Feb 3, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterWind River nailed 18 3-pointers in the game, nine of them by sophomore Caleb C' Bearing.
SHOSHONI -- Maybe the Wind River boys should request all their home games to be played at Shoshoni.
Whether it was the brighter backdrop or just good karma, the visiting Cougars lit up the Wranglers 72-53 in Class 2-A Southwest conference play behind an amazing 18 3-pointers, nine of them from sophomore guard Caleb C'Bearing.
Friday's win was the 18th for Wind River in the last 20 meetings between the two county rivals.
Wind River's Cory Cress set the tone for the game on his first two shots, a pair of towering treys. The first came from the right baseline,the second arching in from the top of the key. Cress had his best night ever for the Cougars finishing with four 3-pointers, a pair of 2-point baskets, and perfect 4-4 shooting from the line.
On most nights the 20 points poured in by Cress would lead the team, but Friday the Cougars were on fire from the perimeter, hitting 18 of 28 attempts from beyond the arc.
The best performance came in C'Bearing's nine long-range bombs. Five of his shots were well beyond 30 feet. When they hit, the net barely moved as the ball ripped the twine.
Shoshoni was able to answer early using its decided height advantage with 6-5 senior Brace Pingetzer. He kept the Wranglers in the game with follow shots and short jumpers near the basket. Shoshoni got within two points on a blazing, fast-break layup off an assist from Tristan Parrish with 5:37 left in the half.
The margin stayed two to five points in Wind River's favor, with Shoshoni's points coming in the paint or off quick passes to open players. In one sequence, Mason Steffen whipped a pass to Gary Medicine Cloud, stepped behind his defender, and Medicine Cloud sizzled a bounce pass back to him for an open layup.
Wind River didn't bother with working the ball inside. C'Bearing warmed up, hitting his shortest 3-pointer of the night, a mere 23-foot shot from the elbow. He added two more in the period. Luke Tidzump came off the Cougar bench to hit another trey as well.
Shoshoni closed to 24-22 with just seconds left in the half on a pair of Nathaniel Lutz free throws, but a quick, jab-step fadeaway by C'Bearing ripped the net as the buzzer sounded. Wind River led 27-22 at the break.
It is common for hot shooting teams to fade at the half, but that didn't happen Friday. Cress hit a short jumper followed by another bomb by C'Bearing, and Wind River led by 10.
Lutz, Pingetzer and Medicine Cloud scored on short-range shots and Steffen hit a pair of 3-pointers to close SHS to six points with just 49 seconds left in the third, but C'Bearing drained his fifth and six treys in the final seconds. His last shot from beyond 30 feet cleared the net with just two seconds left.
Medicine Cloud set to shoot a 35-foot buzzer-beater of his own but was tackled on the play with no call made, bringing a loud, animated protest from Shoshoni head coach Brady Slack.
Lutz hit a rare 3-pointer for the Wranglers to open the final period, but C'Bearing answered with another ridiculously long shot. Dakota Snyder hit another to move the Cougars up by 13.
Snyder, C'Bearing and Tidzump all hit treys in the final three minutes, and the Cougars cruised to the win.
The loss drops the Wranglers to 0-5 in league play and makes it very difficult for Shoshoni to even qualify for a pigtail game the week of regional tournament later this month.
Shoshoni's post season hopes rest on a game in Kemmerer next Saturday. If Shoshoni were to upset league-leading Big Piney and second-place Wyoming Indian and lose to Kemmerer, there still would be no postseason.
In an interesting twist, Wind River must beat Kemmerer at home in the final week of the season for Shoshoni's hopes to remain alive.In the 2-A Southwest, a pigtail game can only be played if the fourth- and fifth-place teams have split during the regular season.
A pigtail game between Shoshoni and Kemmerer is the only path remaining to regional tournament play for the Wranglers. If played, it would be the 17th straight pigtail game for Shoshoni in the Class 2-A tournament. The Wranglers have won just one of those.
SHOSHONI 7 15 16 15 - 53
WIND RIVER 10 17 23 22 - 72
Shoshoni - Tristan Parrish 1-2 1, Anthony Cousineau 2 0-0 4, Mason Steffen 2 (2) 0-0 10, Brace Pingetzer 7 5-6 19, Gary Medicine Cloud 2 4-4 8, Nathaniel Lutz 3 (1) 2-3 11. Totals 16 (3) 12-16 53
Wind River - Caleb C'Bearing 1 (9) 1-2 30, Brett Roanhorse 2 (1) 0-0 7, Delshai Roanhorse 0-1 0, Dakota Snyder 1 (2) 0-0 8, Cory Cress 2 (4) 4-4 20, Luke Tidzump (2) 1-2 7. Totals 6 (18) 6-9 72
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