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Rams win squeaker from Cokeville
Ty Finley of Dubois, defended by Cokeville's Kennan Thompson, lost control of the basketball on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Class 1-A West regional basketball tournament. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Rams win squeaker from Cokeville

Feb 24, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets Sports Editor

LANDER -- Dubois pulled out 58-56 victory over Cokeville on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Class 1-A West regional boys basketball tournament at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in Lander

The Rams came into the double-elimination tournament as the No. 3 seed from the Northwest, and Cokevill's Panthers were the No. 2 seed from the Southwest.

The Rams struggled from the foul line all game long, but made enough at the end to advance to the semifinals. Dubois was 11-31 from the charity stripe.

"We got into foul trouble early in the game," Dubois coach Jim Dolezal said. "We played with some young guys, but Cokeville had a heck of a game. Cokeville plays great defense, and they give the ball to the open man. Cokeville had two 3-pointers at the end that were clutch."

The Rams played Burlington (No. 1 seed/Northwest) in one of the semifinals on Friday afternoon. Dubois needs to win one more game in two days to advance to the state tournament. Burlington crushed Hanna Elk Mountain 90-41 on Thursday .

"We haven't been to the state tournament in seven years," Dolezal said. "It would be great if we got to state. These guys deserve it. They have been playing hard all year. I think that they are due for the state games."

Burlington was 2-0 in the regular season vs. the Rams.

"Burlington is the team to beat in the field, but after that I think that anybody could make state,' Dolezal said.

Dubois 58, Cokeville 56

After a back-and-forth first half, the Rams started to pound the ball inside to center Austin Tharp in the third quarter.

Tharp responded with four straight points to build the lead to 37-27. Sterling Baker added a field goal to give DHS its biggest cushion at 41-33.

The Panthers jumped back into the game at 42-39 on a 3-pointer from Dustin Davis. In the fourth quarter, Tharp was called for his fifth foul at the 6:53 mark. The 6-foot-3 center went to the bench with 18 points.

Baker took control of the scoring down the stretch, scoring four straight points to keep ahead 52-44.

The Panthers went on a 8-0 run to close the gap to 54-52. In the final minutes, Ty Finley recorded four free throws to end the scoring for DHS.

Finley and Baker each scored 11 points apiece. Davis tallied 19 points for Cokeville.

Dubois 58, Cokeville 56

DUBOIS 17 16 14 11 -- 58

COKEVILLE 16 11 14 15 -- 56

Dubois -- Kyle Tea 1 (2) 1-2 9, Thomas Hoadley 2 0-0 4, Kolter Leseberg 0 1-2 1, Mitchell Baker 3 5-10 11, Ty Finley 3 (1) 2-11 11, Nathan Moore 2 0-0 4, Austin Tharp 8 2-5 18. Totals 19 (3) 11-31 58.

Cokeville -- Kennan Thompson (1) 0-0 3, Brendan Cook 4 4-8 12, Haydon Harmon 1 1-3 1, Dustin Davis 5 (2) 3-5 19, Nathan Cook 8 3-5 19. Totals 18 3 11-21 56.

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