Wranglers bring size, grit to the fight on courtDec 4, 2016 By Randy Tucker Staff Writer
Brady Slack's Shoshoni boys basketball squad is ready to take on all challengers, as a new season begins.
Numbers are up and the prospect is good for an outstanding basketball season this fall in Shoshoni.
Head coach Brady Slack has six seniors, good size and one of the best guards in the state in Gary Medicine Cloud.
"We're going to be uptempo to start and see how the season goes," said Slack. "If up tempo turns sloppy, we're going to slow it down and get sets."
The Wranglers qualified for the regional tournament for the first time in a generation a season ago and won Friday morning before losing a battle with the Lyman Eagles for a state tournament berth.
Lyman is gone, but Lovell has dropped from Clas 3-A into the Northwest Conference, while Thermopolis moved back up.
Slack is assisted by Mark Maxson again this season.
The Northwest will feature talented teams in the Lovell Bulldogs, Greybull Buffaloes and Rocky Mountain Grizzlies.
Shoshoni should be in the mix with all of these teams and powerhouse Wyoming Indian and Wind River from right here in Fremont County.
"I'm excited about our depth, I think we could go eight deep," said Slack. "We have four posts that are athletic enough to continue to play basketball when we substitute. I like to run when teams get lazy and give us a chance.We'll still stick to our half court when they play defense."
Anthony Cousineau, Simon Lutz, Jason Thoren, Zac Pickinpaugh, J.J. Pingetzer and Medicine Cloud are the seniors on this year's squad.
Pickinpaugh moved from post to join Medicine Cloud in the front court. With five players ranging from 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-5, the Wranglers will be one of the tallest teams in the west.
Wade Cornell and Kadon Anderson join Pickinpaugh and Medicine Cloud at guard.
"Our conference is going to be really good.Greybull's JV was huge last year and they've got good guards. I don't know much about Lovell, but they were tough in 3-A last year. Rocky is more experienced, they were young last year and lost a couple of shooters," said Slack. "I think the Northwest conference is going to be great. We could be fighting for a chance to win it or fighting for a chance to get to regionals."
In the Southwest, Slack sees Wind River and Wyoming Indian at the top of the conference, he said.
"I'm really excited to play Wind River and Wyoming Indian the first weekend out of tournament season," said Slack. "Our schedule is awesome. If we're not prepared for the postseason after our regular season, we've done something wrong."
In the east, defending state champion Pine Bluffs, Glenrock who dropped down from 3-A and Upton, who moved up from Class 1-A, should be tough contenders, along with Big Horn.
The Wranglers open the season on Thursday at the Burns Tournament, playing Lingle-Ft. Laramie, Southeast and Saratoga.