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Quicker Wind River team downs big Dubois boys

Feb 11, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer

PAVILLION -- There is an old adage in football that in a battle between big and quick, big always wins. "Big stays big, and quick gets tired," is the saying. That was once true in basketball as well, but things changed with the advent of the 3-point shot.

The Dubois Rams towered over the Wind River Cougars Friday in Pavillion, but it was the quickness and vastly improving long-range shooting of the Cougars that was the difference in an entertaining 68-58 win by Wind River.

The Cougars won again Saturday in Basin, 56-43 over Riverside. The Rams, meanwhile, fell 52-48 in Class 1-A Northwest action at Ten Sleep.

The game evens the series between the two longtime rivals, now separated by classification differences, at one each.

Wind River hit 10 3-pointers in the contest, including five by sophomore point guard Caleb C'Bearing. He hit three treys in the opening period alone, but it didn't stave off the Dubois strategy of pounding it inside.

Dubois point guard Kolter Leseberg did a solid job getting the ball to Austin Tharp and Walker Carrico in the paint, and Carrico picked up four assists on the night with high- to low-post passes to Tharp over the top of the Cougar defense.

The trio was led in scoring by Carrico's 21. Tharp had 15 and Leseberg finished with 10, including perfect shooting from the line in six attempts.

The Rams as a team were 100 percent at the stripe on eight attempts.

Wind River head coach Scott Groenke unveiled a new twist to the Cougar offense with a patient, perimeter passing game that took two and a half minutes off the first-period clock at one point before Bryce Hankins broke open in the post for an easy shot.

Dubois trailed by seven early in the second quarter, but a Leseberg drive, a post move by Tharp, and a pair of short jumpers from Carrico tied the game at 22 and again at 24.

Wind River broke the ice on an "oop" pass from C'Bearing far out on the perimeter to a leaping Hankins, who caught the ball near rim level and laid it in. The Cougars never relinquished the lead for the remainder of the contest.

Cory Cress hit a trey, and Dakota Snyder drained two of his three 3-pointers as well in the second half to keep the Dubois post play at bay.

Dubois rallied to trail 40-30 on a follow shot by Ryan Eulberg with 5:01 left in the third, but a C'Bearing trey and a Snyder layup off a no-look pass from C'Bearing put the rally to rest.

A last gasp for the Rams came when Carrico hit Tharp over the shorter Cougar defenders for a point blank shot with 7:21 left in the game that closed the gap to one, but Snyder's back-to-back treys in just under 30 seconds put the Cougars up for good.

Dubois traveled to Ten Sleep on Saturday.

Wind River now hosts Big Piney and Kemmerer in key Southwest Conference games that will determine the final standings and set up the seeding for the 2-A West regional in three weeks.

WIND RIVER 17 18 14 19 - 68

DUBOIS 12 18 16 12 W22; 58

Wind River - Caleb C'Bearing 5 (5) 2-2 27, Xavier Oats 1 1-3 3, Bryce Hankins 3 (1) 1-2 10, Delshai Roanhorse 3 1-3 7, Cory Cress (1) 5-6 8, Dakota Snyder 1 (3) 0-0 11, Taylor Tidzump 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 (10) 10-16 68

Dubois -- Austin Tharp 6 (1) 0-0 15, Walker Carrico 8 (1) 2-2 21, Ryan Eulberg 2 0-0 4, Kolter Leseberg 2 6-6 10, Nathan Moore 3 0-0 6. Totals 27 (2) 8-8 58

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Wind River, Cougars
Dubois, Rams