Feb 22, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine Staff WriterThe end of the regular season seemingly has turned into a three-act play for the Riverton Wolverines.
Act I for Riverton (16-6, 5-4 4-A West) was Tuesday's 63-45 win over Green River (6-14, 1-8 4-A West) in Wolverine Gym.
In Act II, the Wolverines watch and hope Casper Kelly Walsh can beat Casper Natrona on Thursday.
That would set up Act III, placing an exclamation point on the regular season with a home win over Evanston Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Wolverine Gym.
Time will tell if the Wolverines can pull off all three acts.
Act I was a success on senior night in Wolverine Gym, especially for senior Kole Stewart. He led the Wolverines in scoring with 15 points, including 10 of the 12 points Riverton scored in the second quarter that gave RHS a four point 26-22 lead at halftime.
If Riverton has had an Achilles heel this season, it has been the inability to start consistently at the beginning of games and after halftime.
The Wolverines started well enough Tuesday with a 3-point shot from senior Donaldo Holquin and consistent play from all the senior basketball players who started the game -- Holguin, Stewart, Gard Evans, Tyler Graham and Spenser Yowell -- and the sixth Riverton senior, Jerel Kohler, whom head coach Dick Quayle calls Riverton's toughest, most aggressive player in practice.
"I think our seniors have done a good job this year and have been good leaders. I think all of them have sacrificed and worked hard," Quayle said.
The teams played it close during the first half, and the Wolverines struggled at times stopping the weaving halfcourt offense against the quick players from Green River.
Riverton made a determined effort in the third quarter to play better man defense and play more aggressively in general.
"We talked about at halftime about getting the ball inside and making ball fakes to get the ball inside," head coach Dick Quayle said.
And Riverton's big kids delivered. Seth Quayle scored 12 and Yowell added 11 to help Riverton explode to a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter to cruise to the win.
Xavier Webb, with three 3-pointers, had 13 for the Wolverines.
"They decided they could get inside, and they out-rebounded us. We know how we need to play, but we didn't tonight," Green River head coach Rick Carroll said.
The Riverton win sets up the waiting game to see whether Kelly Walsh can win Thursday. More important, the Wolverines will host Evanston Saturday in their final home game at 2 p.m.
"We need to play solid defense. It will come down to the small things for us to beat Evanston," Stewart said.
The Wolverines can place as high as second and gain an automatic bid to state with a KW win Thursday and an RHS win Saturday.
If Kelly Walsh loses to Natrona, and Evanston beats Riverton, then Kelly Walsh would have the third seed behind Evanston and Natrona because KW has beaten Natrona once, and Riverton has not.
If Kelly Walsh loses and Riverton wins Saturday, Evanston would be the top seed, Natrona would have the second seed, and Riverton would be seeded third for the upcoming Class 4-A West regional tournament in Riverton beginning Thursday, March 1.
GRHS 12 10 10 13 --45
Riverton 14 12 13 24 --63
Green River (45) -- Stephen Curry 1 0-0 2, Tyler Trumble 0 0-0 0, Kenyon Baker 2 0-0 4, Colter Hamel 1 (2) 3-7 11 , Jerome Krysl 2 (3) 6-9 19, Zach Huber 0 0-0 0, Skyler Bloom 2 1-4 5, Ridge Leinen 0 1-2 1, Blain Christensen 0 (1) 0-0 3, Zach Shoemaker 0 0-0 0, Hunter Rackley 0 0-2 0. Totals 8 (6) 11-24 45.
Riverton (63) -- Tyler Graham 3 0-0 6, Gard Evans 0 0-0 0, Donoldo Holguin 0 (1) 0-0 3, Kole Stewart 4 7-10 15, Spenser Yowell 4 3-4 11, Kade Salisbury 0 0-0 0, Xavier Webb 2 (3) 0-0 13, Michael Johnston 0 0-0 0, Coley Nicholls 0 0-0 0, Jerel Kohler 0 0-0 0, Jordan Belville 1 1-1 3, Seth Quayle 5 2-2 12. Totals 19 (4) 13-17 63.
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