by nathan oster
Greybull took three from Cloud Peak on Friday, but the wins did not come easily.
Facing a Cougar team they’d routed earlier in the season, the GMS eighth graders found a much more determined opponent Nov. 13 in Manderson.
“We struggled from the start,” said Coach Jordan Hunter, whose team overcame early foul trouble, the absence of an injured starter and a six-point halftime deficit to eke out a 31-30 win over the Cougars.
“The boys toughed it out,” said Hunter. “Due to the foul trouble, we had to go back into a zone defense. We traditionally do not even teach a zone defense at the middle school level so this was something new to the boys. They picked it up right away.”
By the end of the third quarter, Greybull had recovered and led 30-26.
“In the middle of the fourth quarter, we struggled defensively and ended up losing a ball handler in Elian Davila due to his fifth foul,” said Hunter. “The guys really stepped up and filled in. Ben Kraft got several key rebounds and did very well playing outside of his traditional position in the post. Several times Ben was able to help the backcourt in bringing it up without our two primary ball handlers.”
Felipe Gaytan and R.J. Brown were also credited with “stifling defense” that led to a Cloud Peak turnover and preserved the Greybull win in the game’s final 10 seconds.
The seventh graders won as well. While no score was available, Hunter said his boys “were fired up for the game and played an excellent team game.” The sixth graders won 24-14, logging “a pretty good performance. They played very well as a group. These kids have worked very hard at applying our defensive philosophies.”
GMS hosts games with Meeteetse today (Thursday, Nov. 19), with the eighth grade tipping off at 4:15 and the seventh graders to follow at 5:15.
Local gyms will be hopping on Saturday as well, as Greybull will play host to a quad tournament. Other teams expected to attend include Cloud Peak, Thermopolis and Burlington. Games are scheduled for 9, 10:15, 11:30 and 12:45 in the GMS and Buff gyms.
GMS is scheduled to play all of its games at Buff Gym. It’ll be eighth grade followed by seventh grade when Greybull faces off with Thermopolis at 9 and 10:15 a.m., and with Burlington at 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.