Dec 9, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorAt their home invitational Lander beat Worland, Douglas and Glenrock.
Two convincing wins started the boys basketball season for the Lander Valley High School Tigers Friday and Saturday at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.
In the opener, the Tigers ran over Worland 67-42, then followed it up with a 69-55 victory vs. Douglas on Saturday afternoon.
In the final game of the day, the Tigers won and up-and-down battle from Glenrock to end the weekend at 3-0. The final was 70-68.
For Lander, Cooxooeii Black powered his way to 24 points, and Casey Winger had 22 points. Glenrock guard Tyler Olsen recorded 35 points.
The three games were part of the Lander Invitational tournament. The two-day tournament had teams from the East and West divisions go at each other on the first weekend.
"We have been trying to do this for four or five years now," Lander coach Terry Hopkin said. "We thought that we had it last year, but ended up going to Riverton. We are excited about it. It brings a lot of people to town. The more games that we have, the easier it is on the kids. This tournament is all about our athletes."
The Tigers host Green River on Tuesday night at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.
Green River is playing in the Class 4-A West conference this year.
Lander 69, Douglas 55
The third quarter of the game on Saturday was the most pivotal one of the afternoon.
The Tigers were up 37-35 in the early stages of the quarter, and
the tempo of the game started to go Lander's way midway through the period.
Lander had a 49-41 lead after a couple of free throws from Winger, then got control of the game at 55-45.
In the fourth quarter, Lander was in command at 61-49 after a field goal by Jess Oldham.
Winger dropped in 22 points for the home team.
Black recorded 19 points. Oldham also reached in double figures with 10 points.
Lander 67, Worland 42
"In the first half, we didn't play very well at all. We were a little timid," Hopkin said. "We were kind of scared. We just didn't want to get up and down the floor. Our passing wasn't where I thought it should be."
But Lander's defense kept the home team in the lead. The Tigers were ahead 30-22 at halftime.
"I thought that we really picked it up in the second half," Hopkin said. "Defensively, we kept the pressure on. We wore them down pretty good. I know they got into foul trouble. That is a big deal."
The Tigers jumped on Worland 39-24 to force the visiting team into a timeout.
Lander never looked back and collected the first win of the season.
"We are playing with a lot of young people," Hopkin said. "We have people who are starting to fill roles that they are not used to. I thought playing 10 people is how we are going to build a bench."
Lander 67, Worland 42
LANDER 20 10 22 15 -- 67
WORLAND 11 11 8 12 -- 42
Lander -- Kobey Simpson (1) 0-0 3, Jess Oldham 1 1-2 3, Jaxon Hedges 4 3-5 11, Hunter Bregar 2 (1) 6-7 13, Cooxooeii Black 9 3-4 21, Casey Winger 5 2-5 12, Deland Robertson 1 (1) 0-0 5. Totals 23 (3) 14-20 67.
Worland -- Sean Mortimer 1 0-0 2, Keatyn Love 2 0- 4, Brandt Lopez 1 0-0 2, Sean Love 1 (1) 0-0 5, Carlos Pacheco 2 (1) 5-7 12, Alex Deniz 1 0-0 2, Jakob Schaffer 5 0-1 10, Andrew Lawler 2 1-1 5. Totals 15 (2) 6-12 42.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.