News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Regional title to Chief boys
Mar 2, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer
WIHS beat Big Piney in the tournament championship game 62-44 Saturday.
Wyoming Indian set the stage for another Class 2-A boys state title run Saturday with a smothering defensive effort over Big Piney in the Class 2-A West regional championship game.
The Chiefs shut down the Punchers early, holding them to only two first-period points, and cruised to the regional crown with a 62-44 win.
In Friday's semifinal the Chiefs pounded the ball inside to 6-6 senior post Trevor Williamson and beat Rocky Mountain 65-50.
Wyoming Indian opens state tournament play at Casper College at 1:30 p.m. Thursday against Burns.
Saturday's game featured tight man-to-man pressure defense that sometimes extended to a halfcourt trap. Wyoming Indian is noted for its high-flying offense, but it was a defensive effort that head coach Craig Ferris was looking for against Big Piney.
The Chiefs split with the Punchers during the regular season, and Big Piney has the only win over Wyoming Indian this season.
"Our defense finally played at the level we're capable of," Ferris said.
The Punchers scored only a pair of free throws in the opening period and didn't have a field goal until Jordan Banks hit a close-range shot with 7:12 left in the second.
The Chiefs passed with blazing efficiency to the post in the opening minutes. Wilson Clifford hit a follow shot, and Noah Valdez and Clifford both found Williamson wide open in the post to build a 12-2 lead in the opening six minutes of play.
The Chiefs ended the first quarter with a dominating 16-2 lead.
Big Piney began to collapse on Williamson and tried to deny the drive, but the Chiefs have a bevy of offensive weapons and began to hit from the perimeter.
Jared Mosqueda hit the first of two treys on the night with 5:22 left in the half, followed by long shots from Buell Robinson and Tristan Gardner.
Big Piney was able to inch points on the scoreboard, but the half ended with a palindrome score of 31-13, and there was no doubt the Chiefs were on the way to another regional crown.
J.D. Fear hit a trey to open the second half for Piney, but Robinson answered with consecutive 3-pointers, and the Chiefs had a 20-point lead. While Williamson was deadly in the paint, he was just as effective on the defensive boards. With 5:50 left in the game Williamson took a short rebound, pivoted on one foot, and hit a wide open Mosqueda near the basket on the other end of the floor for a layup.
On the night the Chiefs hit eight 3-pointers, paced by four from Robinson, two by Mosqueda and one each from Derrick Aragon and Gardner.
Friday's game featured a clear Wyoming Indian offensive strategy, poundingpoundomh the ball inside to Williamson on nearly every possession in the opening half.
Williamson tallied 21 points in the first two periods against Rocky Mountain and didn't miss a shot until the third period. He finished the game with 26 to lead all scorers.
Rocky played close through the early second period, but Wyoming Indian's halfcourt defense and low-post attack were too much, and the Chiefs had their ticket punched for the state tournament by the third period.
Robinson tallied 16 for the Chiefs to join Williamson in double figures.
WYOMING INDIAN 16 15 14 17 W22; 62
BIG PINEY 2 11 15 16 W22; 44
Wyoming Indian - Noah Valdez 2 0-0 4, Jared Mosqueda 2 (2) 0-0 10, Derrick Aragon (1) 0-0 3, Wilson Clifford 3 1-2 7, Joseph Howell 1 01 2, Tristan Gardner 1 (1) 0-0 5, Buell Robinson 2 (4) 1-2 17, Robert Aragon 1 0-0 2, Trevor Williamson 6 0-0 12. Totals 18 (8) 2-5 62
Big Piney -- Michael Howard 2 4-5 8, J.D. Fear 1 0-0 2, R.C. Pape 2 0-0 4, Jordan Banks 2 (1) 5-9 12, Alma Stoutenburg 3 4-5 10, Nolan Jones 3 2-2 8. Totals 13 (1) 15-21 44
WYOMING INDIAN 16 14 17 18 W22; 65
ROCKY MOUNTAIN 16 9 6 19 - 50
Wyoming Indian - Cory Lame Bear 0-2 0, Noah Valdez 2-3 2, Jared Mosqueda 2 2-3 6, Wilson Clifford 4 1-3 9, Joseph Howell 2 0-1 4, Buell Robinson 5 (2) 0-1 16, Trevor Williamson 12 2-3 26. Totals 26 (2) 7-16 65
Rocky Mountain - John Higgins 0-2 0, Joey Jewell 3 (1) 0-0 9, Bill Despain 4 1-3 9, C. Horrocks 1-2 1, Kirby Winland 8 0-0 16, Cannon Simmons 4 1-3 9, T. Coleman 3 0-0 6. Totals 22 (1) 3-10 50