Lady Devils made believers out of many
By Jamie Ausk Crisafulli
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Lady Red Devils Coach Kayla Rivas never stopped believing in what she knew her team was capable of doing this season and her team took note.
The Lady Red Devils made believers out of everyone when they doubled their number of wins during the season in just three days of play at the Divisional Basketball Tournament in Billings last week.
The team found success by “believing in themselves, believing in the system, believing in each other, they bought in all year to what we were teaching them,” Rivas said Tuesday. “They kept on believing and by the end they were playing their best basketball.”
Rivas said her team’s goal heading into the tournament was no different than it had been all year long: to play Saturday night of the divisional tournament.
Considering the team’s 3-7 conference record and the fact that a Saturday night divisional game could potentially have been their sixth of the tournament, many may have questioned that goal. But Rivas and her players and coaching staff believed they could, and they nearly did.
The Lady Devil’s tournament action started with a tournament play-in game against Park High Wednesday. DCHS won that game 43-38.
Thursday morning the Lady Devils won again, this time defeating Fergus High 38-32. They then lost to Hardin, the eventual divisional champions, 62-44 Thursday night.
Friday morning the Lady Devils took on Billings Central in what was likely the highlight of the tournament for most DCHS fans, as the Lady Devils defeated the Lady Rams 55-49 to advance to Saturday morning play. The DCHS team’s season ended with a 42-25 loss to Laurel Saturday morning.
Rivas said the team’s three seniors – Wyniah Mintz, Carrie Nagle and Taya Torres – pushed the Lady Devils to their win over Billings Central Friday morning.
“I can tell you that without them we wouldn’t have been playing on Saturday morning,” Rivas noted. The three seniors had 33 of DCHS’s points in the 55-49 win over the Lady Rams.
The senior trio is the first group of players who has had Rivas as a coach for their entire high school career.
Rivas noted that there were bumps along the way during the last four years, but the ending was the payoff her seniors can be proud of.
“For as much as a rollercoaster their four years have been, they couldn’t have set a better example this of week of what we’re trying to do,” she said.
The three seniors started for the Lady Devils and led in many areas on the team. With just one junior playing for the team this year, the underclassman will be filling spots left behind by this year’s seniors.
But those seniors and their varsity teammates leave something behind that Rivas expects will last well into the next season: “They made believers out of so many, including the returners.”
And heading into the post season and summer ball is just a little easier, as the Lady Devils end this season knowing what they’re capable of, she noted.
As the team looks to next season, the DCHS coach is telling her returners to be proud of their accomplishments in 2017 without settling, and “don’t let too much time go by without getting a ball back in your hands.”
“(This year’s team) started something for you guys this week that we expect you to finish in 2018,” Rivas said.
While Rivas reflects on the milestones she and her team have reached in the last four years, she finds herself with mixed emotions.
“It’s just one of those years that you’re really sad when it’s over, but I’m looking forward .. our future is bright,” Rivas said.
Glendive 43, Livingston 38
Livingston 10 9 17 2 - 38
Glendive 11 11 10 11 - 43
Livingston: Larissa Saarel 13, Danielle Babcox 4, Josie Jesson 6, Lauren Emter 4, Shania Johnson 3, Abby Kokot 8.
Glendive: Kendra Kaufman 5, Jayley Wyse 3, Wyniah Mintz 11, Karsen Murphy 6, Carrie Nagle 18.
Glendive 38, Lewistown 32
Glendive 0 8 10 6 - 38
Lewistown 0 8 5 7 - 32
Glendive: Kendra Kaufman 6, Thea Robson 1, Jayley Wyse 2, Wyniah Mintz 10, Bailey Pearcy 4, Taya Torres 3, Karsen Murphy 5, Carrie Nagle 7.
Lewistown: Gracia Butcher 2, Hanna Hayes 13, Haydn Potter 5, Kaitlyn Anderson 3, Ajiah Ross 2, Anna Zimmer 7.
Hardin 62, Glendive 44
Glendive 6 14 10 14 - 44
Hardin 20 20 11 11 - 62
Glendive: Kendra Kaufman 2, Thea Robson 7, Jayley Wyse 3, Wyniah Mintz 18, Bailey Pearcy 2, Karsen Murphy 2, Savannah Toms 6, Carrie Nagle 4.
Hardin: Madisan Chavez 15, Sharmayne Hardy 2, Trahnea Phelan 8, Karissa DuShane 12, Aubrey Meiwald 19, Imani Kindness 2, Arena Plenty 2, Marie Five 2.
Glendive 55, Billings Central 49
Billings Central 17 10 7 15 - 49
Glendive 15 18 12 10 - 55
Billings Central: Zoie Althoff 10, Tess Hansen 2, Chloe Paharik 2, Jillian Hardenbrook 13, Camryn Gunderson 9, Josie Snyder 9, Olivia Moten-Schell 4.
Glendive: Kendra Kaufman 4, Thea Robson 5, Jayley Wyse 4, Wyniah Mintz 10, Taya Torres 10, Karsen Murphy 7, Carrie Nagle 13.
Laurel 42, Glendive 25
Glendive 2 5 8 10 - 25
Laurel 13 12 8 9 - 42
Glendive: Thea Robson 4, Wyniah Mintz 9, Taya Torres 2, Karsen Murphy 6, Carrie Nagle 4.
Laurel: Rylee Clark 9, Apen Cotter 12, Paige O’Toole 2, Dakota Boehler 3, McKenna Robertus, Sammi Spitzer 5, Ellie Kildahl 9.