Chiefs outlast Wright to advance at state

Mar 3, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer

Wyoming Indian defeated the Panthers, 68-58 at Class 2-A tournament opening-round play.

The high roof at Swede Erickson Gym was a benefit in the final game of the opening round of state tournament Class 2-A boys basketball on Thursday night as arching 3-point shots highlighted an entertaining game between the Wyoming Indian Chiefs and the Wright Panthers.

Wyoming Indian won the game, 68-58, behind a combined seven 3-point shots, but Wright did their fair share of long-range bombardment, as well hitting eight from beyond the arc.

The Chiefs face longtime rival Lovell in the semifinals at the Casper Events Center at 9 p.m. on Friday night.

It was the Ryan Tiger show in the opening minutes with the 6-foot-3 senior scoring on a short jump shot before hitting back-to-back 3-pointers that lifted the Chiefs to a quick 8-0 lead.

A Lane Hill fast-break layup moved the shutout to 10-0 and it was too much for Wright coach Pat Neely to take, as he called a quick timeout.

Kane Leithead hit a mid-range jump shot for the Panthers to break the scoring ice.

The Chiefs settled into a rhythm and led comfortably, 14-5, until the final three seconds of the period.

Wright's Kieran Jurgens took a long-range shot that bounced hard back beyond the 3-point arc, Jurgens scooped it up, twisted and let it fly just as the buzzer sounded and this time, it hit the mark and the Chiefs' lead was six.

Natiun Trosper stepped up in the second period and had an excellent game overall, tallying 12 points. Trosper, Tiger and scoring leader Buell Robinson kept the Panthers guessing, but the Chiefs received a big boost from sophomore Jeffery Lock. Lock hit just one basket on the night, but was fouled repeatedly and hit seven of 10 attempts from the free-throw line.

With the game well in hand, or so it seemed, Wyoming Indian's perimeter defense slacked a bit and Jurgens took advantage, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in just 20 seconds to close the game to 30-24.

A Hill 3-pointer and a twisting, driving, off-balance finger roll by Robinson at the buzzer put the Chiefs up 37-26 at the half.

Wyoming Indian held a double-digit lead, with just one brief eight- point gap late in the game.

Robinson delighted the crowd with 3:38 left in the third period when he missed a one-handed attempt off the glass before sailing out of bounds.He jumped back onto the court on the backside of his own shot, established position, took the rebound and put it back in for a 60-43 Wyoming Indian lead.

Robinson fouled out with 2:46 left in the game and a 12-point Wyoming Indian cushion, but it spite of some tense moments, the Chiefs, paced by Trosper at the point, ran out the clock and advanced in the championship bracket.

Robinson's 20 points led the Chiefs with 12 each from Tiger and Trosper. Lock and Lane Hill each tallied nine points.

Wright was led by talented forward Shayne Belt with 19 points, 6-foot-4 post Dallas Millin with 15 and Jurgens, who finished with 14.

Wyoming Indian 14 23 17 14 - 68

Wright 8 18 14 28 - 58

Wyoming Indian - Lane Hill 1 (2) 1-2 9, Natiun Trosper 5 2-2 12, Buell Robinson 4 (2) 6-6 20, Jeffery Lock 1 7-10 9, Latrell Ferris 3 0-0 6, Ryan Tiger 1 (3) 1-2 12. Totals 15 (7) 17-22 68

Wright - Kieran Jurgens 2 (3) 1-1 14, Shayne Belt 2 (3) 6-8 19, Ace Leithead (1) 0-0 3, Kane Leithead 2 0-0 4, Dallas Millin 3 (1) 6-8 15, Logan Robb 1 0-4 2, Ryan Speidel 1-4 1. Totals 10 (8) 14-27 58

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