Wranglers trounce Lander

Junior Kolten Hansen moves the ball around his opponents during Friday’s game against Lander.

The Wranglers scored

a major victory against the second-highest

ranked 3A team in the state on Friday, Feb.

8. Pinedale was not intimidated by Lander’s

status and knocked their opponent right off the

pedestal with an 11-point win, 72-61.

Head Coach Eric Oram was proud of the

team’s triumph on Friday.

“This was the biggest win of the season for

our team against a top-ranked 3A town who

played good basketball,” he said. “For us to get

a win on the road is huge. We shot the heck out

of the ball and were deadly from the free throw

line, making 29 of 34 shots at 85 percent. The

kids were aggressive and got inside. The game

plan was to attack Lander, and the guys played

with a lot of intensity. We took care of the ball

pretty well in a fast-paced game with only 15

turnovers and we outrebounded Lander on defense.”

The varsity squad upped its performance

during the game, he added.

“Danny Gosar played a heck of a game and

made us really strong, scoring 28 points with

nine rebounds. Blake Illoway found a way to

score from the free-throw line, making 11 of

14 free throws and a 3-pointer. Tyler Van Etten

played consistent with 10 points and seven rebounds.

But the spark for that game came from

(Josef) McCulloch. He came off the bench for

19 minutes and brought toughness to the team

with nine points and four rebounds.”

The Wranglers dominated the first quarter,

dropping in 20 points while Lander only managed

12. Gosar set the rhythm with 10 points,

including three 2-point field goals, a 3-pointer

and a free throw. Van Etten and junior Cole

Redmond each scored four points, with Illoway

rounding out the count with two free


Lander answered back in the second quarter,

outshooting their opponents by 10 points,

22-12. Illoway led the team in scoring with

four points. Redmond and Gosar each made

a 2-pointer and free throw, while Van Etten

popped in a 2-pointer.

By halftime, Lander had closed the gap and

edged ahead by two points, 34-32. The lead in

the third quarter switched back and forth for

the first four minutes.

McCulloch swept in with two 2-point field

goals and a free throw to break the tie. Gosar

shot in a 3-pointer with only a few seconds

left, widening the gap and adding his point

total to eight for the quarter.

The Wranglers packed a punch in the final

quarter, scoring 24 points to 18 for Lander.

Illoway and Gosar both dropped in seven

points. McCulloch and junior Kolten Hansen

each made four of four attempted free throws.

Van Etten contributed a 2-pointer to the team’s


Redmond ended the game with a total of

seven points and two rebounds. Hansen shot

in four points and played two steals and two


This weekend, the Wranglers travel to

Mountain View for an away game on Friday,

Feb. 15. On Saturday, Pinedale hosts Lyman in

the Wrangler Gym with junior varsity scheduled

to hit the court at 12:30 p.m.

Coach Oram said the team is looking forward

to the challenge of playing other top 3A

teams this weekend in the buildup to regionals.

“Mountain View beat us and it was one we

should have won,” he said. “We have unfinished

business with them and the guys are hungry

to go down and steal a win. They’re both

good teams, and we can’t overlook that to pull

off a win. These are games that will dictate our

standing going into regionals.”


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