Buffs get one they needed, earn third seed

by nathan oster

The Greybull Buffs already know where they are going to be at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 after a three-day stretch of games last week against Lovell, Rocky Mountain and Shoshoni cemented their status as the conference’s third-best team.

Central Wyoming College in Riverton will be the site of their Class 2A West Regional opener, and their opponent in that 12:30 p.m. contest will be either Wyoming Indian or Wind River — whichever team finishes second in the Southwest.

Coach Nolan Tracy’s team went 1-2 in last week’s games, losing road games at Lovell 61-43 on Thursday and at Rocky Mountain 67-34 on Friday before knocking off Shoshoni 50-29 Saturday afternoon at Buff Gym.

The Shoshoni game “was the most important one” of the three, Tracy said, because he and his team wanted nothing to do with the regional play-in game, which will now pit Shoshoni against Riverside.

“I didn’t think we played very well,” said Tracy, summarizing the weekend as a whole. “The first half in Lovell, we were right there and down by only five at the half. But we didn’t compete very well at all against Rocky.”

Tracy had been encouraged by his team’s recent play. The previous two weekends, the Buffs had swept Riverside and Shoshoni, then — even more impressive — given Wyoming Indian a run before being derailed by foul trouble in the fourth quarter.

“I was hoping that the Wyoming Indian game would prove to the boys that they could play with the best teams in the state … but it didn’t seem to have that effect,” he said.

The Buffs were far more competitive in their second game of the season against Lovell.

“We did a better job of defending,” said Tracy, noting that his players “took away their direct drives to the basket and didn’t give up a lot from the 3-point line.”

The Buffs saw the game get away from them in the third quarter, when they were outscored 20-8.

Riley Hill was the only Greybull player in double digits, finishing with 13.

The Buffs had even less success the next night in Cowley. The Grizzlies had a night to remember offensively, connecting on a remarkable 71 percent (29 of 41) of their field goal attempts. Rocky was 24 of 34 from two-point range, 5 of 7 from behind the arc.

“A lot of them were layups, but the shots they took were taken from where they wanted to take them on the floor,” said Tracy.

The Buffs were good on just 26 percent (14 of 53) of their shots from the field.

Rocky went on to clinch the conference championship with a win over Lovell Saturday night.

“They are very athletic and very experienced,” said Tracy. “All the guys on that team, at least their starters, have been playing varsity basketball since they were freshmen. They are pretty good at taking what the defense gives them.”

The Buffs finished the weekend on a high note, beating Shoshoni to complete the sweep of their regular season series. The first time they played, the Wranglers played stall-ball for much of the first half.

The rematch was a completely different affair, as the two teams combined for 20 first-quarter points. The Buffs, leaning heavily on their four healthy seniors, pulled away in the second half, eventually winning by 21.

“We knew if we came out and played hard, that we’d be OK,” said Tracy.

Max Mills had a big game, pouring in 22 points to go along with seven steals.

Hill followed with 18 points and seven boards.

Miguel Gomez and Eddie Burgos also did positive things in their final games at Buff Gym, according to Tracy.

The Buffs were again without the services of their other two seniors, Korbin Adams and Kaydan Jackson. Jackson, who was injured in a December game, saw limited action against Lovell, but didn’t return for the Lovell or Shoshoni games.

The Buffs face Riverside in a 5:30 p.m. game Friday in Basin. Then thoughts shift to regionals.

Tracy said defense will be an emphasis of his team’s practices.

“If you can defend, you give yourself a chance to win, as long as the ball falls for you,” he said.

“It would have been nice to split with Rocky Mountain and Lovell, but the fact is, the most important game was the one that we won,” he said. “So we will go in as a three seed and see what we can do.”

 

Greybull 18 9 8 8 — 43

Lovell22 10 20 9 — 61

GREYBULL — Max Mills 4 0-0 8, Brock Hill 1 1-2 3, Miguel Gomez 3 0-0 6, Kaydan Jackson 1 0-0 2, Riley Hill 5 2-3 13, Braeden Tracy 2 0-0 6, Gerardo Corral 1 1-1 3, Gage Hunt 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 4-7 43.

LOVELL — B. Lundberg 0 2-2 2, M. Savage 0 1-2 1, B. Cornia 5 0-0 12, K. Wolvinton 5 2-2 14, B. Snyder 7 1-2 16, J. Schneider 4 5-5 13, E. Hessenthaler 1 0-0 3. Totals 22 11-13 61.

3-POINT GOALS — Tracy 2, R. Hill; Cornia 2, Wolvington 2, Snyder. REBOUNDS — Greybull 24 (B. Hill 9). STEALS — Greybull 5. ASSISTS — Greybull 11 (Gomez 5). TURNOVERS — Greybull 27.

 

Greybull 10   9 10   6 — 35

Rocky Mt. 16 20 15 16 — 67

GREYBULL — Mills 2 0-2 4, B. Hill 1 3-4 5, Gomez 1 0-0 2, Hill 5 0-0 12, Tracy 4 0-0 10, Corral 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 3-6 35.

ROCKY MT — E. Price 6 0-0 15, Z. Simmons 1 0-0 2, T. Jewell 4 0-0 8, L. May 5 0-0 11, T. WInland 3 2-2 8, J. Hocker 2 0-0 4, C. Davison 5 0-0 11, J. Allred 3 2-2 8. Totals 29 4-4 67.

3-POINT GOALS — R. Hill 2, Tracy 2; Price 3, May, Davison; REBOUNDS — Greybull 23 (Hill 5). STEALS — Greybull 8 (Tracy 3). ASSISTS — Greybull 9 (Gomez, B. Hill 3). TURNOVERS — Greybull 11.

 

Greybull 11 11 16 12 — 50

Shoshoni 9   7   9   4 — 20

GREYBULL — Mills 10 2-6 22, Eddie Burgos 1 0-0 2, B. Hill 1 0-0 2, Gomez 1 0-0 2, R. Hill 6 5-6 18, Tracy 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 7-12 50.

SHOSHONI — Konija 1 1-2 3, Sanderson 7 1-2 17, Cornell 3 0-0 6, Murphy 0 0-2 0, Fike 0 1-2 1, Lajeunesse 0 2-5 2. Totals 11 5-14 29.

3-POINT GOALS — R. Hill; Sanderson. REBOUNDS — Greybull 30 (R. Hill 7). STEALS — Greybull 15 (Mills 7). ASSISTS — Greybull 16 (Tracy, Mills 4). TURNOVERS – Greybull 13.

 

 

 

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