by nathan oster
The Greybull Buffs put one player, Payton Gonzalez, on the Class 2A All-Northwest Conference team, which was released following the completion of last weekend’s state tournament in Casper.
Gonzalez, a junior guard, led the Buffs in scoring, averaging 11.2 points per game, and in steals, finishing the year with 65. He also ranked second in assists with 55 and pulled down 61 rebounds, including 29 on the offensive end.
He was also one of Greybull’s top shooters, connecting on 43 percent of his two-point attempts, 60 percent of his shots from the charity stripe, and with 26 treys on 106 attempts, was the team’s top threat from behind the arc.
“No one puts in as much gym time as Payton. He attends every open gym, every summer league game, and every tournament we participate in and that hard work has paid dividends,” said Coach Jim Prather. “In his first year as a varsity starter, Payton was our leading scorer. He also was our team leader in steals, forced turnovers, and deflections.
“To be named all-conference and be only a junior is quite an achievement. This year eight of the 10 selections were seniors. Seniors dominate these types of selections, so for the other coaches in our league to recognize Payton’s body of work during his junior season shows the respect he has earned in our conference. If the past is any indicator, Payton will be in the gym when we start in April to work on improving his game. We are fortunate to have him coming back to play for the Buffs next season.”
Greybull finished fourth in the conference and 9-18 overall.
Cody Savage, who led the Bulldogs to the 2A title last weekend in Casper, was named the conference’s player of the year. He was joined on the all-conference team by teammates Dylan Hultgren and Ryan Clark.
Other first-team all-conference selections included Bryce Ward, Kirby Winland and Michael Bernhisel of Rocky Mountain, Tanner Abbott and Kacy Conner of Thermopolis and Clint Getzfreid of Riverside.
The 2A all-state team was released on Tuesday and it included the following players: Cody Savage and Ryan Clark of Lovell, Bryce Ward of Rocky Mountain, Tanner Abbott of Thermopolis, Mathew Wigglesworth of Big Horn, Levi Peterson of Moorcroft, Travis Romsma of Burns, Hunter Dockery and Travis Smith of Lusk, Alvin Spoonhunter and Trevor Williamson of Wyoming Indian and Jordan Sims of Big Piney.