Daily Archives: March 15, 2013

Buffs go 1-2, ousted at regional

by nathan oster

“Win two before you lose two.”

That’s every team’s goal going into the Class 2A West Regional — but it’s one that only four achieve, and this year, the Greybull Buffs were on the outside looking in as teams jockeyed for seeding position Saturday afternoon in Riverton.

The No. 4 seed from the Northwest going in, the Buffs came up short in their opener Thursday against Wyoming Indian, losing 75-42. They staved off elimination Friday morning with a hard-earned 54-41 win over Kemmerer, but got sent home the following morning when they lost to Thermopolis, 63-44.

Greybull finished the season at 9-18.

“At times, we did (in Riverton) what we’d hoped we’d do,” said Coach Jim Prather. “But one of the things we talked about before we went down was that we needed to put two to three games together where we didn’t see a big spike in turnovers.”

Against Wyoming Indian, the Buffs had 32.

“That was just too many against a quality team,” Prather said.

Turnovers weren’t as much of a problem in the next two games, as the Buffs committed just 17 in the win over Kemmerer and 16 in the loss to Thermopolis.  “I was real happy with that,” Prather said.

The 32 turnovers were one reason the Buffs didn’t fare well against the Chiefs, a team they played to a single point, 49-48, earlier this month at Buff Gym.  But the big difference was in the Wyoming Indian team that they saw.

“The obvious one is, they made their shots (this time),” Prather said. “The first time, we caught them on a day they didn’t shoot particularly well.  It’s tough in that gym in Riverton.  It seems like once they hit one or two, everything they put up starts going in.

“When they are playing like that, and the shots are falling like that … well, their record speaks for itself.”

The Chiefs also had two players the Buffs didn’t see the first time in Joey Aragon and Shane Willow. While they didn’t score many points, Prather feels the duo impacted the game — Aragon defensively and Willow with some nice feeds to teammates for easy baskets.

Paul Stewart led the Buffs in scoring with nine while Quinton Haley chipped in five points and team-highs in rebounds with 12 and steals with three.

The highlight of the weekend for the Buffs was the Kemmerer game.  The Buffs led at every quarter stop, but played their best in the fourth quarter, when they outscored the Rangers 21-9 to pull out the 13-point win.

Held to just two points through the first three quarters, Payton Gonzalez exploded for 12 in the fourth, including 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.  In fact, the Buffs were 8 of 11 from the line in the final quarter.  Calder Forcella also came up big in the fourth, scoring five of his eight points.

Prather said the Buffs were confident going in, thanks to their win over the Rangers at the season-opening Big Horn Basin Shootout, and that the key this time was the team’s defensive effort on Kemmerer’s top player, 6-4 Tre Deeter.

Deeter finished with four points before fouling out early in the fourth quarter.

“That’s something we’ve done all season long,” Prather said. “If a team was built around one player, we always seemed to do a nice job taking that kid away.  Our kids did a great job finding him and limiting his touches.”

Prather also credited Forcella for “a heads up play” early in the fourth, when Deeter had just come off the bench with four fouls.  Forcella immediately drove to the lane, made Deeter guard him, and it resulted in a blocking foul.

“Overall, it was easily the best game we played in Riverton,” Prather said.

The Buffs had visions of the state tournament on their mind when they met Thermopolis Saturday morning.  A win and they’d have qualified, and while they battled their hearts out, it just wasn’t to be.

Thermopolis buried seven from behind the arc and led at every quarter stop: 20-14 after one, 32-22 at the half and 45-35 after three. The Buffs got no closer, as Thermop put the game on ice with a 9 of 11 effort from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

“The final score wasn’t indicative of how the game went,” Prather said. “We lost, and that’s what was important, in terms of our goal of continuing our season.  But we kept our turnovers down and because of that, we got up 61 shots.  But in the end, you can’t make 29 percent of them and outscore a team like Thermopolis that shoots so well.”

The win sent Thermopolis to the state tournament, where they will be joined later this week by regional champion Lovell, Wyoming Indian and Big Piney.

