Feb 21, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterCASPER -- Riverton's boys basketball team tried to play the role of spoiler Thursday night in the final game scheduled to be played on Jerry Dalton Court at Natrona County High School in Casper, but cold shooting at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth gave the Mustangs all the momentum they needed to preserve a 64-55 home victory over the Wolverines.
The loss for Riverton (10-10, 3-4 Class 4-A West) all but eliminates hopes of a top-two conference finish and the automatic state tournament berth that goes with it.
"I won't miss this place," head coach Dick Quayle said. His teams have won just once (last season) during his coaching tenure at Riverton.
The Wolverines came out on fire early and hit their first five shots including, 3-pointers from Brandon Fullerton and Chris Quayle, two field goals from Triston Ortiz, plus a bucket from Austin Patterson. After one quarter, Riverton was on top 18-10, but NC stormed back to cut Riverton's lead to one at 31-30 at halftime.
"We didn't shoot well the whole game, and we didn't shoot well enough to keep them spread out so we could attack them like we needed to. They played well defensively and I give them a lot of credit. They took away some of what we wanted to do," Quayle said.
The two teams played close through the first part of the third quarter -- the game was tied at 38-38 with 2:16 remaining -- but NC went on a 7-0 run, and Riverton could not close the gap after that despite trying to use more full-court pressure on defense to get back into the game.
"We missed shots that we normally make. We got it back tied and had two open, good looks and missed them," Quayle said.
The Wolverines will battle conference leader Casper Kelly Walsh Saturday in Wolverine Gym. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. following the girls varsity match against the Lady Trojans.
"It's a tough game. We need to play better than we played over there. Kelly is big and strong," Quayle said.
Brandon Fullerton led all scorers with 15, Austin Patterson added 12. and Chris Quayle hit three treys plus two free throws to finish with 11.
Conner True led NC with 14 points, and Parker Browning added 11.
Riverton 18 13 7 16 -- 55
Natrona 10 20 15 19 -- 64
Riverton (55) -- Brandon Fullerton 4 (1) 4-9 15, Austin Patterson 5 2-4 12, Easton Paxton 0 (1) 0-0 3, Chris Quayle 0 (3) 2-3 11, Triston Ortiz 2 0-0 4, Eion Meyers 0 (1) 0-0 3, Caleb Richmond 0 0-0 0, Caleb Ogg 3 1-1 7. Totals 14 (6) 9-17 55.
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