No repeat for Wind River boysMar 6, 2016 By Randy Tucker Staff Writer
CASPER -- There was no carriage ride, no magic slipper and, in the end, no answer for a pair of Pine Bluff Hornets who nearly single-handedly ended Wind River's dream season late Saturday night at the Casper Events Center.Haize Forstrom and Hunter Thompson combined for 39 of Pine Bluffs's 56 points as the Hornets handed the Cougars only their second loss of the season 56-50.
It was the third time the Cougars appeared in the state championship game and their second runner-up finish in school history.
Defending champ Wind River's strategy was easy to see in the opening minutes, as 6-foot-5 post Taylor Tidzump took the ball straight into the heart of the Pine Bluffs defense. Tidzump and fellow post Bryce Hankins pounded the paint for a quick 6-1 lead, but Pine Bluffs roared back on a trey by the 6-foot-10 Thompson and tied the game at 14 on a Tucker Norman follow shot.
Wind River led by three, but Thompson tied the game at 19 on a baseline jumper. The battle was on.
The Hornets took a 29-23 lead late in the half, but the six-point deficit wasn't nearly as important as point guard Caleb C'Bearing sitting on the bench with three fouls.
Tidzump hit a pair of baskets to close the game to 31-27, but Thompson answered each time.
C'Bearing re-entered the game with 2:50 remaining in the third, and the Cougars roared on a 7-0 run with Tidzump, Xavior Oats and Hankins all scoring close-range shots.
Trent Warner clanked in a 3-pointer off the glass, and the Hornets led by four once again.
The tempo of the contest changed completely on four straight player-control fouls on the Cougars, with two of them ending C'Bearing's high school career.
When Wind River went to the press, but the Hornets had the luxury of clearing out and letting the 6-foot-10 Thompson bring the ball up the floor.It was a strategy the Cougars stopped only twice on the game.
With C'Bearing out, the Cougars relied on the outside shooting of Hankins and Jarick and Jayin Trumbull, but Wind River couldn't find the range.
On the game the Cougars shot just 14 percent from beyond the arc and missed nine free throws on the night.
Thompson missed free throws at crunch time, but Fornstrom tore up the Cougar defense with short-range jumpers and follow shots and ended any hope of a miracle rally.
Hankins paced the Cougars with 19 points, and Tidzump added 14, but points from the Cougar guards were few and far between.
Wind River ends the season with a 24-2 record, the second best in school history.
Wind River 66
Big Horn 54
It was like turning on a switch for the Wind River offense late in the second period and into the mid-point of the third, as the Cougars advanced to their second consecutive state-championship appearance via a 66-54 win over Big Horn in semifinal action Friday night at the Casper Events Center.
After an opening 12 minutes that lacked fire and emotion the Cougars roared to life behind the stellar play of C'Bearing. The lightning-quick senior tallied a game-high 27 points, including a perfect performance at the free throw line in eight attempts.
Wind River seesawed with the Rams, building a 12 point lead and then letting Big Horn battle back to trail by just five or six.
A late surge was highlighted by an off-balance trey from C'Bearing as he leaned sideways and cast a long shot while falling out of bounds to end the half.
He ended the third quarter the same way with a high arching 3-pointer from well beyond NBA range that gave the Cougars a nine-point advantage entering the final quarter.
In the final minutes the Cougars returned to the tempo and style that fans had grown accustomed too.
C'Bearing hit a pair of floating jump shots in the paint and took control of the game. A Jarick Trumbull jumper and a Taylor Tidzump follow shot kept the Rams at bay.
Bryce Hankins made a quick cut to the basket off an Xavior Oats pass, and Wind River led by 15.
Wind River went to its shuffling delay offense, and the Rams were forced to the high stakes strategy of fouling to get the ball -- but they fouled the wrong player in C'Bearing. The senior hit four straight, and the Cougars were in the big dance.
Tidzump had an outstanding game with 10 points and snagging 11 rebounds. Jayin Trumbull was solid on the boards as well garnering 10 rebounds and scoring six.
Freshman Jarick Trumbull didn't look much like a ninth-grader, scoring 11 points.
WIND RIVER 15 23 13 15 - 66
BIG HORN 11 16 15 12 - 54
Wind River - Caleb C'Bearing 5 (3) 8-8 27, Jayin Trumbull 3 0-0 6, Bryce Hankins 1 5-6 7, Taylor Tidzump 3 4-4 10, Jarick Trumbull 5 1-1 11, Xavior Oats 1-2 1, Jorden James 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 (3) 19-26 66
Big Horn - Max Lube 4 1-3 9, Colton Bates 1 (1) 2-2 7, Colton Williams 7 4-9 18, Nolan McCafferty 1 (2) 0-1 8, Kade Eisele 1 0-0 2, Tanner Warder 2 0-0 4, Andy Quinn 2 2-2 6. Totals 17 (4) 8-18 54
WIND RIVER 17 6 11 16 W22; 50
PINE BLUFFS 16 13 9 18 W22; 56
Wind River - Jayin Trumbull 1 0-0 2, Bryce Hankins 7 (1) 2-4 19, Taylor Tidzump 7 0-2 14, Jarick Trumbull 1 0-1 2, Caleb C'Bearing 1 (1) 1-2 6, Dalton Finley 2-2 2, Xavior Oats 2 1-3 5, Cory Cress 0-1 0. Totals 19 (2) 6-15 50
Pine Bluffs - Haize Fornstrom 7 2-2 16, Hunter Thompson 6 1) 8-12 23, Kyle Steger 1 1-2 3, Trent Werner 1 (1) 3-4 8, Tucker Norman 3 0-1 6. Totals 18 (2) 14-23 56