– 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
“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
“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
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,
“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
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
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
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
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
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.