Apr 22, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterSaturday night in early March at the Casper Events Center has become a familiar scene to Wyoming Indian boys basketball head coach Craig Ferris.
The Chiefs' mentor has taken his team to center stage in Class 2-A for four straight years and won three state championships in the process.
This year, Ferris took a team with just two seniors from a slow start to another title.
Ferris was a standout player himself for Wyoming Indian and took his skills on to Casper College and New Mexico Highlands University. In the process he has become an excellent coach for one of Wyoming's most-storied high school basketball programs.
The Chiefs started slowly this season with early losses in Montana and suffered a pair of 30-point blowouts to the Lovell Bulldogs, but that was the regular season.
Ferris worked at improving the Wyoming Indian bench and in developing young post players. He found a pair to work with in the post in 6-5 Trevor Williamson and 6-4 sophomore Joseph Howell.
He mixed his expertise in the post with a solid perimeter game fueled by senior shooting phenom John Soundingsides and developed individual talent into role players who contributed each night.
With Williamson, Howell, Alvin Spoonhunter, Joey Aragon, Donald and Wilson Clifford returning next year the Chiefs will be a favorite for another trip to the championship game for several years.
Martin gets award
You might say basketball runs in his veins. With nearly a century of coaching experience between Dan Martin, his father and grandfather the Shoshoni Girls Head Coach has been a fixture on the hardwood for a long time.
Martin took a struggling Shoshoni program two seasons ago and turned the Wranlgers into a legitimate contender at the state level this season.
Drawing on a mixture of size, speed and shooting ability, Martin developed his bench and used a set rotation to get the most out of the nine players who routinely saw varsity action. Martin had a stellar record in South Dakota before taking the job as Shoshoni High School principal and girls basketball coach. Martin's forte is defense, and the Wranglers were among the most-tenacious halfcourt teams in the entire 2-A division this season. Martin's practices are known for their defensive intensity, and that intense level of play extended into the season. Shoshoni routinely blew open tight games in the second and third periods.
Shoshoni won its first-ever Southwest 2-A championship with a thrilling one-point win over Wyoming Indian at Ethete. The Chiefs edged the Wranglers in overtime in their first meeting, giving Shoshoni its only loss in conference play.
The Wranglers graduate Hailey Pince, Tennell Parrish and Coralee Spratt and return six players with considerable playing time next fall.
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