The HEM Lady Miners placed second in the 1A East Regional Tournament in Laramie last weekend and will go to the state tournament in Casper. The HEM girls’ basketball team has not participated in state tournament play since 2007.
Their coach, Jackie Jones, said, “The girls have earned their way to state by having amazing team work and always proving themselves with hard work. The Lady Miners have had a goal all season to qualify for the state tournament, and with the tremendous senior leadership displayed at the regional tournament, that goal was achieved. The win against Midwest started things off in a big way with all ten members of the team contributing. The state qualifying win against Kaycee was a momentum roller coaster that will go down in the history of Lady Miner basketball. The girls once again gave it their all in the regional championship game but came up short against Upton. The game was a dead even tie with the exception of a three-and-a-half minute run in the second quarter by the Bobcats.
Our team and coaching staff were beyond words with the support the girls received over the course of the tournament. Our fans filled the stands and fully supported our team and our boys, as well. The parade in Medicine Bow, the sheriff escort to Hanna, and the culminating parade through Hanna all brought many tears to our eyes. The team knows how much our communities love our kids! We should all commend these young ladies for years of hard work that has led us to this wonderful achievement.”
The Lady Miners, who came into the tournament as the number one seed in the southeast conference, steamrollered Midwest Oilers (#4 NE) on Thursday with a 66-to-31 point win. Senior forward Shelby Bowen was the top scorer with 19 points. Senior Maggie Johnson made 16 points, senior Brittany Dys 13, and junior Haley Clark 12. The win pitted them against the Kaycee Lady Bucs, number two seed in the northeast conference. The first half was all Lady Miners. The Bucs were not on the scoreboard at all until about 5 minutes to go in the half when Kaycee’s Ashley Tehau put in a couple of free throws, making it 21 to 2. At halftime the score was 28 to 9 Lady Miners, but it was a whole new ballgame in the second half. The momentum shifted in favor of the Bucs, as their shots started falling in. With the Bucs’ full-court zone press frustrating the HEM offense and with Lady Miners’ Haley Clark, Darby Bowen, and Brittany Dys spending time on the bench in foul trouble, the Bucs steadily chiseled away at the lead until at the start of the fourth quarter they had 31 points to the Miners 36. The Miners dug in. Guard Maggie Johnson had success breaking the press by attacking the middle. Cheyenne Hunter was fouled twice and made four out of four vital free throw points towards the end of the game. The Lady Miners hung on to win, 43 to 41, and qualified for the state tournament. Seniors Maggie Johnson and Shelby Bowen made 13 points each and Cheyenne Tomkins 7 points. It was a happy night for the Lady Miners team, parents, and many supporters.
On Saturday, the Lady Miners faced the Upton Bobcats, number one seed in the northwest conference, in the game for first or second place in the 2015 East Regionals. The HEM girls played tough, but foul trouble and the deadly free throw shooting of the Bobcats proved too much, and the game ended 55 to 43 in Upton’s favor. Maggie Johnson made 12 points, Haley Clark 9, Brittany Dys 8, and Shelby Bowen 7, Cheyenne Tomkins 4, Darby Bowen 2, Cheyenne Hunter 1. The Bobcats finished in first place in East Regional Tournament and the Lady Miners in second place.
The communities of Hanna, Elk Mountain, and Medicine Bow turned out in droves to cheer for the Miner boys’ and girls’ basketball teams in the tournament play in Laramie, and the girls received a world-class welcome home Saturday night. Their bus was met by a sheriffs’ escort on the way home on highway 30. The Medicine Bow fire department led them through Bow as town residents beeped car horns and cheered. The bus was met at Hanna junction by five Carbon County fire department trucks and a town police car who led the bus and a parade of thirty-plus cars through Hanna and Elmo and then back again to the high school. Miner supporters then leaped out of their cars into the frigid cold to form a “tunnel of love” to enclose the HEM girls team as the exited the bus. Imagine what might happen if the girls do well at state!
The Carbon County fire and ambulance service, the sheriffs, the Hanna town marshals, the Medicine Bow fire department, the county dispatchers, and all the Miner supporters deserve a big thank you for their warm welcome of the Lady Miners.
Go Lady Miners!!!!
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