Three Lady Grizz all-conference, Bassett all-state

David Peck

A strong 16-12 season and a berth in the state tournament garnered the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies three selections to the Class 2A Northwest All-Conference team, along with one all-state team selection.
Sophomore Lauren Bassett was chosen for the Class 2A All-State team, and she is joined on the all-conference team by senior MacKelle Moss and junior Shelby Wambeke.
Bassett led the Lady Grizzlies in scoring and finished seventh in the state, averaging 12.4 points per game, and she also led the Lady Grizz in rebounding, tied for seventh in the state, pulling down 8.0 boards per game. She shot 44 percent from the field and 61 percent from the foul line.
“Lauren has a great motor and works super hard,” Rocky head coach Justin Moss said. “She’s kind of a workhorse on the team, one of the girls who stays after practice to shoot and gets after it in the offseason, too. She attends multiple camps and all of our summer workouts for footwork and weights. She comes to our summer leagues and team camps. She works hard all the time.
“She worked on her post moves all season long and during the summer. During the season there were stretches of offense when she’d carry us. We’d be up by six, then up by 12 as she would take over portions of the game.”
MacKelle Moss also had an all-state caliber season, finishing third in the state in blocked shots at 1.7 blocks per game and ninth in the conference in rebounding at 5.6 caroms per game, while also finishing second on the team in scoring at 7.2 points per game, tied for second on the team in steals at 2.3 per game and second on the team in assists (1.7 per game), which Coach Moss said is “crazy for a post.”
Moss shot 38 percent from the field, 41 percent from two-point range, at 58 percent from the foul line.
“MacKelle is one of the best leaders to come through our program,” Coach Moss said. “She sets the standard and helps other people get to her standard. She’ll reach out to younger players when they’re struggling. She’s competitive, will win every sprint (drill) in practice. She has great quickness and length and is one of the top defensive players in the state, maybe THE top defensive player in the state.
“She was the voice of our defensive team, calling out the defenses.”
Moss noted that MacKelle worked well with Bassett inside.
“We were able to do things because of the athleticism of our posts,” the coach said. “She was super positive and kept her head. She had 47 blocks and 49 fouls. She is a very complete player with her all-around game. Her attitude and effort was infectious. Sometimes having a dad for a coach can be difficult at times, but you wouldn’t know that with MacKelle. She always did what we asked her to do and always did her best.”
Wambeke was a strong point guard and defensive player, Coach Moss said. She averaged 5.5 points per game, 2.9 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.3 assists per game (sixth in the conference).
“Shelby has good speed, and she became the top ballhandler on our team,” Moss said. “We asked her to take on that role, and it’s a challenging role as a point guard in your first year doing it. She did a good job managing our team and keeping us all on the same page.
“She played great defense and never got screened. She wouldn’t allow herself to. She did a really good job pressuring the wings in our zone defense. She was quick on closeouts and would get into girls’ space, pressuring them and making them uncomfortable. I think she grew the most holistically, understanding the point guard role and creating shots for everybody.”
Known for her speed and tenacity, Moss said Wambeke showed up big time in some key games and “willed us to victory” in the state qualifying game at Regionals against Greybull with 15 points and great defense.
All in all, it was a good year, Moss said of his first season at the helm.
“Overall, these girls were fun to coach, and they worked hard,” he said. “We have a lot coming back. The tank’s not empty.”