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St. Stephen's boys headed to state

Feb 26, 2012 - Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

LANDER -- Lakota Oldman scored the last four points on Saturday morning against Dubois to lock up a state Class 1-A boys basketball berth for St. Stephen's in a 73-70 victory at the 1-A West regional tournament at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.

Dubois went up 70-69 on a Ty Finley basket, but the Eagles remained focused to extend their season for another week.

Oldman scored 16 points in the final period and had 26 points overall to lead the way for the Eagles.

"Lakota played pretty good," St. Stephen's interim coach Ricky Blackburn said. "Lakota had one shot that I wasn't to sure of when we had the lead, but other than that he played under control."

The Eagles came into the regional tournament as the No. 4 seed from the Northwest and had to beat Farson on Monday in a play-in game.

Big for seniors

"For the seniors, it's big because you always want to go to the state tournament," Blackburn said.

In the third place game, Ten Sleep downed St Stephen's 59-50.

Little Snake River beat Burlington 63-53 in the title game. Dubois knocked off Cokeville in the opening round on Thursday but fell to Burlington 77-44 in one of the semifinal games on Friday. .

"Dubois is a much improved team from the first two times that we played them," Blackburn said. "The first two games they didn't handle our pressure very well. This time they took it right at us. They were just running with the ball. A lot of the times we didn't get back and get our defense set because they were coming down the court so fast."

Dubois seniors on the roster are Ty Finley and Mitchell Baker. Dubois is coached by Jim Dolezal.

"The Dubois coach did a wonderful job and turning around the program this year," Blackburn said.

SSHS 73, Dubois 70

The two county schools were on an even pace in the first half of the early morning game, and the intensity continued into the second half.

Johnnie Whiteman nailed a 3-pointer at 45-43 in the third quarter. Mitchell Baker answered with a 3-pointer of his own to pull the Rams ahead 48-47.

Lorenzo Roman picked up his third foul with four minutes left in the third and went to the bench.

Baker added another 3-pointer for a 50-49 lead. Roman scored on an offensive rebound to close it to 52-51 but was whistled for his fourth foul with a minute left in the third.

Andrew Bearing joined Roman on the bench with his fourth foul before the fourth period started.

Roman and Bearing both started the final stanza on the floor. At the 6:30 mark, Stephen Collins made a layup for a 57-54 advantage.

Lakota Oldman scored five straight points, including a 3-pointer to put St. Stephen's up 61-58. Oldman was nailed for his fourth foul with three minutes to play in regulation. Roman latter fouled at the 1:03 mark to set the stage for Oldman's critical baskets at the end.

Dubois sophomore center Austin Tharp won the battle of the centers. Tharp poured in 28 points. Roman had 26. .

"Austin got the better of Lorenzo," Blackburn said. "We have to get Lorenzo in shape next week.

Burlington 77, Dubois 44

Tharp was the key point player in the first half for the Rams. The Dubois sophomore center had eight points in the first half and eight more in the second to head into the break with 16 points.

In the second half, Burlington slowed down Tharp, holding him to six points in the final two periods as the powerful Huskies cruised into the championship game. Down just 37-29 at halftime, the Rams were outscored 40-15 in the second half.

Baker finished the semifinal game scoring nine points.

SSHS 21 16 15 21 -- 73

DHS 22 13 18 17 -- 70

St. Stephen's -- Johnnie Whiteman 1 (1) 1-3 6, Cole Litttleshield 5 2-2 12, Lakota Oldman 10 (2) 0-1 26, Andrew Bearing 2 0-0 4, Steven Monroe 1 (1) 1-2 6, Lorenzo Roman 8 3-4 19. Totals 27 (4 7-12 73.

Dubois -- Kyle Tea 2 0-0 4, Stephen Collins 1 1-3 3, Mitchell Baker 3 (2) 5-9 19, Ty Finley 1 1-2 3, Nathan Moore 1 (3) 2-2 13, Austin Tharp 14 2-4 28.

Burlington 77, Dubois 44

BHS 23 14 23 17 -- 77

DHS 17 12 7 8 -- 44

Dubois -- Kyle Tea (1) 1-2 4, Mitchell Baker 2 (1) 2-3 9, Ty Finley 2 0-0 4, Nathan Moore, 1 (1) 0-0 5, Austin Tharp 8 6-7 22. Totals 13 (3) 9-12 44.

Burlington -- Jacob Bulinger 1 0-01 2, Ben Mancuso 0 0-1 0, Rian McIntosh 5 (1) 0-0 13, Daneil Davidson 7 6-7 20, Jess McNiven 1 0-0 2, Anson George 4 (1) 1-2 12, Nicholas Carrizales 5 (1) 0-0 13, James Davidson 2 0-0 4, Preston Wardell 5 1-1 11. Totals 30 92) 8-12 67.

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