Feb 28, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterThe third period was Wind River's nemesis with poor performances in both its 2-A West regional contests.
Wind River played even for a half with second seeded Rocky Mountain in their opening game Thursday at Central Wyoming College, but a lackluster third period was the difference in a 57-47 win for the Rocky Mountain Grizzles.
Friday was nearly a repeat performance, as Wind River led by one at the half but fell to Thermopolis 49-42 in elimination play.
Thermopolis awaits the loser of Friday's semifinal between Big Piney and Greybull on Saturday morning in a state qualifying game.
Rocky Mountain's 6-3 junior post Kirby Winland presented a hard matchup for the Cougars defensively, and Rocky's man-to-man defense prevented Wind River's long-range game from coming untracked for much of the afternoon.
Winland scored the first basket of the game, but it was quickly answered by a Delshai Roanhorse drive just seconds later.
The game was tied at four on a Caleb C'Bearing tip-in, but that was it for the next two minutes offensively for Wind River.
Rocky Mountain jumped to a 14-5 lead on Joey Jewell's 3-pointer, baskets by Bill Despain and Cannon Simmons, and a trey from Tanner Coleman to fuel the 10-1 run.
Bryce Hankins finally scored with 3:03 left in the first to break the ice for WRHS.
The Grizzlies led 18-7 midway through the second, but a Cory Cress trey sparked a Cougar run. Roanhorse hit another 3-pointer, and a pair of C'Bearing jump shots and an 18-foot shot from Xavier Oats closed the gap.
Freshman post Taylor Tidzump hit a follow shot with 48 seconds left in the half to close to 22-21. Tidzump scored again off a dazzling, dribble drive, behind-the-back pass from C'Bearing that gave the Cougars a brief lead at 23-22 with just seconds remaining.
But Despain drained a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded, and Rocky took a 25-23 lead into the half.
The third period was a disaster for Wind River, as the Grizzlies surprised with full court pressure and began to pull away.
Wind River tallied only five points in the quarter and never regained momentum.
Thursday's game was an enigma to Cougar fans. The normally quick-passing, long-range-bombing team was absent start to finish against the Bobcats.
Both teams played tentatively in the opening period and the 5-5 deadlock at the end of one was more reminiscent of a Class 4-A game than the ope- ended 2-A variety.
Delshai Roanhorse finally provided the offensive spark Wind River was looking for with a pair of floating one-handed shots that gave the Cougars a four point advantage for much of the period. The half ended with Wind River leading 22-21.
In the third the Bobcats put the hammer down defensively, holding Wind River with a collapsing 3-2 zone that completely denied the outside shot. Thermopolis was much more balanced offensively, with all five starters scoring in the period.
Tyler Cornwell had an outstanding game on both ends of the floor. He defended C'Bearing effectively throughout the game and poured in 16 points of his own to lead the Bobcats.
Wind River continued to trail through the end of the third and was down by 15 points late in the final period before one last offensive surge.
C'Bearing penetrated and dished the ball effectively to Brett Roanhorse and Tidzump in the final seconds. The Cougar surge prompted a pair of Bobcat timeouts, but it was too little too late.
Wind River's final points of the season came on a Delshai Roanhorse trey as the game ended.
WIND RIVER 7 16 5 19 -- 47
ROCKY MOUNTAIN 16 9 15 17 -- 57
Wind River - Caleb C'Bearing 3 (2) 2-03 14, Xavier Oats 1 -2 4, Brett Roanhorse 1 3-4 5, Bryce Hankins 3 0-1 6, Delshai Roanhorse 2 (2) 2-2 9, Cory Cress (1) 2-3 5, Taylor Tidzump 2 0-0 4. Totals 12 (4) 11-15 47
Rocky Mountain -- John Higgins 3 0-0 6, Joey Jewell 2 (1) 0-0 7, Bill Despain 1 (1) 3-4 8, Kirby Winland 7 0-0 14, Connor Simmons 4 6-7 14, Cole Simmons 2 1-2 5, Tanner. Coleman 1 (1) 0-0 5. Totals 19 (3) 10-15 57
WIND RIVER 5 12 8 17 - 42
THERMOPOLIS 5 11 18 15 - 49
Wind River -- Oats 1 (1) 0-0 5, C'Bearing 2 4-4 8, Brett Roanhorse 6 1-2 13, Hankins 2 1-6 3, Delshai Roanhorse 3 (1) 0-0 9, Cress 1-3 1, Tidzump 1 1-1 3. Totals 14 (2) 4 8-16 42
Thermopolis -- Skylar Thomas (2) 0-1 6, Jackson Rolling 5 2-6 12, Kaden Hahn 4 0-0 8, Tyler Cornwell 6 (1) 1-3 16, Austin Rush 3 1-3 7. Totals 18 (3) 4-13 49
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