It’s always good to beat your rivals, and the Lady Wolverines did just that in a gritty 33-26 win over visiting Lander Tuesday evening at Wolverine Gym.
The game was close from the opening tip, but the difference came in the play of junior guard Paizley Jackson who tallied almost half of Riverton’s 33 points with 16 points off drives, close-range pull-up jumpers, and free throws.
The Lady Wolverines opened the game with a steady seven points from Jackson and a follow shot by Ella Judd to hold a tenuous 9-5 lead in a very low scoring first quarter.
The Lady Tigers countered with senior Megan Winfield supplying most of the early offense. Winfield played a similar role to Jackson in scoring almost half of Lander’s points on the game with a dozen.
Riverton battled on the boards, worked their half court offense, and had open perimeter shots, but most of them clanked off the rim short, including a couple of air balls from long range.
Lander had more options inside with Winfield and 6-0 freshman post Adelyn Anderson.
It was an Anderson follow shot with just 12 seconds remaining in the opening half that cut Riverton’s lead to 19-12 at the break.
Lander closed to 19-15 in the early third period but a 3-pointer by Macee Brown gave Riverton a little breathing room.
A Jackson follow shot and a pair of Olivia Bradley free throws gave the Lady Wolverines their largest lead of the night at 31-20 with 4:17 remaining in the game.
A 3-pointer by Winfield and a follow shot by Anderson cut the margin to 31-26 with just 51 seconds remaining, but that was as close as the Lady Tigers would get.
Jackson hit a pair of free throws when Lander was forced to foul to stop Riverton’s delay game for the final 33-26 decision.
Jackson was the only Wolverine in double-figures, but Brown and Taelyn Leseberg each added 3-point shots, and nine girls either scored or had free throw attempts on the game.
Winfield’s 12 led the Lady Tigers and Anderson finished with seven. Darian Bell added a 3-point shot.
Riverton has a tall challenge waiting Saturday in Cheyenne when they play the East Thunderbirds in a game rescheduled for recent storms.
Lander plays two tough conference opponents traveling to Pinedale on Friday then hosting Lyman on Saturday.
Riverton 9 10 6 8 – 33
Lander 5 7 8 6 – 26
Riverton – Olivia Bradley 2-3 2, Macee Brown (1) 0-0 3, McAye Fegler 0-2 0, Ella Judd 1 0-0 2, Wetu Cloud Horse 1 1-2 3, Hailey Engstrom 0-4 0, Taelyn Leseberg (1) 0-0 3, Paizley Jackson 6 4-5 16, Rylee Johnson 1 2-2 4. Totals 9 (2) 9-18 33
Lander – Darian Bell (1) 0-0 3, Aislynn Donahue 1 0-4 2, Layla Norse 1 0-0 2, Megan Winfield 2 (2) 2-3 12, Adelyn Anderson 3 1-3 7. Totals 7 (3) 3-10 26