Balanced Chiefs open with big winMar 2, 2012 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer
UPDATE: Wyoming Indian High School will play Lovell for the Class 2-A title game Saturday night in Casper, and the Ranger will be there. Look for full coverage in Sunday's Ranger. WIHS beat Greybull 52-51 and Lovell downed Wind River 79-52 to advance.
CASPER -- The Burns Broncs' defensive strategy was successful Thursday night at Swede Erickson Gym. The Broncs opened in a box-and-one defense on high-scoring Wyoming Indian senior John Soundingsides and limited the quick shooting guard to just 14 points in the opening round of the Class 1-A/2-A state basketball tournament.
Unfortunately for Burns, there are four other players than require defense as well.
Wyoming Indian routed Burns 75-53 in opening-round tournament action behind a balanced attack that saw five players reach double-digit scoring. In addition to 14 from Soundingsides, Joey Aragon tallied 13, Alvin Spoonhunter and Wilson Clifford 12 and Trevor Williamson 10.
The Chiefs advance to a 9 p.m. Friday semifinal game against Greybull at the Casper Events Center.
Aragon hit a 3-pointer just 18 seconds into the game, but Burns answered with short jumpers from Trever McNamee, Travis Romsa and Colton Wright to take an early 6-3 lead.
Wyoming Indian recovered on a Soundingsides shot off the glass to regain the lead at 9-8 with 2:32 left in the first.
Burns countered on a trey from Chad Lemaster to take its final lead of the game at 12-11.
Aragon carried the Chiefs in the second with a trey and two-of-three free throws after he was hammered on an attempt beyond the arc.
Williamson entered the game and hit back-to-back follow shots to give the Chiefs an 11-point lead. A Wilson 3-pointer and a free throw from Ron Mitchell put the Chiefs up 33-8 with two minutes to go, but Burns rallied on 9-2 run highlighted by a buzzer-beating trey from Cory Lemaster to end the half trailing 35-27.
It was the land of the trey for the Chiefs in the third. Soundingsides hit one just seconds into the half followed by a pair from Spoonhunter, Aragon ended the period with a baseline 3-pointer that ripped the net with just two seconds remaining in the period.
Holding a decisive 56-34 lead, the Chiefs cruised in the final minutes.
Romsa, a promising 6-4 sophomore for the Broncs, had interesting individual battles with Wyoming Indian's Joseph Howell and Williamson throughout the game but wasn't able to overcome the team effort by the Chiefs.
Early in the third period Burns abandoned the box-and-one effort on Soundingsides but it didn't change the outcome, and the Chiefs rolled into the semifinal spotlight via the 22-point win.
WYOMING INDIAN 16 19 21 19 -- 75
BURNS 13 14 7 19 -- 53
Wyoming Indian -- Shane Willow 1 0-0 2, Charlie O'Neal 1 2-4 4, Joey Aragon 1 (3) 2-5 13, Wilson Clifford 3 (1) 2-3 11, Joseph Howell 2 2-5 6, Ron Mitchell 1 1-2 3, Alvin Spoonhunter 2 (2) 2-4 12, John Sounding Sides 4 (2) 0-0 14, Trevor Williamson 5 0-0 10. Totals 20 (8) 11-24 75
Burns -- Brodie Ecklund 3 0-0 6, Chad Lemaster (1) 0-0 3, Trever McNamee 2 (1) 0-0 7, Colton Wright 5 4-6 14, Colby Ward 2 0-0 4, Taylor Kirkbride 1-2 1, Kaleb Morgan 1 0-0 2, Cory Lemaster (1) 1-4 4, Travis Romsa 5 1-5 11, Cole Bostron 1-2 1. Totals 18 (3) 8-20 53