PINEDALE – The Wranglers scrapped it out against Kemmerer in their final home game of the regular season on Feb. 19. The Rangers entered the fray with a starting lineup containing several players standing well over 6 feet.
Kemmerer used its size to take the initiative and establish a 16-point lead by halftime. Undeterred, the Wranglers found their footing and fought to close the gap, nearly overtaking their opponent in the third quarter. The Rangers managed to hold on to the lead in the final quarter to take the win, 76-60.
“We came out pretty timid, but became more aggressive as the game went on,” said head coach Marcus Helland. “Everyone did a great job taking care of the ball with a season low of nine turnovers. However, we knew going into the game that rebounding was going to be the deciding factor. We clearly didn’t rebound well enough to pull out a victory, but I’m proud of how hard our kids battled against a much larger team.”
Before the game, the team honored Doug Rodda during Senior Night.
Hitting the ground running, Kemmerer shot in a 10-point run until freshman Josh Gosar answered back with a deep 3-pointer. Freshman Bridger Kaiser caught a steal and followed that up with a 2-pointer.
The Rangers let loose in the second quarter, outscoring the Wranglers, 22-15. Junior Jackson Harber set the rhythm for Pinedale’s offensive with a pair of 2-pointers. Fellow junior Tim Hosler caught a rebound and found himself at the charity stripe for two free throws.
As the clock ticked down to halftime, freshman Owen McMillen scored a shot from outside the perimeter. The Rangers led, 41-25, going into the locker room.
Wrangler offense and defense gelled in the third quarter. Pinedale shot in 23 points and held its rival to 13. Junior Gaige Zook set the momentum and pulled off a steal, setting Kaiser up for a 3-pointer.
Kaiser forced a turnover before the Rangers got anywhere on their next play, allowing McMillen to score a 2-pointer. Freshman Jayce Ramage snatched the ball, stopping Kemmerer in its tracks, before sending in a layup. Ramage grabbed a rebound, passed to Gosar, landing the ball with McMillen for a 3-pointer.
An outside shot by Zook and 2-pointer from sophomore Michael Hosler closed Kemmerer’s lead to six points.
The Rangers hit back in the fourth quarter, shooting in 22 points to 12 from Pinedale. Sophomore Colby Bailey caught a pair of rebounds in the final quarter, followed by a 3-pointer from McMillen. Gosar shot in a deep 3-pointer as the final 3 seconds counted down.
The Wranglers ended the match with a nice point spread across eight players. Gosar scored 20 points with Kaiser and McMillen tossing in 11 points apiece. Michael Hosler made five points, Harber and Ramage four, Zook three and Tim Hosler two.