WYOMING – Regular conference play opened last weekend, pitting the Wranglers against the top-ranked schools in the 3A Southwest Quadrant, Mountain View on Jan. 22 and Lyman on Jan. 23.
Pinedale’s young starting lineup fought hard against two teams stacked with seasoned seniors, but ultimately fell to Mountain View, 69-27, and Lyman, 78-37.
“I’m proud of how we battled against two bigger and older teams this weekend,” said head coach Marcus Helland. “The players trusted their coaches and were more consistent attacking pressure on Saturday at Lyman. Moving forward, we need to limit our mental mistakes and be more consistent with good basketball decisions.”
The Buffaloes’ senior-dominated starting lineup hit the ground running in the first quarter, shooting in 22 points while holding the Wranglers to eight.
Freshman Owen McMillen put the Wranglers on the scoreboard, tossing in a pair of deep 3-pointers and a 2-pointer.
Mountain View outscored Pinedale in the second quarter, 15-8. Junior Gaige Zook stepped up with a pair of shots from outside the perimeter.
The Buffaloes maintained their lead into the third quarter, scoring 19 points to eight from Pinedale. Freshman Josh Gosar pulled off double 2-pointers, drew a foul on the second shot and made good on the free throw. Sophomore Michael Hosler added a 3-pointer to the tally.
Pinedale’s offense struggled to keep up with Mountain View’s intensity in the final quarter. Zook and freshman Bridger Kaiser kept the team on the scoreboard.
McMillen led the scoring spread against the Buffalos with eight points. Gosar and Zook both shot in seven points. Hosler rounded out scoring with three points while Kaiser added two points.
The Eagles launched a strong offensive during the first quarter and outscored the Wranglers, 24-10. McMillen answered back with eight points, including a game-opening 3-pointer. Sophomore Colby Bailey made good on two free throws and Gosar ended the quarter forcing turnover with a steal.
Lyman pulled ahead in the second quarter, scoring 16 points to eight from Pinedale. Kaiser shot in a deep 3-pointer early in the quarter. Junior Jackson Harber entered the fray and scored a 2-pointer.
Refusing to call it quits after a bruising first half, the Wrangler offense ramped up its intensity in the third quarter to score 15 points. Kaiser made good on a breakaway 2-pointer after stealing the ball.
Junior Tim Hosler caught a rebound, setting McMillen up to make his second 3-pointer of the quarter. Gosar made one shot inside the perimeter and one from the outside.
Lyman steamed ahead in the fourth quarter. Gosar and Tim Hosler, making a shot after grabbing an offensive rebound, kept the Wranglers on the scoreboard.
McMillen shot in 18 points against Lyman. Gosar tossed in eight points and Kaiser added five. Bailey, Harber and Tim Hosler each added two points to the roster.