Feb 17, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine Staff WriterA needed win on the road against Casper Natrona didn't materialize for the Riverton Wolverine boys Thursday evening as Natrona led from start to finish and won a key Class 4-A West conference basketball game 70-58.
With the win, Natrona (9-12, 5-3 4-A West) kept its hopes alive for the second seed in the 4-A West and an automatic bid to the state tournament.
The loss for Riverton eliminates any hope of capturing the automatic state bid. The Wolverines will have to win their first round regional tournament game, likely against Rock Springs or Green River, to advance to the state tournament.
"It makes our remaining games that much more important. The thing that really hurt us is that we got broken down defensively by (Corey) Peck," Riverton coach Dick Quayle said. Peck finished the game with 16.
The Wolverines shot over 50 percent from the free-throw line, but just barely, going 15-29.
"It was a physical game. But we missed a lot of free throws, and that really hurt us," Quayle said.
Riverton was down by nine after the first quarter but fought back to take the lead in the second quarter 31-30 on a Kole Stewart putback and 33-32 after two Kade Salisbury free throws.
In the only other Class 4-A game Thursday, Evanston clinched the West 4-A title with a 50-35 win over Green River. "We really played well, but we played from behind the whole game," Quayle said. Junior Xavier Webb topped Riverton scoring with 17 points, the only Wolverine in double figures. Riverton will return home Saturday after playing five straight on the road with a 3 p.m. game against Casper Kelly Walsh.
"It will be so nice to be home. We've played five in a row on the road. It seems like we have been gone a long time," Quayle said.
Riverton will honor its seniors at another home game Tuesday, Feb. 21, against Green River in Wolverine Gym.
Riverton 9 24 12 13 -- 58
Natrona 18 16 17 18 -- 70
Riverton (58) -- Tyler Graham, 0 2-4 2, Kade Salisbury 2 2-2 6, Gard Evans 1 0-0 2, Donaldo Holquin 0 0-0 0, Kole Stewart 2 0-2 4, Xavier Webb 4 (3) 0-0 17, Michael Johnston 0 0-0 0, Colie Nicholls 1 3-5 5, Jeral Kohler 1 0-0 2, Jordan Bellville 0 2-5 2, Seth Quayle 5 1-2 11, Spenser Yowell 1 5-9 7. Totals 17 (3) 15-29 58.
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