shot just under 50 percent from the free throw line in the first two days, Green River made 24 of 28 to finish this game at 86 percent.

After Lindsay scored on a baseline jumper with 4:30 to go in the game and the score tied at 32-32, Green River would only make free throws from this point on and they were 19 for 22 for the quarter.

Scoring in the game were Crosby with 11 points, Cady, Lindsay and Sarah with six points each, Tracy with three points and Bailie with two points.

There is a natural progression that happens in high school sports where seniors play their final game or finish their final event. This happened Saturday for four seniors who played their last game as Lady Pirates for the girls basketball program for Green River High School-Bailie Packer, Brandi Webster, Crosby Hatt and Lindsay Spadafora. It was a bittersweet day for each of the girls. Bitter in the fact that it was the last game and the fact that the score board showed them with less points than their opponent but oh, so sweet in the fact that they have each helped take their team to the State Championship games the past four years. This years trip to State had the girls losing their first game, winning the next two and losing the final game against the Lady Wayne High Badgers.

The first half began with both teams showing hustle, determination and some great defense which showed in the first quarter score of 10 to 6, favoring the Lady Badgers. The second quarter was much the same with the Badgers managing two points from the charity stripe and the Lady Pirates a field goal by Brandi Webster.

The second half saw the same hustle but with a bit more offense being spread around for the Lady Pirates with Brandi, Cady, Tracy and Lindsay each scoring in the third. But it wasn't enough against some lucky 3-point shots that have a remarkable way of impacting the score. The Badgers made the first tre, were fouled and put to the line to score three more points and then let another tre fly, to see it strike nothing but net. With 5:36 left in the third quarter the score is now 21 to 10 - a 9 to 2 run.

Now not all is lost though. The Lady Badgers coach wasn't at all pleased with a particular call and the referees had an ear full and called a technical foul against her, putting Brandi Webster on the line. Brandi made the two technical foul shots putting Lindsay Spadafora to shoot a pair and she made one of two. The Pirates got the next possession but were unable to capitalize ending a scoring opportunity for the Pirates.

The score with 44 seconds remaining was 33 to 29 for the Badgers but the Pirates couldn't close the gap and were forced to foul sending the Lady Badgers to the free throw line-and they didn't miss-final score 37 to 29.

Rich High School defeated Panguitch 47-32 for the title. The Green River High Lady Pirates finished eighth in the four-day tournament.

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