News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Basketball's best time of year starting this weekend
Feb 21, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
Fremont County has to be the best place to live if you are a high school basketball fan in Wyoming.
I don't think it's even close compared to other counties.
There are so many games to pick from on any given weekend during the season, it makes it for an unbelievable place to grow up or work in if you like hoops.
At this time of the year, the battles on the hardwood are getting bigger and bigger. Some teams are playing for high seeds for regional tournaments to be played after this weekend.
A big three-day span in Fremont County started Thursday night in Shoshoni.
The powerful Wyoming Indian Chiefs team didn't let a short road trip get them slowed down as the Chiefs produced a 108-38 win vs. Shoshoni. In the girls game, Wyoming Indian defeated SHS 76-52.
WIHS boys coach Craig Ferris and girls coach Aleta Moss always seem to have their teams clicking at the end of February or the start of March. I'm guessing this year won't be any different.
That was the first night of three straight days of emotional games to be played in the county. On Friday night you can take a trip to Pavillion to see the Wyoming Indian teams play Wind River to complete the regular season.
The girls game has all the makings of a five-point margin or less, with an important seed at stake for the postseason.
The Chiefs are hungry to be the No. 1 seed from the Class 2-A Southwest conference.
At Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse, Lander Tigers boys coach Terry Hopkin and his players start the weekend with a Class 3-A West contest with the Powell Panthers on Friday night.
The Tigers won't have too much time to think about whatever happened against Powell, because Cody comes to town on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
Cody and Lander have been two of the top teams all year in Class 3-A.
"This is what it's all about," Lander coach Terry Hopkin said. "Good teams going at it for a chance to win a conference championship.
We control our own path to a championship. Win out, and we win the conference. This will be an exciting weekend."
Then, on Saturday afternoon, the Riverton Wolverines host Casper Kelly Walsh Trojans in a girls-boys doubleheader at Wolverine Gym.
The Kelly Walsh boys are a top pick to compete for the 4-A title next March in Casper.
But at Wolverine Gym anything can happen.
With RHS boys coach Dick Quayle calling the shots and Ron Porter leading the girls team, the Wolverines are going to be in there to the end.
The final doubleheader on the schedule for Fremont County basketball fans on Saturday is between Central Wyoming College and the Sheridan Generals.
The women start play at 3 p.m. followed by the men.
Former Riverton High School all-state player Xavier Webb is on the roster for the Generals.
Last month, CWC pulled out a sweep against Sheridan.
Riverton fans can move right over from the game at Wolverine Gym to get a seat at Rustler Gym to support CWC and see Webb.
The two CWC teams will try everything possible in order to get into the victory column and gain momentum for the Region IX women's and men's basketball tournament.
And just think, Fremont County fans, this weekend is just a table setter for next week.
The Riverton Wolverines play at home on Tuesday night vs. Green River and Saturday night with Evanston.
All eyes will be on the Class 2-A West regional tournament at Wolverine Gym, starting on Thursday.
The Class 1-A West regional is slated for Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in Lander.
Brace yourself, basketball fans The next few weeks are the best time of the year.