Jan 10, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterThe Riverton Wolverines boys basketball team showed improvement against Sheridan this week despite losing to the Broncs 54-51 in the first round of the Bill Strannigan East vs. West Tournament in Wolverine Gym.
During their last matchup in December, the Broncs beat the Wolverines 75-47.
This week, however, in their first home basketball game of the season, the Riverton boys fought toe to toe with Sheridan, tying the game 11 times.
"I was really happy," Wolverine head coach Dick Quayle said. "The great thing is that we got contributions from everyone on our team. ... The kids played well and competed well."
He said the team didn't shoot the ball as well as he would have liked, and the Wolverines (3-6) had trouble stopping Sheridan's Reed Ritterbusch, who scored a game-high 27 points and was a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line.
"They are pretty athletic, and that makes it tough," Quayle said of the Sheridan team, complimenting Ritterbusch in particular.
Riverton altered its normal rotations early in the game, when starting guard Austin Patterson was whistled for two quick fouls and played sparingly in the first half.
Brandon Fullerton picked up the slack and scored 10 first-half points. His bucket after a Chris Quayle steal put Riverton up by four with under four minutes to play in the second quarter.
It was late in the game when Riverton's student section became involved. With time winding down in the fourth quarter and Sheridan clinging to a three point lead, the Broncs executed their delay game after a Riverton timeout. After draining more than a minute off the clock, Ritterbusch found himself open for an easy layup to put Sheridan up by five.
Chris Quayle responded with a clutch three-point shot to pull the Wolverines within two points of a tie with a minute and 16 seconds left to play.
Sheridan again tried to milk clock, but the Broncs' Ritterbusch got greedy and fired a three-point attempt that missed and gave the Wolverines hope with 49 seconds remaining.
Fullerton then drilled a short-range jumper that would have tied the game with 15 seconds to play. Instead, the referee said that Fullerton had been fouled before his shot. The junior guard made the first of two free throws, but he could not make the second, and Riverton was forced to foul on the ensuing possession.
Ritterbusch sunk both of his charity shots, and Riverton's final two desperation three-point attempts didn't find net.
Quayle led Riverton scorers with 14, and Fullerton added 13.
The Wolverines will play Laramie at 7 p.m. Friday and will battle Cheyenne South Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (an hour earlier than originally published) in their final two games of the Bill Strannigan East vs. West tournament.
In the other tournament game played Thursday, Evanston destroyed Laramie 59-30.
Sheridan 9 18 12 15-- 54
Riverton 9 16 8 18-- 51
Sheridan (54) - Tyler Kaufman 1 6-7 8, Ethan Hoopes 0 0-0 0, Reed Ritterbusch 8 8-8 (1) 27, Dylan Daniels 1 3-4 (1) 8, Judson White 3 1-2 7, Kris Clark 0 0-0 0, Robert Maixsell 1 0-0 2, Blake Baker 0 2-2 2, Blake Godwin 0 0-2 0, Trae Kaufmann 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 20-23 (2) 54.
Riverton (51) - Brandon Fullerton 5 3-5 13, Austin Patterson 0 2-2 2 , Chris Quayle 2 4-6 (2) 14, Triston Ortiz 1 0-0 (1) 5, Caleb Ogg 3 0-0 6, Easton Paxton 0 0-0 0, Eion Meyers 0 0-0 0, Jordon Yowell 2 3-4 7, Myron Oldman 1 0-0 2, Caleb Richmond 1 0-0 2, Bo Patterson 0 0-1 0. Totals 15 12-19 (3) 51.
3-point shots: Sheridan - Ritterbusch 1, Daniels 1. Riverton - Quayle 2, Oritz 1.
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