“I like that we put ourselves in a position to go to state,” Prather said. “That’s a worthy accomplishment because after such a sound thumping (by Wyoming Indian) it would have been easy to say, ‘Hey, we don’t have it in us.’  But we stuck with the mantra, ‘win two before you lose two,’ and the boys played well Friday and competed well against Thermopolis.”


Season review

At 9-18, it’ll go down as a losing season in the record books.  But Prather sees a lot of positives.

The Buffs lost all five starters from last year’s state tournament, and when the season began, Prather had only five players who had ever worn a varsity uniform.  By season’s end, 14 different kids had done so.

“It was a season of growth,” Prather said. “The kids learned the game and how to compete at the varsity level.  They made tremendous progress during the course of the season, doing things like taking care of the ball, improving our free throw shooting and being more efficient offensively.

“The one disappointment may be that we just never found that defensive identity that teams need to play in the state tournament.  We were pretty good taking away the opponent’s primary scorer, but when they had two or three good scorers, we struggled. We ran into one of those teams on Saturday.”


Greybull   6 11 13 12 — 42

Wyo. Indian 10 23 21 23 — 75

GREYBULL — Payton Gonzalez 1 0-0 2, Zack Zeller 1 0-2 2, Cody Strauch 1 1-2 3, Calder Forcella 2 0-1 4, Quinton Haley 2 1-5 5, Ryan Sylvester 2 0-0 6, Paul Stewart 3 3-5 9, Fabian Davila 3 0-0 6, Treston Tracy 2 0-2 4, Aidan Jenness 0 1-2 1.  Totals 17-49 6-19 42.

WYO INDIAN — Willow 1 2-2 4, Penatac 5 3-3 13, Mosqueda 0 1-2 1, Gardner 2 0-5 4, J. Aragon 3 0-1 7, Clifford 3 2-6 9, Howell 4 0-0 8, Spoonhunter 5 0-0 13, Williamson 6 2-3 14, R. Aragon 1 0-0 2.  Totals 30 10-22 75.

3-POINT GOALS — Sylvester 2; Spoonhunter 3, Clifford, J. Aragon.  REBOUNDS — Greybull 40 (Haley 12).   STEALS — Greybull 7 (Haley 3).  ASSISTS — Greybull 9 (Sylvester 3).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 32.


Greybull 13 8 12 21 — 54

Kemmerer 12 6 14   9 — 41

GREYBULL — Gonzalez 4 5-6 14, Forcella 2 3-5 8, Good 3 2-2 9, Sylvester 1 0-0 3, Stewart 7 0-0 14, Davila 2 0-0 4, Tracy 1 0-0 2.  Totals 20 10-13 54.

KEMMERER — Corbridge 3 0-0 7, Simpson 3 2-4 8, King 2 1-2 5, Kascoli 2 0-0 5, Deeter 2 0-0 4, B. Sumpsion 5 2-6 12.  Totals 17 5-12 41.

3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez, Forcella, Good, Sylvester.  REBOUNDS — Greybull 31 (Stewart, Tracy 7).  STEALS — Greybull 10 (Stewart 4).  ASSISTS — Greybull 11 (Forcella 5).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 17.


Greybull 14   8 13   9 — 44

Thermop 20 12 13 18 — 63

GREYBULL — Gonzalez 3 2-2 9, Forcella 1 0-0 3, Good 3 0-0 7, Haley 3 2-2 8, Stewart 6 1-3 13, Davila 1 0-0 2, Tracy 1 0-0 2.  Totals 18 5-7 44.

THERMOPOLIS — Thomas 6 2-2 18, Roling 1 0-0 3, Abbott 6 4-7 16, Haun 1 0-0 2, Conner 5 2-3 12, Schmidt 2 0-0 5, Cornwell 2 2-2 7.  Totals 23 10-14 63.

3-POINT GOALS — Gonzalez, Forcella, Good; Thomas 4, Roling, Schmidt, Cornwell.  REBOUNDS — Greybull 39 (Haley 11).  STEALS — Greybull 6 (Haley 11).  ASSISTS — Greybull 9 (Forcella 3).  TURNOVERS — Greybull 16.








Walter Jay McNiven

Feb. 17, 1920 – Feb. 21, 2013

Funeral services for Walter Jay McNiven were held Feb. 25 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Burlington. Walter Jay died Feb. 21 at his daughter’s home in Lovell.

