Even missing players can’t stop the Lady Cats’ unbeatable streak as they clawed through wins against Newcastle 69-46 Friday and Cheyenne South 68-39 Saturday.
Team staples senior Brynn Zwetzig and junior Chloe Collins were missing from the lineups Friday and Saturday, respectively, which may have resulted in some fewer points on the scoreboard than usual, but didn’t seem to have a lasting effect in either game.
“Our rotations were just a little bit different,” head coach Cody Helenbolt said. The (less experienced) kids we had kind of just had to tough it out and play more minutes.”
Though they lacked Collins Friday, Douglas displayed their all-too-known early fire, tripling Newcastle’s score 18-6 in the first quarter.
The Lady Cats continued to out-score their conference opponents in every quarter, but Helenbolt marveled at the Dogies’ ability to sink long shots, even though they were almost always contested by the Lady Cats.
“Newcastle kept hitting three point shots all game,” he said. “It was pretty close. But we were able to get up early in the first quarter. It was a consistent game, a complete game. We were never dominating. It’s good for us to have to do that once in a while.”
Helenbolt mentioned that, in his 12 years of coaching, Newcastle has always played exceptionally well at home.
“Especially against us they kind of know they have to hit those outside shots,” Helenbolt said, with a sizeable nod to Douglas’ post Allyson Fertig, who scored 33 points and is statistically the top player in 3A, “so it gives them a little more confidence to do so.
“She’s kind of the anchor to our defense, and teams are smart enough to know that.”
Along with Fertig, senior pointguard Joslin Igo played exceptionally well, dropping five three-pointers, Helenbolt said.
Junior Allison Olsen also stood out, as she narrowly trailed Igo with 14 points.
Against the 4A Cheyenne South squad Saturday, the 3A Lady Cats didn’t play great in the first quarter, but the undefeated Douglas team made up for it during the rest of the game, despite lacking Zwetzig, Helenbolt said.
“(Cheyenne South) has been playing pretty tough. To be able to take control of that game was pretty good for us,” he said.
Helenbolt praised Fertig, who led the game with 26 points, as well as Kamdynn Townsend, who followed with 23, and Collins, who racked up 19.
Townsend didn’t score in the Newcastle game – an anomaly for the generally reliable scorer for the Douglas blue – so Helenbolt was especially proud of her ability to bounce back so quickly against Cheyenne South.
Helenbolt was also impressed with Collins for missing the Newcastle game but coming back strong the next day and putting up double digits.
Douglas will next host Rawlins at home Friday and travel to face Burns Saturday. Both are non-conference games.