KEMMERER – Regular basketball conference play is well under way and pitted the Wranglers against 3A Southwest rival Kemmerer on Jan. 29. Starting the match strong, Pinedale dominated the first two quarters and led by eight points at halftime.
Kemmerer answered back in the second half, managing to pull ahead offensively for the win, 59-39.
“Friday night was a tale of two halves,” said head coach Marcus Helland. “We came out aggressive, ready to play Pinedale basketball and showed good habits that we’ve been working on every day in practice. In the second half, we looked a little timid. Shots didn’t fall, and Kemmerer’s size got to us. We are taking the positive out of Friday night and understanding how good we can be if we continue to create good habits and execute them in games.”
Wrangler offense and defense gelled during the first half. Pinedale shot in 14 points and held the Rangers to 10 in the first quarter.
Raising the intensity level in the second quarter, the Wranglers outscored Kemmerer, 16-12. The halftime score stood in Pinedale’s favor, 30-22.
Kemmerer’s offense rebounded in the third quarter and the Rangers sneaked up on the Wranglers to pull ahead by two points, 38-36. Kemmerer hammered away in the final quarter, dropping in 21 points while the Wranglers fought to get on the scoreboard.
Junior Gaige Zook and sophomore Michael Hosler led scoring against the Rangers with 10 points apiece. Freshman Josh Gosar added nine points to the tally while fellow freshman Jayce Ramage tossed in six points. Sophomore Colby Bailey and freshman Bridger Kaiser both rounded out the scorebook with two points.
Defensively, the Wranglers pulled off 11 steals. Zook grabbed three, while Gosar and Bailey played two steals apiece. Kaiser, Ramage, junior Jackson Harber and freshman Owen McMillen each snatched one steal.
The Wranglers played seven assists during the match. Zook, Gosar and Bailey each delivered a pair of assists. Gosar and Ramage caught six offensive and defensive rebounds. Hosler followed with five with McMillen finished the game with three rebounds.