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Lady Buffalos fight through adversity into 1A’s third place

On December 20, the Panguitch Bobcats came into town, and ‘went to town’ on the cold and flu-ravaged Buffalo gals in both contests. In the JV game, 47-27, Andee Anderson paced the scoring with eight deuces, followed by Lindsey Franklin’s seven from one double and three of four from the line. Jane Jennings added two pairs, while Tess and Teagan Roundy each tossed-in a trey to go along with a lonesome two by Rachel Cox.

Kimber Reeve leaps with pony-tail flying into her shooting-motion around outstretched arms of her Bobcats’ opponent. Taking stock of her team at this stage of the season, as one of the two seniors, she concludes, “We’ve got a whole lot of freshmen and sophomores. And I think we’re doing good, like starting- up and becoming a team ... getting our basketball skills down. And I think we’re doing [really] good, in like, loving each other.” Photo by Jerry Melrose.

In the main card, with the Buffalos leading 15-12 after the first-quarter, following a tie at 21, they couldn’t keep up with the Cats’ 21-point second-quarter surge beyond Valley’s 11, making it 32- 26 midway. The fourth quarter found the exhausted Buffs scoring only six from Kimber Reeve and Lindsey’s identical solo deuce with one charity, while Panguitch tallied 23, including 11 of senior All-Star Tabetha Henrie’s 11 of her 28 on the night heading into their runaway 71-42 windfall, via eight scoring players.

For the valiant Valley ladies, Lindsey linked-up for 11, based on two doubles, one triple, and of her five free-throw attempts, making four [2-1-5-4]. Rachel had eight [1- 1-6-3] as Kimber [2- 0-7-3] and Lydia Cox [2-1-4-0] shared seven apiece. Andee contributed six [3-0-0-0] and Jane three [1-0-1-1].

Allowing for a brief respite from coughing, junior point-guard Rachel Cox graciously offered her view of the squad’s status looking toward 2024. “The whole season,” she puzzled. “We’re definitely a different team than last year; but I think we’re meshing very well. But as far as ‘team’ goes: We love each other a lot! The ‘basketball’ side will come; but, I’d rather love each other than be good at basketball, and [have to] learn to love each other. We’re doing good; we love the game; so, we love each other. Life will go on and we will do better. And I think we’re on the upside of the mountain, and I think we will no longer be on the downside. Coming toward the end of the season, we’ll be good and just keep going!”

And with his summary, Coach Dustin Cox spoke quietly, “We’re clicking: we’ve had some sickness. We lost Emma [Cox.] Emma’s got a broken ankle; so, Emma’s out for right now. We gotta’ see an orthopedic surgeon on December 27, to look at that. She’s an asset on the bench.

“The girls,” he notes. “We’ve had some sickness; the girls seem ‘tireder’ than before. And so, they fought hard; they worked hard. But Panguitch got the upper-hand on us in the third quarter and kind of pulled away from us. But Panguitch is tough; they looked good. But the girls are clicking along.” Then, through the strains of an intermittent cough, he cheered: “Merry Christmas!”

Currently, the 1A Region 20 standings are thus: #1 Bryce Valley undefeated at 5-0; #2 Panguitch at 4-1; #3 Valley at 3-2; #4 Milford at 2-3; #5 Wayne at 1-4 and #6 Escalante at 0-5.

The Buffalos have a full slate of away games entering the New Year. On Tuesday, January 2, at Parowan; on Thursday, January 4 at Wayne; and that Friday-Saturday at Wayne for their Sophomore Tournament. Their only remaining three home matches of the season will be on January 26, with Wayne, February 1 vs. Piute and February 2 against Escalante.




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