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Rams come on strong after opening loss, claim 1-A consolation trophy
Mar 10, 2014 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer
CASPER -- The last time the Dubois boys earned a trophy at the state basketball tournament, seniors Austin Tharp and Nathan Moore were in kindergarten. Dubois last brought home a trophy with a consolation win over Ten Sleep in 2001.
The Rams finished an impressive run at the Class 1-A state tournament with a 48-41 win over the Upton Bobcats early Saturday afternoon in the consolation championship.
After a close loss to Guernsey in the opening round Thursday, the Rams regrouped to take two straight and bring some hardware back to the High Country.
"Every game they've played better," Dubois head coach Mike Carrico said.
Dubois 48, Upton 41
The consolation trophy game saw the rise of the Dubois bench at key junctures in the contest. Dubois has only eight boys on the roster, and reserves Tage Walker and Sean Mock were called on early with Tharp and point guard Kolter Leseberg in early foul trouble.
Dubois led by three points after one period and held off the outside shooting of the Bobcats in the second with extended zone and key man-to-man defense.
Walker Carrico and Ryan Eulberg scored key baskets in the second, and the period ended with the Rams holding a 25-18 lead.
Upton roared back in the third quarter, with Wyatt Burr hitting a layup and Jett Materi draining a 3-pointer. Burr hit a follow shot, and the Bobcats closed to two with 4:08 left in the third. The rally continued with Upton leading 30-29 entering the final period.
A Leseberg jumper and a coast-to-coast drive by Eulberg lifted the Rams to a 35-33 advantage, but Tharp fouled out on a call that saw the 6-6 senior five feet from the nearest Upton player with 4:11 remaining.
Dubois had the chance to put the game away at the line, but atrocious free-throw shooting left the door open for Upton until only a minute remained.
Leseberg executed perhaps the best play of the game, stepping through a tight double team to hit Carrico with a bullet pass before falling to the floor. Carrico hit the shot, and the Rams led 40-36.
"Kolter had to change his whole game for us," Carrico said. "He had to stop shooting the three. He ran the offense well."
The clincher came on a full-court pass from Nathan Moore to Carrico as he sprinted down the floor. The ensuing layup put the Rams ahead 45-38 with 1:43 to play. Upton's coaching staff put the reserves into the game 30 seconds later.
Dubois 50, Lingle Fort Laramie 30
Lingle Fort Laramie's game plan looked solid on paper. Pack the post, deny Dubois the entry pass to Austin Tharp and Walker Carrico on the low block, and deny the Rams fast-break opportunities. It was effective for the first six minutes of the game, but the plan didn't consider the outside shooting of Dubois junior Kolter Leseberg.
With the Rams frustrated offensively and forced to take shots from the perimeter, the Doggers negated the 6-5 Carrico and 6-6 Tharp in the paint. Lingle scored early from beyond the arc on back-to-back shots by Kyle Mirich and another from Matthew Bebo to build a 12-10 lead with 5:28 left in the half.
But that was before Leseberg's offense untracked. He hit a pair of treys separated by just 67 seconds, followed by a jumper from Nathan Moore and a full-court, buzzer-beating drive by Leseberg to roll into the first break on an 8-0 run.
Lingle extended the defense in the third period after the pair of 3-pointers, so and the Rams immediately went inside to build a 24-12 advantage on low-ost shots from Tharp and Carrico.
The Rams led by 11 with 7:20 to go in the game when Ryan Eulberg was pounded to the floor chasing a loose ball. The back of Eulberg's head hit the court hard. He had suffered a similar injury the day before and did not return to the contest.
Tage Walker stepped in and found Carrico open in the low post a few minutes later as the Rams remained in control.
Dubois led by 15 points, briefly but Lingle cut the lead to a dozen with 4:41 left.
With head coach Mike Carrico exhorting his team to defend the 3-point shot, the Rams found another way to close off Mirich from the perimeter. As Mirich hounded Leseberg, Tharp set a blind pick. The collision between the 5-11, 140-pound Mirich and the stationary, 6-6, 260-pound Tharp didn't end well for the Dogger. Mirich ended up on his back 10 feet from Tharp with the foul called on a teammate who fouled Leseberg during the play.
Lingle never recovered. Leseberg drove the length of the floor for a layup followed by a pair of short-range shots from Moore and Tharp for the 20-point win.
DUBOIS 8 12 11 19 - 50
Lingle Fort Laramie 7 5 8 10 - 30
Dubois - Austin Tharp 3 2-2 8, Walker Carrico 5 0-1 10, Ryan Eulberg 1 0-0 2, Kolter Leseberg 3 (3) 5-6 20, Nathan Moore 5 0-0 10. Totals 17 (3) 7-10 50
Lingle Fort Laramie - Matthew Bebo (2) 0-0 6, Kyle Mirich (3) 0-0 9, Brice Hill 2-2 2, K.C. Henry 2 0-0 4, Colten Peterson 2 1-2 5, Barry Greenwald 1 2-6 4. Totals 5 (5) 5-10 30
DUBOIS 12 13 4 19 - 58
UPTON 9 9 12 11 - 41
Dubois - Austin Tharp 2 0-0 4, Tage Walker 1 0-2 2, Walker Carrico 5 6-10 16, Ryan Eulberg 2 4-7 8, Kolter Leseberg 6 2-7 14, Nathan Moore 2 0-1 4. Totals 18 12-27 48
Upton - Andrew McMillan (1) 0-0 3, Bryton Materi (1) 0-0 3, Jeff Materi (1) 3-6 6, Rourke McPeters 1-3 1, Logan Loberg 3 2-4 8, Wyatt Burr 5 4-4 14, Davis Butts 2 2-4 6. Totals 10 (3) 12-21 41