that I was going to make that [shot]."
to give Wheatland its final lead.
"I believed Air Force 1 Low Flyknit
Hellbaum finished with a game high 19 points and added 12 rebounds; de Ryk finished with eight points.
But when Wheatland coach Bard Phifer called de Ryk's option on the Bulldogs' inbound play with 39 seconds left on Saturday, de Ryk only knew one thing.
"I was just like, 'I am not going to miss that,'" de Ryk said. "Because I had missed so many and I don't know what was going through my head.
But Wheatland (23 4 overall) wouldn't have had the option to seal a second consecutive state title if it hadn't been for McKenzie Hellbaum. After Rawlins held Hellbaum to just five points in the first half, the Bulldogs senior scored 14 in the second half, including a bucket with 1 minute, 53 seconds left Nike Air Force Flyknit Multicolor
"We just didn't have quite enough stops the second half."
Wheatland returned nearly everyone from last year's Nike Air Force One Duck Boot title team and certainly had high expectations heading into the season. But Phifer said his senior group eight total will be tough to Nike Air Force Red Suede
"I'm so proud of them," Cline said of her team.
Late bucket lifts Wheatland to title
"We shut [Hellbaum] down pretty well that first half," Rawlins coach Katie Cline said. "She's their go to player. She handles that pressure very well.
A 3 pointer from Outlaws junior Catie McFarland tied the game at 33 33 late in the third quarter and she added another for a 36 35 lead with less than six minutes to play, but Rawlins converted just one field goal down the stretch.
"We love that set when they do that," Phifer said of the defensive pressure, "we get that cowboy cut off the back door and Natalie hit the shot."
Still, for a program that won two games the year prior to Cline's arrival, the Outlaws only fell short of completing a dream season. The turnaround has already been accomplished.
Rawlins (19 8) also didn't make enough shots. The Outlaws shot just 21 percent (13 of 61) for the game and just 11 percent (2 of 17) from downtown. Rawlins built a 23 16 halftime lead behind senior Madison Forney who finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds but saw Wheatland being its charge in the third quarter.
Her bucket off an inbound feed from fellow senior Chelsey Mudgett proved to be the key basket in the Bulldogs' 49 44 victory against Rawlins in the Class 3A state championship game of the Wyoming State High School Championships at the Casper Events Center. With the Outlaws in close pressure on Mudgett and the rest of the Bulldogs, Phifer called de Ryk's option "31." The Wheatland senior slipped behind the Rawlins defense for an easy backside bucket to give Wheatland a 47 44 lead.
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