He was born Feb. 17, 1920, in Burlington, the seventh of nine children of James Robert and Nellie Elizabeth Hibbert McNiven. He grew up and received his education in Burlington and graduated from Burlington High School in 1938.

He attended the University of Wyoming for one year and then returned home to assume the full responsibility for the family farming operation in Burlington.

He married Emma Helen Peterson June 6, 1944, in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. He and Emma raised their four children with a strong work ethic and family loyalty. He farmed for the next 45 years before turning the farm over to his three sons.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held several positions in the church.

He dearly loved his wife Emma, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and passed to them a rich heritage and legacy of faith in God and remaining true to the faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Sylvia Nielson, Jim, Sarah, Beth, Vera, Marr Murphy and John.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Emma; his children and their spouses, Rodney Jay and Kathy McNiven, Harry Robert and Pamela McNiven and Leonard Don and Delsa McNiven, all of Burlington, and Brent and Helen Darlene McNiven Moncur of Lovell; one sister, Ruth M. Fillerup of Orem, Utah; 23 grandchildren and 82 great-grandchildren.

Burial was in the Burlington Cemetery.

Should tennis courts be resurfaced?

by nathan oster

What to do with the tennis courts?

Mayor Bob Graham raised the question during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Greybull Recreation District board, and by the end of the discussion, board members were asking that the question be put to the community at large.

The tennis courts, located next to the South Big Horn Senior Center, are seldom used and in dire need of a new surface.

Graham said it’s a “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” type of question.  Are the tennis courts seldom used because of the condition of the playing surface? Or is it simply because tennis has run its course and is no longer as popular as it once was?

Graham said the town has been told it would cost $28,000 to $35,000 to resurface the tennis courts.  Complicating matters is the fact that the tennis courts were constructed with state parks and rec dollars, meaning that the town is obligated to maintain the courts in perpetuity.

“We have to support it,” he said.

The senior center has expressed interest in the property, eyeing it as a potential location for a bus barn.  But until a decision is made on the fate of the courts, that potential reuse of the area must remain on hold.

Graham said the town could propose to replace the tennis courts with something, such as basketball courts or even a soccer field. But it could not simply demolish the tennis courts without somehow otherwise enhancing the community’s parks and recreation offerings.

Rec board member Selena Brown said she played tennis on the courts and would hate to lose them. She said tennis is more popular among adults than children, and that the community should aim for programming that is “all inclusive,” and not just tailored to those in K-12.

Do you have an opinion?  Contact any recreation district board member, including Supt. Barry Bryant, or share your views at Town Hall.

In other business Tuesday night:

• Recreation Director Chris Waite shared his staff goals for 2013. They include drafting an emergency plan for the Herb Asp Community Center, moving closer to accepting online payments and offering CPR refreshers to rec district employees.

• Rec board members offered support for the idea of allowing individuals to lease the kitchen at the Herb Asp Community Center.  Waite said two different individuals had approached him recently, wanting to use the kitchen, which is licensed with the Department of Agriculture. According to Waite, the Ag Department confirmed that the rec district could let others use the kitchen, but anyone who does would need to get their own license to do so.

Waite said he supported it, citing similarities to the lease the district currently has with Big Brothers Big Sisters for office space and saying that it could be a revenue generator. Board members agreed.

• In his director’s report, Waite said intramural basketball is wrapping up this week, and that on the fitness side, Zumba attendance has fallen in February.  On the plus side, though, he noted that a yoga class offered by Charlotte Hinckley not only filled up, but generated a waiting list.

Roller rink attendance is “excellent,” he said, noting that there are sometimes 35 to 40 skaters at a session.

The rec district’s spring sale is set for March 9 and there are only three available space for the bazaar.

School, rec boards mull pool’s final act

by nathan oster

The Greybull Town Council and the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees have settled on a date for the work session to discuss the future of the Greybull swimming pool.

At its Feb. 12 meeting, the school board set the meeting for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13 in the meeting room at Town Hall.

