Feb 24, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterFor three quarters, the Riverton Wolverines boys basketball team went toe to toe with Class 4-A West conference leader Casper Kelly Walsh Saturday in Wolverine Gym.
But with more depth on the bench, the Trojans had late-game energy, amped up their defensive pressure, and held the Wolverines to just two fourth-quarter points to down Riverton 41-31.
"I think with their depth, they physically wore us down. With the team they have, they are very physical," Riverton head coach Dick Quayle said.
The Wolverines played the Trojans much closer -- the game was tied at 29-29 after three quarters -- than the first time the two teams met this season in Casper when Kelly Walsh (16-3, 8-1 Class 4-A West) prevailed 68-36.
Riverton will try to respond in a rare Tuesday game against winless Green River. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. at Wolverine Gym.
"I was impressed with how our kids competed. We missed some shots that we should have made, and we were in the game until the bitter end. You have to feel positive about this one after they man-handled us last time," Quayle said.
Brandon Fullerton led all scorers with 13. Kirk Durtsche led the Trojans with 9.
In addition to his shut-down defensive work, it was Durtsche's ability to penetrate and dish that hurt Riverton down the stretch.
"I don't know what sparked us. We had a better effort in the fourth quarter, but I don't know why all of the sudden the lineup jelled. We tinkered until we found a lineup that could function defensively," Kelly Walsh head coach Randy Roden said.
Fullerton's fall-away jumper and Eion Meyers's 3-pointer from the left corner after Chris Quayle penetrated along the right baseline to draw the defense gave Riverton its last lead at 29-27 with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
The Wolverines tried to keep it close late, but Durtsche, utilizing clock, picked his spots to drive. When he passed to Ethan Applegate who jammed it over the Wolverine defense mid-way through the fourth quarter, Riverton couldn't answer. RHS went scoreless for seven minutes in the third and fourth quarters.
Riverton (10-11, 3-5 Class 4-A West) will try to avoid a letdown Tuesday.
"It's one you can't look over. I know they (Green River) haven't won, but we can't walk in thinking we can beat anybody. We have to continue to work better about doing the little things well," Quayle said.
Casper Kelly Walsh 7 15 7 12 --41
Riverton 9 11 9 2 -- 31
Casper Kelly Walsh (41) -- Kirk Durtsche 3 (1) 0-0 9, Marcus Nolan 1 2-2 4, Kyle Chuman 1 0-0 2, Beecher Strube 1 2-2 4, Ethan Applegate 3 1-1 7, Drew Petrie 0 (1) 0-0 3, Talen Markovitch 1 0-0 2, Turner Hiatt 0 (2) 2-4 8, Kooper Adams 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 (4) 7-11 41.
Riverton (31) -- Brandon Fullerton 5 3-3 13, Austin Patterson 2 0-0 4, Chris Quayle 0 0-0 0, Triston Ortiz 1 2-3 4, Caleb Ogg 1 0-0 2, Easton Paxton 1 0-0 2, Eion Meyers 0 (2) 0-0 6, Caleb Richmond 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 (2) 5-6 31.
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