State Bound

Joy Ufford photo Students and faculty cheer with music from the Pinedale High School band Wednesday, as the Wrangler boys’ basketball team prepares to leave for the State Basketball Tournament in Casper. As fourth seed, the Wranglers were pitted against the top-ranked Buffalo team Thursday afternoon. Despite a close game through the third quarter, Pinedale lost, 64-51. They fall into the consolation bracket and will play Torrington Friday at 12 p.m.

Wranglers compete at State

– In a roller-coaster weekend

of emotional wins and losses, the Wranglers

secured their spot in the 2019 Wyoming High

School Boys’ Basketball State Tournament in

Casper. This will be the third year in a row

the Wranglers will have a chance to win the

state title.

“This is the first time in a least 30 years

that the Wranglers have made it to State three

years in a row,” said Head Coach Eric Oram.

“This is a cool accomplishment and it will

give us confidence at the State Tournament.

We will show up ready to play and take care

of business and not be intimidated by State

being something new.”

The 3A Regional Tournament opened on

a high note for Pinedale with a 49-30 victory

over Lovell on Thursday, Feb. 28.

The win advanced the Wranglers into the

semi-final game on Friday against the Powell

Panthers. The second and third quarters were

a dead heat with each team leading by one or

two points. Powell pulled ahead in the final

quarter to secure a 52-42 win and advance to

the finals.

“It was a close game that went down to the

wire,” Oram said. “We struggled offensively

in the first half. We had a hard time getting

offensive chemistry and Danny Gosar carried

us. Defense did okay and tied the game up

with three minutes near the end. But we had a

couple of turnovers and mishaps that Powell

capitalized on.”

Pinedale had one more chance to stay in

the tournament and go to state with an elimination

game on Saturday morning against

Mountain View. Mountain View was ahead

by three points in the third quarter and both

teams faced the prospect of ending their season.

The Wranglers fought with everything

they had in the fourth quarter to stay in the

tournament and surged ahead to claim victory,

67-59.

“The Mountain View game was the best

overall game of the weekend,” said Oram.

“Our back was against the wall, but offense

and defense pulled forward with a nice lead at

the end. We had the most balance on offense

with four guys in the double digits. There was

a lot of emotion and I am the most proud of

this game.”

With a spot at State secure, Pinedale faced

off against Worland on Saturday afternoon to

Joan Mitchell photos

Senior Danny Gosar goes up for a shot in Friday’s game against Powell. A 52-42

loss to Powell gave Pinedale the fourth seed going into State.

Senior Blake Illoway goes up for a shot in Friday’s game against Powell.

Junior Cole Redmond sets up for a shot

in Thursday’s game against Lovell,

where the Wranglers emerged with a

49-30 victory.

determine the third and fourth seed. Worland

raced ahead in the first quarter and held onto

the lead for the rest of the game, finishing

with a 73-40 win and the third seed at State.

“We just never really showed up in the

game with Worland,” said Oram. “We were

slow to rotations and doing our assignments

and we let Worland get away with it. This

was a good wake-up call to be ready for State,

and lit a fire under the players.”

The Wranglers burst into the first quarter of

Lovell’s game with full intensity, scoring 17

points to only two for Lovell. Blake Illoway

led with an 11-point scoring streak. Tyler Van

Etten and Gosar both shot in a 3-pointer. The

Wranglers kept up the pressure in the second

quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 15-7. Gosar

popped in a 3-pointer, with Josef McCulloch,

Cole Redmond, Garett Schamber and Kolten

Hansen each scoring two points. Illoway

rounded the tally out with a free throw.

Pinedale’s momentum slowed in the third

quarter, with Lovell scoring 14 to only five

for the Wranglers, all dropped in by Gosar.

Pinedale swept into the final quarter, scoring

12-7. The spread was three points for Illoway

and Gosar, with two for Van Etten, Schamber

and McCulloch.

In the game against Powell, Gosar dominated

the scorebook with 24 points, including

making 14 points in the second quarter. Van

Etten scored six points with a 3-pointer that

tied the game in the fourth quarter. Illoway

dropped in six points, followed by Hansen

and Cole Redmond with two each.

The game against Mountain View was a

nail-biter until Pinedale broke away in the last

few minutes of the game. In the first quarter,

Mountain View led, 15-10. Gosar shot in six

points, with Schamber adding a nice pair of

2-pointers.

The Wranglers really came alive in the

second quarter, closing the gap with an impressive

25 points to 23 for Mountain View.

Illoway led with a run of 12 points. Gosar

tossed in a pair of 3-pointers, with Van Etten

scoring five points and Redmond adding two.

Both teams fought a tight third quarter and

each team scored 11 points. Illoway dropped

in a pair of 3-pointers, including one as the

buzzer sounded, along with a 2-pointer. Van

Etten shot in a 3-pointer.

The fourth quarter was also close, but

Pinedale outscored the opponent by 21-18 to

take the lead. Redmond stepped up and led

the team’s scoring in the final quarter with

seven points. Hansen scored five, with Illoway

and Van Etten adding three points each.

Gosar scored two free throws and McCulloch

added a good free throw.

Illoway led overall scoring in the game

against Worland with 14 points. Gosar shot

in 11, followed by Hansen with seven, Redmond

at three, Schamber and Radin Keating

with two each and Van Etten adding a free

throw.

As the fourth seed, the Wranglers will take

on the number one seed, Buffalo, at State. The

game played at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March

7, at the Casper Events Center. Coach Oram

is confident that the team can beat Buffalo

and advance in the tournament.

“The 3A contest is such a close race with

so many teams,” he said. “We need to be the

team with the least amount of mistakes since

the margin of error is small. I feel confident

that the match with Buffalo will be a good

matchup. They are a team we can beat. We’ll

continue to fine-tune what works for the team.

The guys are excited to play on Thursday.”

The results of the game were not available

at press time.


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