CHEYENNE – Lindsey Forbes was so frustrated with her team’s defensive effort during a Friday night loss at Southeast that she didn’t mince words before Saturday’s contest with visiting Glenrock.
“She told us if we weren’t going to play defense, she was going to bench us and get some kids on the floor who wanted to play defense,” Pine Bluffs junior guard Jaden Shelit said.
That message resonated.
The Lady Hornets grabbed 16 steals and turned those added possessions into points during a 72-42 victory.
Shelit finished that contest with 30 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals. For the week, the junior guard averaged 20.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 2.7 assists to earn Prep Athlete of the Week honors from WyoSports’ Cheyenne staff.
Shelit’s week also included a performance of 21 points, seven rebounds and seven steals during a lopsided win at Kimball, Nebraska.
She entered last week as Class 2A’s fourth-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game. Shelit’s efforts last week upped that average to 14.8. She is one of the most prolific scorers in the state, but that’s not the part of her game she takes the most pride in.
“Rebounds, assists and steals are even more important because they create opportunities to score,” she said. “Without those, I don’t think basketball would be as fun. I’ve really tried to work on those other areas.
“I want to score, but that can’t be the only thing I focus on. I still need to rebound, get steals and get the ball to my teammates.”
Shelit – who earned all-state honors last winter – has always been a well-rounded player capable of filling up multiple columns on the stat sheet, Forbes said. The area where Shelit has grown the most isn’t easily quantifiable.
Shelit was the leading scorer on a state runner-up team rife with upperclassmen capable of scoring in double figures most nights. Those players were varsity veterans who nipped most problems in the bud before coaches had to tell them to. They all graduated, leaving Shelit as the Hornet with the most varsity experience.
“She has had to become a floor general and a vocal leader for us,” Forbes said. “She is not a real vocal person, so we had to have a conversation about how leading by example isn’t enough now.
“She’ll always lead by example, but we need someone on the floor who is going to vocally lead the team and help players through some things. She has been doing a great job and exactly what I expected from her.”
Getting there wasn’t easy. Like many new leaders, Shelit hasn’t always been comfortable speaking up among her peers.
“It’s not really natural for me,” she said. “It’s been hard for me to get my point across to people and have people take me seriously because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
“I’ve had to come to terms with the fact I might come across as not being very nice sometimes. If that’s what it takes for someone to understand what I’m saying, that’s what I have to do.”
Others recognized for their efforts include:
– Kelsey Basart and Baylee Delbridge, girls basketball, Cheyenne Central: Basart, a senior guard, averaged 12.5 pints to help the Lady Indians go 1-1 on the week.
Delbridge, also a senior guard, averaged 18.5 points.
– Cory Bomhoff, wrestling, Cheyenne Central: The sophomore scored a pin during Central’s 71-12 dual win over Cheyenne South on Tuesday. He also had a major decision in a 53-15 loss to Cheyenne East on Thursday.
– Graedyn Buell and Jake Rayl, boys basketball, Cheyenne East: Buell, a senior guard, averaged 25 points during the Thunderbirds’ wins over Thunder Basin and Campbell County.
Rayl, also a senior guard, averaged 17.5 points in those games.
– Andraya Dimas and Riley VanTassell, girls basketball, Cheyenne South: Dimas, a senior guard, averaged 21 points to help the Lady Bison to wins over Laramie and Sheridan.
Van Tassell, a senior forward, averaged 13 points in those games.
– Boden Liljedahl, girls basketball, East: The sophomore guard averaged 16.5 points to help the Lady Thunderbirds go 1-1 on the week.
– Jackson Kirkbride and Luke Lerwick, boys basketball, Burns: Kirkbride, a junior, scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds during the Broncs’ 55-27 victory over visiting Newcastle.
Lerwick, also a junior, netted 16 points in that win.
– Marcus Manzanares, boys basketball, Cheyenne South: The junior guard averaged 16 points during the Bison’s losses to Laramie and Sheridan.
– Nathanial Talich and Jackson Whitworth, boys basketball, Central: Talich, a junior guard, averaged 23 points to help the Indians go 1-1 on the week.
Whitworth, a sophomore guard, averaged 16.5 points in those games.
– Rylee Jo Ward, girls basketball, Burns: The junior guard scored 14 points in the Broncs’ 50-35 loss to Newcastle on Friday night.