Shooting woes, turnovers plague Buffs in two losses

by nathan oster

The scoring woes continued last week for the Greybull Buffs, who dropped non-conference decisions at home Friday to Tongue River, 59-47, and Saturday in Big Horn, 45-37.

Since opening the season with five wins in their first seven games, the Buffs have since dropped four of five and will tote a 6-6 record into the start of conference play later this week.

Coach Nolan Tracy blamed his team’s scoring difficulties on a variety of factors, all of which seem to rear their ugly heads at the worst possible times.

Shooting woes were to blame for Friday’s loss to Tongue River.

The Eagles led by two at the half, 28-26, but pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Buffs 15-11 in the third and 16-10 in the fourth to win by 12.

Greybull shooters combined to go 8-of-31 (25 percent) from the floor in the second half after going 10-of-26 (38 percent) in quarters one and two.

In Big Horn, it was more a matter of not getting enough shots off.

After attempting 57 shots against Tongue River, the Buffs got up just 38 against Big Horn. They hit a higher percentage of them (37 percent), but were done in at least in part by 28 turnovers.

“We were in both games, but we just couldn’t score the basketball the way we needed to,” said Tracy. “Defensively, we did a good job in both games.

“Our goal is always to keep our opponents under 50 — well, Tongue River got 59, but we met that goal against Big Horn. We just have to do our part offensively if we want to win some of these games.”

A former Buff was a big reason the Eagles were able to emerge with the win on Friday night. Jaren Fritz, who attended Greybull schools while his father Mark was the principal at GHS, lit up his former school, burying four 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 26 points.

Riley Hill led the Buffs with 15 points and eight boards.

Max Mills provided a spark off the bench, tallying 10 points and four steals.

In Big Horn, the Buffs trailed at every quarter stop — 12-8 after one, 21-17 at the half and 32-23 after three. The Rams “have a similar team, talent wise, as Tongue River,” said Tracy. “The big difference is that they are a team of guards; they don’t have a true post player.”

While that should have been good news for the Greybull bigs, Riley Hill was only able to get off eight shots, making three to finish with a team-high nine points. Ben Kraft also finished with nine, thanks to a trio of clutch 3-point shots in the final quarter.

“It’s not a big secret,” said Tracy, when asked about his team’s offensive struggles. “Most teams have figured out that we struggle attacking the zone.

“Defensively, I’m happy with where we are; we’ve improved in that area a lot. I don’t know if, by focusing on that to the extent we have, it has hurt our offense. I just know that our focus this week will be on offensive production.”

 

Conference openers

The Buffs will begin the conference portion of their schedule with the two favorites: Lovell is in Friday night for games at 4 and 7, Rocky Mountain follows on Saturday for games at noon and 3.

Winnable games against Riverside and Shoshoni follow the next week.

“There’s no doubt this is the tougher of the two conference weekends,” said Tracy.

He called Rocky Mountain the preseason favorite to win the conference and has seen nothing in the first six weeks of the season to change his mind, citing their returning talent and experience.

“They don’t have a deep bench, so if their starters get in foul trouble, they’ll be in the same boat as the rest of us,” he said.

As for Lovell, the program is always competitive because of its numbers.

 

Greybull 15 11 11 10 — 47

Tongue R. 12 16 15 16 — 59

GREYBULL — Max Mills 5 0-2 10, Brock Hill 2 5-6 9, Korbin Adams 1 1-1 3, Miguel Gomez 1 0-0 2, Riley Hill 6 3-5 15, Braeden Tracy 3 0-2 8. Totals 18 9-16 47.

TONGUE RIVER — Keo 5 5-7 15; Summers 1 0-0 3, Reish 3 0-0 9, Fritz 8 6-6 26, Patterson 2 2-4 6. Totals 19 13-17 59.

3-POINT GOALS — Tracy 2; Fritz 4, Reish 3, Summers. REBOUNDS — Greybull 30 (R. Hill 8). STEALS — Greybull 13 (Mills 4). ASSISTS — Greybull 12 (Adams 3). TURNOVERS —Greybull 17.

 

Greybull 8 9   6 14 — 37

Big Horn   12 9 11 13 — 45

GREYBULL — Mills 1 0-0 2, B. Hill 2 0-0 5, Adams 0 1-2 1, Gomez 2 0-0 4, R. Hill 3 2-3 9, Elian Davila 1 0-0 2, Abe Mendez 0 0-2 0, Ben Kraft 3 0-0 9, Tracy 2 0-0 5. Totals 14 3-7 37.

BIG HORN — Eisele 2 3-4 8, VanDyken 3 1-4 8, Bates 3 3-4 9, Pelisser 0 0-1 0, Bradshaw 2 0-2 4, McCafferty 4 4-7 12, Parker 1 0-1 2, Morton 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 11-23 45.

3-POINT GOALS — Kraft 3, Tracy, R. Hill, B.Hill; Eisele, VanDyken. REBOUNDS — Greybull 36 (R. Hill 9). STEALS — Greybull 5. ASSISTS — Greybull 10 (Adams, B. Hill 4). TURNOVERS — 28.