Jul 5, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterIt's not basketball season, but you wouldn't know it from the schedule that the Riverton Wolverines boys varsity and junior varsity teams have been keeping.
"We've had a pretty good summer so far. We've been to five camps in Billings, Thermopolis, Black Hills, Denver and the University of Wyoming," head coach Dick Quayle said.
The Wolverines will be looking to get back to the state tournament after finishing second in the Class 4-A West regional tournament last year. It was Riverton's first appearance at a state basketball tournament since 2004.
Quayle and assistant coach Stuart Mullins are hoping their players continue to improve individual basketball skills during open gym time and camps.
"Honestly, I just want them to go out and play and learn to play the game a little better. I want try and incorporate some team concepts into that, too. I think we have made good progress," Quayle said.
Quayle noted that, although camp attendance had been good, one area of disappointment has been that attendance at open gyms and morning pod workouts hasn't been too strong.
"We're about 30 percent to 40 percent there. The whole month of June we basically play in camps. The month of July really will allow for individual improvement," Quayle said.
The Wolverines will participate in one more camp at Central Wyoming College in July.
"We'll try and keep them in the gym as long as they'll keep the gyms open. We'll be done the first of August. They need a couple of weeks to get ready for football or cross country," Quayle said.
The Wolverines have played "pretty well" in their camps this summer, according to Quayle, and split teams in Thermopolis to allow younger players more playing time.
At Black Hills, the Wolverines were 8-1. In Denver, the Wolverines only lost to Class 5-A Thomas Jefferson (Colorado) High School by three points.
"We played really well with some good Denver schools down there. At the UW camp in Laramie, we beat all of the Wyoming teams that we played including Natrona, Cheyenne South, Cheyenne East. We eventually lost to a Colorado all-star teams that had been brought up with a couple of kids UW was recruiting. I thought our kids had a great effort," Quayle said.
Quayle believes that he will start with a better team this coming November than he ended with last season in March.
"The one thing we have to do to get better as a team is to improve individually. I sure think we saw that we can compete with any teams in Wyoming very well, and we can compete with a lot of the out-of-state teams very well. We saw a lot of different types of defenses. We saw presses, zones, pressure man, position man.
"It was a good experience to have to react to those things, adjust, and figure out how to be successful," Quayle said.
This coming year, Riverton may play a bit more zone defense and half-court trap than in the past, according to Quayle.
"We're not tremendously quick, but we do have some size. We can put four kids on the floor that are 6-foot-3 or better. That can be effective and we have seen that this summer," Quayle said.
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