Feb 10, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine Staff WriterIt seems like the third quarter is ready to begin. The Riverton High School boys and girls basketball teams have played their pre-season and first round of Class 4-A West conference games.
Now round two of conference play starts as both teams strive for positioning and improvement prior to the 4-A West upcoming regional basketball tournament that Riverton will host.
Both the boys and girls teams travel to Rock Springs Saturday for key conference games.
The Wolverine boys (13-5, 2-3 4-A West) will try to duplicate their 70-60 win over the Tigers earlier this year at Wolverine Gym.
Head coach Dick Quayle will travel with a healthy team to Rock Springs (6-12, 1-4 4-A West), and knows that this could be a preview of a first-round regional tournament game.
Rock Springs's only conference win, a thrilling two-point victory over cross-county rival Green River, came last week in Rock Springs/
"Hopefully we'll be ready to go Saturday. It's a pretty big game. They always play a lot better on their home floor too. They may play us a little more in zone than they did up here, so that is a bit if a concern. Hopefully we'll react well to that," Quayle said.
Last year, Xavier Webb drained a 3-point shot with seconds to play to give Riverton a win against the top-ranked Tigers.
"I hope we can get better defensively, and offensively I hope we can get a bit stronger with the ball inside. I think we can hurt them inside," Quayle said. Riverton has the second best defense in Wyoming 4-A basketball, giving up 44.3 points per game, while Rock Springs has the worst, yielding more than 63 points per game.
"Last week we played well in terms of picking up our intensity. We'll have to have good all-around games as the year goes on. If we play well, we can beat everyone in our conference. We have talked about getting that second seed (for regionals) and not having to play that first-round game," Quayle said.
Tipoff for the varsity game is set for 2:30 p.m. in Rock Springs.
Tough test for girls
Ron Porter's Lady Wolverines (0-5, 1-18) played one of their best games of the year earlier this season against Rock Springs (12-6, 4-1) in a 53-39 loss in Riverton.
The Lady Tigers are second behind undefeated Casper Natrona in 4-A West standings.
"I thought we played pretty well against them for the most part the first time. They create pretty well off the dribble. They have three or four kids that can break you down defensively, and we have worked on that," head coach Ron Porter said.
The Wolverines will try to mix things up a bit more defensively, according to Porter, and may show more zone against Rock Springs.
"We need to be a team that varies our defensive look, and we've done a lot of that the last week or two in practice," Porter said.
Game time for the girls is 1 p.m.
Next week, both the boys and girls teams will travel to Casper for Friday games against Natrona County High School before returning to Wolverine Gym Saturday for games against Casper Kelly Walsh.
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