LANDER/RIVERTON – The Pinedale High School (PHS) Wrangler boys’ basketball team tied the Powell Panthers, 41-41, at the end of regulation during the three-day Bruce Strannigan Memorial Tournament in Riverton and Lander on Dec. 8-10.
The game remained a stalemate, 49-49, after the first overtime period.
Taking possession in the second overtime period, PHS junior Brody Hamby netted a deep outside shot to pull Pinedale ahead.
Powell scored 3 points from the charity stripe. Senior Colby Bailey responded with a layup. Powell then scored an inside shot.
Fellow senior Michael Hosler rebounded a Powell miss. Drawing a foul, junior Owen McMillen closed the gap with a free throw.
McMillen rebounded the ball and passed it down to Bailey. Bailey drew a foul and scored both free throws to place Pinedale back in the lead, 57-55.
Defensive pressure by Bailey resulted in a turnover as the final seconds counted down. Bailey found himself at the charity stripe again and netted another free throw.
Pinedale beat the defending 3A West Conference Champion, Powell, 58-55. The Wrangler sideline erupted. Pinedale’s starting lineup had just overcome a significant hurdle and found redemption after falling to the Panthers the previous two seasons.
The Wranglers’ victory reflected the team’s continued growth and proved its ability to inflict serious damage this season.
On the opening day of the tournament – Thursday, Dec. 8 – Pinedale scored a decisive 68-47 victory against 3A opponent Rawlins. The Wranglers fell to 4A Riverton, 77-55, on Friday, Dec. 9, though not without a fight.
Head Coach Marcus Helland expressed pride in the team’s success.
“Every athlete brought energy and effort on both ends of the floor,” he said. “We shared the ball well all weekend and had several spurts of great team defense. There is still a lot to improve going forward, but these young men are excited about getting better and playing for each other.”
Pinedale trounced the Outlaws in the first quarter, 18-8. Junior Josh Gosar opened scoring for Pinedale with a close-range shot.
Junior Bridger Kaiser made two baskets from the charity stripe. Hosler followed with a pair of free throws.
McMillen sunk a deep 3-pointer. Bailey netted a layup. Hamby scored his first outside shot. Kaiser and Bailey rounded out scoring from the free-throw line.
Pinedale continued to hammer away at the Outlaws in the second quarter, outscoring Rawlins, 19-8. Hamby sunk a 3-pointer and Bailey scored from inside the perimeter.
Defensive pressure by sophomore Noah Sletten led to a turnover and set Kaiser up to score a 4-point run.
Sletten made good on a pair of free throws. Hosler sunk a 3-pointer and McMillen netted 5 points.
Pinedale dominated at halftime, 37-16.
Rawlins matched the Wranglers in scoring through the second half.
McMillen tossed in a deep 3-pointer to begin the third quarter. Gosar, Bailey and Kaiser each sunk a close-range shot.
McMillen rustled a steal and Gosar scored 2 points from the charity stripe. Bailey forced a turnover and netted a layup.
Hamby scored a pair of outside shots in the fourth quarter. Kaiser went on a 4-point run. Junior Jayce Ramage broke through the perimeter to score. Kaiser made a layup and Bailey and Hamby both scored after rebounding free throws.
Kaiser led the Wranglers in scoring with 15 points. Hamby netted 14 points, Bailey 13, McMillen 11, Gosar 6, Hosler 5, with 2 apiece from Ramage and Sletten.
Pinedale led, 12-7, after a physical first quarter. Gosar netted an outside shot and converted an and-1. Hamby and McMillen both scored outside shots.
Powell edged up in the second period with 9 points to 6 from Pinedale. Ramage snatched a steal early in the quarter. Kaiser scored all 6 points for the Wranglers.
Pinedale led by a narrow margin, 18-16, at halftime.
Powell took over in the third period with an outside shot. McMillen responded with a 4-point run. Gosar tossed in a jumper and two 3-pointers to pull Pinedale back into the lead.
The fourth quarter came down to the wire. Kaiser scored two free throws and Gosar netted a layup. Hamby tossed in a close-range shot to keep Pinedale ahead with 4 minutes remaining in regulation. Ramage and Kaiser both grabbed steals. McMillen scored a layup.
Powell sunk an inside shot to tie the game, 41-41, at the end of regulation.
The game remained neck-and-neck through the first and second overtime periods until Pinedale took the lead with Bailey shooting from the charity stripe.
Gosar led scoring against Powell with 20 points. Hamby tossed in 11 points, McMillen and Kaiser each 10 and Bailey 7.