Custer County girls fall 63-51 at Laurel

A slow start and a poor finish cursed the Custer County District High School girls basketball team in a 63-51 loss at Laurel on Saturday.

Coach Aaron Essex’s Cowgirls scored just five points in each of the first and fourth quarters, and couldn’t overcome 47 percent (8-17) shooting by Laurel from behind the three-point line.

After trailing 10-5 after one quarter, the Cowgirls held their own in the middle frames, trailing 34-32 at the half and 50-46 after three quarters.

Junior Kaelei Koenig, a 6’-1’’ post player, was a force in the paint for Custer County. She netted 21 points to pace the Cowgirls on 7-for-17 shooting.

Sophomore Kyra Oakland led Custer County on the boards, snaring a team-high nine rebounds.

Junior guard Ashley Venable and senior guard Jenna Swope added nine and eight points respectively to the Cowgirl attack.

Laurel outrebounded the Cowgirls 41-39, and shot 40 percent (20-50) from the floor compared to 30 percent (17-57) for Custer County.

Play was sloppy at times, with each squad committing 20 turnovers. Swope had three steals and a blocked shot for Custer County.

The Cowgirls return to action tonight at Billings West High School for a nonconference game. Varsity tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.