Wranglers score first conference wins

Robert Galbreath photo Junior Josh Gosar goes up for a shot against Mountain View on Jan. 21. Gosar scored 39 points for the Wranglers during the game.

PINEDALE – The Lyman Eagles controlled the scoreboard by a single possession, 41-39, with 4.4 seconds remaining in regulation against the Pinedale High School Wrangler boys’ basketball team in Lyman on Friday, Jan. 20.

Junior Josh Gosar reached for the offensive rebound, tipping the ball to junior Bridger Kaiser. Gripping the ball, Kaiser dribbled once, spun around his opponent and netted a 3-pointer with dead-eye accuracy before the final buzzer sounded.

Pinedale fans flew to their feet as players from the bench filled the court.

The Wranglers had battled back from a 17-point deficit early in the first quarter to defeat the Eagles, 42-41, and post their first conference victory.

“I was proud of how we clawed our way back and were able to pull out a win,” said Head Coach Marcus Helland. “It was so fun to see the excitement in our athletes after that game winner. Everyone executed that absolutely perfectly.”

Amped up from the Lyman game, Pinedale went on to defeat 3A rival Mountain View, 65-58, at the Wrangler Gym on Saturday, Jan. 21.

The Wrangler starting lineup, struggling to score a single win the previous season, had catapulted themselves into the No. 1 seed in the 3A Southwest Quadrant.

“The coaches were a little nervous entering Saturday’s game after such an emotional in Lyman,” said Helland. “We didn’t play great at first, but stepped up down the stretch and pulled away. Josh (Gosar) was lights out Saturday offensively with 39 points. We could tell the difference without Owen McMillen on the floor this weekend, but multiple guys stepped up and made plays to help fill his void.”


The Eagles hit the ground running, establishing a 17-0 lead midway into the first quarter.

Junior Brody Hamby put Pinedale on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer. Gosar and Hamby both sunk outside shots.

The Wranglers began to chip away at the Eagles lead in the second quarter.

Defensive pressure by senior Colby Bailey, Gosar and Hamby resulted in multiple turnovers. Kaiser netted 3 points from the charity stripe.

Senior Michael Hosler tossed in a close-range shot and a pair of free throws. Bailey and Gosar both rustled steals.

Pinedale outscored Lyman, 11-4, in the third quarter. Gosar and Kaiser grabbed a pair of steals. Kaiser made a layup. Defensive pressure by Hamby and junior Jayce Ramage led to a turnover. Hamby sunk a 3-pointer. Gosar netted two jumpers and a layup.

Lyman’s advantage dwindled to a single possession, 32-30, when the final quarter commenced.

A close-range shot by Bailey tied the game, 39-39, with 1:29 remaining in regulation.

Lyman then scored inside the perimeter and retook the initiative, 41-39.

Kaiser netted his buzzer-beating 3-pointer and Pinedale took the win.

Gosar led in scoring against Lyman with 16 points. Kaiser sunk 11 points, Hamby 9, Hosler 4 and Bailey 2.

Mountain View

The lead bounced back and forth during a tight first half. The scoreboard favored the Buffaloes by a single possession, 31-28, when the halftime buzzer sounded.

The third quarter turned into a physical, point-for-point battle.

Gosar began the second half scoring from inside the perimeter. Bailey netted a jumper. Gosar sunk a 3-pointer to tie the game, 35-35.

An outside shot by Hamby pulled Pinedale ahead, 38-37. Kaiser netted a 3-pointer, keeping the Wranglers on top by a single point, 41-40.

Gosar widened Pinedale’s lead with a 3-pointer. Kaiser grabbed a steal and Gosar went on a 4-point run.

Pinedale scored 15 points in the third quarter to 13 from Mountain View.

Gosar played a lethal offense against Mountain View, scoring 39 points for the Wranglers. Kaiser netted 13 points, Bailey 7, Hamby 5 and Ramage a free throw.

The Wranglers traveled to play non-conference opponent Jackson on Thursday, Jan. 26. Results were not available at press time.

Pinedale returns to conference play on Friday with a home game against Lander. Freshmen play at 2:30 p.m., junior varsity at 4 p.m., girls’ varsity at 5:30 p.m. and boys’ varsity at 7 p.m.