Mayor Bob Graham and the town council had agreed the previous night, Feb. 11, to approach the school board about setting the meeting. He told the board that the consensus — though not unanimous — opinion of the council was to try to keep the pool open through at least the end of August, which would be two months into a new fiscal year.

The pool is currently funding through the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2013, but Graham suggested that the young people interested in lifeguarding may look for other jobs if they aren’t assured of a full summer’s worth of hours at the pool.

Chris Waite, director of the Greybull Recreation District which oversees the pool, concurred with that statement. “We want to be transparent with our staff,” he said. “Most of them are students and they are very good workers who would probably find other jobs if the pool were to shut down June 30.

“If that were to happen, we might not even have the staff to run it (until that time).”

July and August are typically two of the busiest — and most expensive — months of the year at the pool, and Waite estimated that it would cost $16,000 to get the pool through the end of August. Half of that would need to come from the school district, the other half from the town.

Supt. Barry Bryant said he would support paying for the additional two months. “I would hate to see this community lose the pool, but I have concerns about liability issues as we start into year three of what was a two-year fix.

“But I’d like to take it through the end of the summer, if possible.  I wish we could do it longer, but we’re 41 years into a 25-year facility.”

The pool also came up at Monday night’s meeting of the Greybull Recreation District board of directors.

“Before I was hoping we could push it as long as possible,” said Waite, who has been running the pool for nearly two years. “But from my perspective, my recommendation would be hopefully that’s the end.  There’s just so much. If we can get through the 31st of August, I think we should call that the end.  And not go beyond that.”

Joe Forcella, the district’s maintenance supervisor and a rec board member, said setting an end date for the pool would set the stage for a discussion about where the community goes from here.

Graham predicted that there would be another push for a new pool once the current one closes and people fully realize the impact of not having a pool.

“We saw it the last time,” he said.

Bryant reiterated, however, that with respect to the pool, the community spoke loudly and clearly in the general election, when they rejected both a sixth-cent tax and a bond issue.

“Pools are expensive,” he said. “We could build a new middle school for half of what a new pool would cost.”

Waite said moving forward the rec district still supports the idea of offering swimming lessons — even if it means bussing kids to area pools such as those in Worland, Cody or Powell after the one in Greybull closes.

Burlington has bussed its kids to the Greybull pool in the past, and Bryant said Greybull could do the same, with the primary expense being the cost of gas.

Waite said the district would have “buying power” with area pools, noting that all of them would welcome the additional swimmers.

Selena Brown, a rec and school board member, said she, too, supported keeping the pool open through the end of August, providing there are no major breakdowns.


Harold James Ogg

Jan. 9, 1944 – Feb. 18, 2013

Memorial services for Harold James Ogg will be held Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull. Harold, 69, died Feb. 18 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.

Harold was born Jan. 9, 1944, in Worland, the son of James John and Iris Maria Beaver Ogg. He received his schooling in Manderson, Meeteetse and Cody.

He joined the United State Navy on Nov. 27, 1963, and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. He received his honorable discharge Nov. 21, 1967.

Harold married Dolores Ann Strube on Dec. 29, 1967, in Basin. They made their home in Greybull.

Harold, a hardworking man, was employed as a heavy-duty mechanic for M-I SWACO for 19 years.

Harold loved to watch high school wrestling, the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He loved his family and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

He was a member of BPOE Lodge 1431 and was the Past Exalted Ruler and Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler. He was also a member of American Legion Post 32 of Greybull.

Harold was preceded in death by his mother, Iris Maria Beaver Ogg McCeery, and his daughter, Gail Ogg Roessing.

He is survived by his wife Dolores Ogg and son Brant Ogg, both of Greybull; son-in-law, Martin Roessing of Douglas; father, James John Ogg of Greybull; his sister, Arlene Griffin of Meeteetse; two brothers-in-law, Victor Strube of Greybull and Ken Strube of Basin; sister-in-law Carla Mae Urbaniak of Elmira, N.Y.; two grandsons; four granddaughters and a great-grandson.

Burial with full military rites will be held at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery. A reception for family and friends will follow at BPOE Lodge 1431.

Memorials are being received at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426. Proceeds will go to American Legion Post 32 for their renovation project at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery.