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Wolverine girls draw Sheridan to open state basketball
Deni Lou Nicholls got extended playing time for the Riverton Wolverines late this season. She and her teammates open the Class 4-A state tournament Thursday morning. Photo by Craig Blumenshine

Wolverine girls draw Sheridan to open state 4-A basketball

Mar 12, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

The Riverton Lady Wolverines make their first state basketball tournament appearance since 2003 when they take on the Sheridan Lady Broncs Thursday morning at Casper College. Tip off is set for 9 a.m.

Riverton (13-13) enters the tournament as the third seed from the Class 4-A West. The Lady Wolverines beat both Evanston and Casper Kelly Walsh at last week's regional tournament and were defeated by Class 4-A West Champion Casper Natrona.

Only Casper Natrona (20-4) finished the year with more wins in the Class 4-A West than Riverton. Rock Springs is the second seed from the West and Kelly Walsh is the fourth seed.

"Playing in the state tournament is something you hope every high school athlete gets an opportunity to do. Unfortunately, that's not the reality of the situation. But I don't think there is a kid on our team who isn't planning to go and compete," Riverton head coach Ron Porter said.

Sheridan (21-3) enters the state tournament as the second seed from the Class 4-A East. The Lady Broncs were their regional tournament's top seed but fell to Gillette 65-56 in Saturday's regional championship game.

Cheyenne East beat Cheyenne Central 56-35 in the East's third-place game.

Riverton and Sheridan have matched up twice this season. On the road in December, Riverton lost to the Lady Broncs 61-31 but played the same team much closer at home in early January, losing 47-31.

"I thought that we had an opportunity in the game (with Sheridan) here to really make it interesting. But I think if we clean up our half-court offense, transition and second shots then we'll have a much better chance. Sheridan is as good as anybody, but I like our chances," Porter said.

Riverton's top scorers entering the tournament are juniors Kiley Ridgway, Camey Fegler and Savannah Salisbury averaging 11, 10 and nine points per gam, respectively.

Robbi Ryan and Taylor Townsend lead Sheridan at14 and 12 points per game.

Porter is concerned about Sheridan's ability to shoot from the perimeter. As a team, the Lady Broncs hit 40 percent from beyond the arc, tops in Wyoming.

"You can sense the electricity. It doesn't matter how big our small your school is, we're all fighting for the same thing," Porter said.

The winner of Thursday's Riverton-Sheridan game will advance in the championship bracket and play the winner of the Casper Natrona vs. Cheyenne Central game at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Casper Events Center.

The loser of Thursday's Riverton vs. Sheridan game will play the loser of the Natrona-Central game at 9 a.m. Friday in the consolation bracket.

The opening game is being broadcast live on KTAK FM 93.9.

Thursday's State Tournament Class 4-A Girls

All games at Casper College

9 a.m. No. 2(E) Sheridan vs No. 3(W) Riverton

10:30 a.m. No. 1(W) Casper Natrona vs No. 4(E) Cheyenne Central

4:30 p.m. No. 2(W) Rock Springs vs No. 3(E) Cheyenne East

6 p.m. No. 1(E) Gillette vs No. 4(W) Casper Kelly Walsh

Friday

All games at Casper Events Center

9 a.m. Loser Sheridan/Riverton vs. Loser Natrona/Central

10:30 a.m. Loser Rock Springs/East vs. Loser Gillette/Kelly Walsh

4:30 p.m. Loser Sheridan/Riverton vs. Loser Natrona/Central

6 p.m. Loser Rock Springs/East vs. Loser Gillette/Kelly Walsh

Saturday

All games at Casper Events Center

9 a.m.

Consolation Championship

10:30 a.m.

Third Place Game

Championship

Following Class 3-A Boys Championship Game

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