Wrangler boys’ basketball fall in cliffhanger against Lander

Robert Galbreath photo Junior Owen McMillen catches air during the Jan. 27 game against Lander. Also pictured is junior Bridger Kaiser and junior Jayce Ramage.

PINEDALE – The Jan. 27 home game between the Pinedale High School Wrangler boys’ basketball team and the Lander Tigers came down to the wire.

Pinedale controlled the scoreboard through the first two quarters and led by a single point, 18-17, when the halftime buzzer sounded.

Lander pulled ahead, 36-35, following a physical third quarter. The outcome remained up in the air for the first half of the fourth quarter.

The Tigers managed to edge up by several possessions in the final minutes of regulation to secure the win, 60-52.

Regardless of the final tally on the scoreboard, the Wranglers brought plenty of resolve and tenacity against Lander in a close game that could have gone either way.

“I thought we competed really well on Friday night,” said Head Coach Marcus Helland. “To shoot the ball well against a team that plays 2-3 zone and still have a chance to win shows how well we competed on the defensive end and on the glass. We’ve found our identity and we’re excited for the remaining six weeks of the season.”

On Thursday, Jan. 26, the Wranglers traveled to play non-conference 4A rival, Jackson, falling, 72-32.


Both teams brought the pressure to the opening quarter with Pinedale leading, 5-3, after the first physical 8 minutes.

Senior Colby Bailey put the Wranglers on the scoreboard with a free throw. Junior Jayce Ramage snatched a steal and went on to score a jumper. Senior Michael Hosler netted a close-range shot.

Lander tied the game, 5-5, early in the second quarter. A jumper by junior Owen McMillen placed Pinedale ahead, 7-5.

Junior Josh Gosar broke through the perimeter to score and Ramage netted an inside shot. Pinedale led, 11-10.

Junior Brody Hamby grabbed a steal and Bailey sunk a close-range shot to maintain Pinedale’s initiative by 1 point, 13-12.

Hamby netted a 3-pointer, widening Pinedale’s advantage to 2 points, 16-14.

The Tigers tied the game at 16 points and scored a free throw. Bailey tossed in a jumper and Pinedale seized the lead back, 18-17, when the halftime buzzer signaled.

Bailey netted a jumper as the third quarter began, putting Pinedale ahead, 20-17. Lander scored a 3-pointer to tie the game, 20-20. Bailey replied with points from the charity stripe and from inside the perimeter.

Gosar tossed in a pair of inside shots, breaking a tie at 25 points. Junior Bridger Kaiser sunk two shots from the free-throw line. Ramage found an opening inside the perimeter to score. Gosar and Kaiser scored 2 points apiece from the charity stripe.

Lander found itself ahead by several possessions early in the fourth quarter. Gosar closed the gap to a single possession by converting an and-1. Bailey netted an inside shot. Defensive pressure by Kaiser and Ramage resulted in a turnover. Ramage scored a jumper. McMillen rustled a steal and Gosar sunk a close-range shot.

Gosar and Ramage forced a turnover. McMillen netted a jumper and a layup. Hosler grabbed a steal and Gosar rounded out scoring in the final quarter with a deep outside shot.

Seven Wranglers contributed to the final tally against Lander. Gosar led Pinedale in scoring with 16 points. Bailey contributed 12 points, Ramage 8, McMillen 6, Kaiser 5, Hamby 3 and Hosler 2.

The Wranglers hit the road for away games against conference rivals Lovell on Friday, Feb. 3, and Powell on Saturday, Feb. 4.