Jan 3, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorCentral Wyoming College returns from the holiday break for a two-game Region IX men's basketball home stand.
The Rustlers open the stretch at 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Western Wyoming Community College at Rustler Gym. CWC hosts Sheridan College at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9.
CWC enters January with a 1-1 league mark and 11-3 overall.
The Rustlers lost to Casper College, but beat Northwest College in conference play. CWC went 6-2 during an eight-game road trip that started in November. The Rustlers are 5-0 on their home floor.
"I think that in the last two weeks of last month we got really tired, but it was a good first half of the season," CWC men's coach Shelby Lindley said. "We have 14 more games of conference. The guys have came back off of Christmas break focused and ready to go."
Lindley gave his players 12 days off for Christmas break.
"It's hard to get them back in the swing of things in terms of their attention level and them being in shape," Lindley said. "Our guys did a really good job over Christmas break in lifting and playing. You can tell who played over the break and who hasn't."
Davion Pearson and Armani Flannigan lead the Rustlers in scoring. Pearson averages 14.3 points per game, Flannigan 13.3.
"Davion and Armani have played really well," LIndley said. "Davion went on a spurt for about two and a half weeks when he was one of the better guards in Region IX."
Pearson is running the show from the point guard position.
"Davion has taken care of the basketball and he has been a leader in practice," Lindley said.
Lindley said Ryan Thomas and Austin Hudson need to contribute for the Rustlers.
"We need a big second half from Ryan and Austin," Lindley said. "Austin has been out a little bit with injuries."
Forwards Isaiah Tademy and David Baety have practiced well since coming off Christmas break.
"Isaiah and David need to step up for us," LIndley said. "They are both very talented and very good kids."
The Western Wyoming Mustangs check into the game Saturday with an 0-2 conference mark and a 3-11 overall record.
Ryan Orton is coaching his first season for Western. The Mustangs finished seventh in the nation in the 2010-11 season.
"Western is not as talented, but they do shoot the ball well," Lindley said. "They do try to keep it low scoring because they know they can't run up and down with you."
Western Wyoming fell to Casper College 76-66 and Little Big Horn College 79-73 in its two conference setbacks.
"We will have to get out and ball-pressure them," Lindley said. "Anytime you are in league, it doesn't matter what the record is. Everybody has a chance to beat anybody."
Sheridan College is 13-3 overall and 3-0 in league play. Casper College (11-3 overall, 2-0) and Sheridan were the two preseason picks to compete for the league title.
Region IX North
overall record first
Sheridan College 13-3, 3-0
Casper College 11-3, 2-0
Central Wyoming College 11-3, 1-1
Miles Community College 7-7, 1-1
Gillette College 7-6, 1-1
Little Big Horn College 4-11, 1-1
Northwest College 12-5, 1-2
Western Wyoming Community College 3-11, 0-2
Dawson Community College 3-10, 0-3
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