PINEDALE – The Pinedale boys’ basketball team took on Lyman and Lander in a doubleheader before the home crowd on Feb. 11 and 12.
On Thursday, the Wranglers took on Lyman, the second-ranked school in the 3A Southwest Quadrant that week. Pinedale’s young squad gave the senior-heavy Eagle starting lineup a run for their money in the first half. During a well-executed second quarter, the Wranglers edged ahead to take the lead at halftime.
Lyman answered back with a strong third quarter to carry the Eagles through the second half and score the win, 75-52.
"The Wranglers played a great first half against Lyman – we were the most consistent we have been all year with what we've been working on in practice," said head coach Marcus Helland. "I was very proud of hos they competed for the entire game."
The Tigers, a non-quadrant 3A rival, hit the court with a fury, establishing a significant lead by halftime. Lander kept the offensive momentum going through the second half for a 79-27 win.
The Eagles won the first quarter offensively, outscoring Pinedale 20-14. Junior Gaige Zook put the Wranglers up on the scoreboard with a pair of deep 3-pointers. Freshman Owen McMillen tossed in a shot from outside the perimeter and sophomore Michael Hosler and freshman Josh Gosar both added a 2-pointer.
Pinedale stormed the court in the second quarter, scoring 23 points while holding Lyman to 15. Hosler and Gosar forced the Eagles to turn over the ball, setting Hosler up for a deep 3-pointer.
Lyman scored another 2-pointer. Hosler promptly replied with his second 3-pointer, closing the Eagles’ lead to five points.
Junior Colby Bailey and Zook put on the defensive pressure, placing Zook at the free-throw line for two points. Gosar caught an offensive rebound and shot in a 3-pointer to tie the match, 27-27.
Lyman dropped in a 2-pointer and Gosar answered back with another shot from outside the perimeter to put Pinedale ahead by a point.
McMillen caught a defensive rebound to make a breakaway layup. Grabbing a steal, McMillen tossed the ball to Zook for a 3-pointer. Lyman edged up until Gosar tossed in a 2-pointer.
When the halftime buzzer sounded, Pinedale took the lead, 37-35.
Lyman launched a 28-point offensive in the third quarter to retake the lead. Pinedale found its footing again in a closely fought fourth quarter that the Eagles led by only one possession. Gosar popped in a pair of shots from outside the perimeter and a 2-pointer. Freshman Jayce Ramage stepped in and scored a 2-pointer.
Three Wranglers scored double digits against Lyman – Gosar with 19, Hosler 12 and Zook 11. McMillen contributed eight points to the scorebook and Ramage added two points.
Lander’s experienced starting lineup stacked with seniors proved to be a tough opponent. The Tigers swept the court in the first half, unleashing a lethal offensive and a powerful defense.
Zook scored a pair of 3-pointers during the second quarter. Gosar tossed in three 2-pointers and a free throw. McMillen, freshman Bridger Kaiser and sophomore Colby Bailey each added a 2-pointer to the scorebook in the first half.
Lander kept up its speed and intensity through the third and fourth quarters. Junior Jackson Harber, Kaiser and Ramage scored for the Wranglers in the third quarter. Bailey made a 2-pointer in the final quarter.