by nathan oster
Some of the best basketball and volleyball players in the state gathered in Casper last week for the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star Games, which were played Saturday afternoon at the Casper College T-Bird Gym.
Treston Tracy, a recent graduate of Greybull High School, was among the players who suited up for the North boys basketball team, which rallied late to top the South 76-73. The son of Nolan and Julie Tracy, he scored six points, including two from the free-throw line to help ignite the North’s fourth-quarter rally.
The all-stars gathered on Wednesday to begin the process of coming together as a team.
Tracy was joined on the North by some players he’d played against in the past or was familiar with from his days at GHS, including Nic Haskel and Beau Green of Lovell, Cabeb C’Bearing of Wind River and Blake Hinze of Cody.
Instead of going against them, they got to be teammates.
“It was pretty cool, getting to play with them,” said Tracy.
There were also a number of 3A and 4A players on the North, and while it was a faster game than the one was he was accustomed to after four years in 2A, “it wasn’t too big of a change” for the former Buff.
He ran with a couple of different groups in the game — with one, he got to play center, while on the other, when Haskel was on the floor, he played more of a forward position. While he didn’t drop any from long range, he did convert a couple of layups before sinking his free throws.
Tracy said he hasn’t played much basketball since the Buffs’ season ended on the T-Bird Gym floor in March, other than some open gym time in June. The break was good for his knees, which gave him a lot of trouble in high school.
He’s content saying that Saturday’s game was the final one of his career. He’ll be heading to Casper College this fall to study premed, and while he’ll probably play some intramural hoops, he isn’t looking to play college ball.
“I’m just going to focus on school,” he said.
The highlight of the experience, he said, “was spending time with all the guys. I made some really good friends.”
The North was led by Kain Morhead of Gillette, who tallied 17 points. Hinze was next with 15, followed by Trey Schroefel of Buffalo with 11. Rounding out the scoring, Lance Garland of Upton had seven, Tracy checked in with six, Green and Dalton Holst of Gillette tallied five, C-Bearing and Haskell netted four and Henry Geraci of Jackson had two.
Sara Schlattmann, the head volleyball coach at GHS, was also in Casper, serving as an assistant under the North’s head coach, Brittany (Uffelman) Miller. The two coached together at GHS and have remained in touch since Miller took over as the head coach of the Worland Warriors.
Miller was chosen by her peers to be the head coach of the North, and given the chance to pick an assistant, she chose Schlattmann. “It was an honor to be picked by Brittany as her assistant,” said Schlattmann. “She is a phenomenal coach and I always learn a lot from her.”
Schlattmann described the week as “a whirlwind. It seemed like we were going non-stop, but it was great and a lot of fun.” In addition to practices and the games, the girls gave back while in Casper, writing letters that will ultimately end up in the hands of people whose wishes come true thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Like Tracy, Schlattmann said she got to see a different side of some athletes who usually lined up against her team in high school. The North team included Raine Pingetzer and Taylor Robinett of Shoshoni, as well as Jaysie Thomas and Kylee Tresch of Wright.
“When you’re coaching against them, the focus is so different,” she said. “It was great, getting to know them personally a little bit. The girls were great … super nice kids who worked hard and were very humble.”
While competitive, Saturday’s all-star matchup ultimately went to the South, which prevailed by scores of 25-21, 25-22, 25-17, 21-25, 15-12.
“We didn’t have any standouts on our team, but we were a solid team made up of good passers, good hitters and great blockers,” said Schlattmann. “The South had a couple of great big hitters that we just couldn’t contain. The girls played great, though. Game one could have gone either way.
“It was experience of a lifetime, as these opportunities to be chosen do not come along often. I was grateful for the selection and so proud of how well our team competed.”