PINEDALE – Leaving it all on the court, the Pinedale High School Wrangler boys’ basketball team crushed non-conference rival, the Kemmerer Rangers, 81-51, in front of a euphoric home crowd on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
An explosive first quarter by both the Pinedale defense and offense resulted in a 25-14 lead for the Wranglers. Maintaining the pressure on both ends of the court in the second half, the Wranglers widened the gap by more than 20 points in the third quarter and led by 30 points in the fourth.
Over the weekend, the Wranglers competed at the Flaming Gorge Tournament hosted by Green River and Rock Springs high schools. On Thursday, Dec. 15, Pinedale fell to 4A Green River, 68-50.
Regrouping on Friday, the Wranglers scored a significant 75-51 victory against 4A Cheyenne South.
The final game at the tournament pitted Pinedale against Manila, Utah. Manila took the win in a close game, 74-62.
Pinedale’s team chemistry gelled right out of the gate. A lethal Wrangler offense scored 25 points in the first quarter while the Pinedale defense closed ranks.
Junior Bridger Kaiser scored a layup in the opening seconds of the game. Fellow junior Josh Gosar followed up with a jumper.
Defensive pressure by junior Jayce Ramage resulted in a turnover. Ramage scored a point from the charity stripe.
Junior Owen McMillen tossed in a deep 3-pointer. Gosar sunk an outside shot, and Pinedale pulled ahead, 11-2.
McMillen snatched a steal, setting Gosar up to score a second 3-pointer. McMillen rustled up another steal. Kaiser scored a pair of close-range shots.
Junior Brody Hamby widened Pinedale’s lead with an outside shot. Senior Colby Bailey broke through the perimeter to score.
Senior Michael Hosler forced a turnover. McMillen grabbed a steal and scored a jumper.
Kemmerer stiffened its resistance in the second quarter, with both teams tallying 15 points.
Gosar snapped up a steal as the second quarter began. Kaiser scored from inside the paint. Bailey rebounded the ball and scored a close-range shot followed by a jumper.
Gosar went on a 4-point run. McMillen tossed in an inside shot and a 3-pointer.
Pinedale led, 40-29, at halftime.
Hitting the court reenergized, the Wranglers dominated the third quarter and outscored the Rangers, 22-12.
Bailey and Ramage both scored layups. Gosar snatched a steal and Bailey sunk a close-range shot. Kaiser nabbed a steal and Gosar followed up with a 3-pointer.
A pair of layups by Gosar and Ramage expanded Pinedale’s lead to more than 20 points, 58-37.
McMillen scored a jumper and Kaiser netted a layup.
Pinedale led, 62-41, as the fourth quarter opened.
Ramage opened the final quarter with a 4-point run. Defensive pressure by sophomore Nick Sletten and Bailey led to a turnover.
McMillen sunk a deep outside shot. Kaiser converted an and-1. Ramage netted a layup and Gosar scored a 3-pointer. Hosler sunk a shot from inside the paint.
Sophomore Alex Gosar rustled a steal and rounded out scoring with a basket from the free-throw line.
Josh Gosar led the team in scoring against the Rangers tallying 25 points. McMillen tallied 15 points, Kaiser 14, Ramage 11, Bailey 10, Hamby 3, Hosler 2 and Alex Gosar 1.
The Wranglers return to the court after the holiday break and travel to Rawlins for the East-West Winter Classic Tournament.