Dec 9, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterIt was a tough opening weekend for the Wind River Cougars at the North Big Horn County Shootout played in Greybull and Burlington. The Cougars dropped all three games to Big Horn County opponents on Friday and Saturday.
Wind River opened the tournament with a 68-54 loss to the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies.Rocky Mountain is one of the favorites in the Class 2-A Northwest conference this season and brings a balanced attack of quickness and size to the hardwood. That size was too much for the Cougars, and play in the post would be Wind River's nemesis all weekend.
On Saturday, the top-ranked and defending state1-A champion Burlington Huskies took care of the Cougars in easy fashion, 76-44.
In the final game Saturday, the Cougars jumped to an early lead behind full-court pressure against the host Greybull Buffaloes, but it didn't last in a 59-45 decision.
Wind River built an impressive 20-9 lead late in the opening period on transition baskets from Brett and Delshay Roanhorse and quick jump shots from Caleb C'Bearing. Greybull turned the ball over repeatedly against the Wind River press. An adjustment at the quarter break by Greybull coach Jim Prather calmed the Buffs, and the game changed gradually in their favor.
"We pressed well early and had good dribble penetration," Wind River head coach Scott Groenke said.
Greybull controlled the pace of the game and began to take the ball inside to 6-3 post Justin Tracey. He tallied 29 points to lead all scorers and the Buffs eased into a one-point lead by the half.
A 16-8 third quarter was the difference in the game, and the Buffs pulled away in the final period for the win. Delshay Roanhorse paced the Cougars with 13.
Wind River hosts Class 1-A Dubois this Thursday in the home opener in Pavillion.
WIND RIVER 20 5 8 12 - 45
GREYBULL 11 15 16 17 - 59
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