Jan 9, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorIt was a different game from the previous meeting, when Riverton beat the Tigers by 25 points.
Kade Salisbury knew Riverton High School had dodged a bullet after a 49-45 boys basketball victory was earned Tuesday night over Lander Valley High School.
Salisbury delivered four points late in the fourth quarter to put the Wolverines ahead 44-38 at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in the cross-county duel.
Salisbury made a perfect pass to Coley Nicholls for a layup to ice the game for RHS.
Lander's Hunter Bregar hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close the gap to four points.
"It was a pretty tough game for us," Salisbury said. "Our shots didn't fall like they normally do."
The Wolverines' big men were in foul trouble all night long. Jordan Belville picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter, and Seth Quayle spent extra time on the bench with three fouls.
"It kind of hurt us a little bit," Salisbury said. "We had to do our zone, and we didn't know our rotations. Lander hit a couple of 3-pointers. We just had mismatch problems."
RHS had beaten the Tigers by 25 points in the second game of the season at Wolverine Gym.
"I thought that Lander played really good defense this time," RHS head coach Dick Quayle said. "Lander was very physical. We had trouble getting easy baskets against them. Last time against them we got a lot of open looks. We just couldn't get the up-tempo game going this time."
The Wolverines were coming off three straight solid victories over Thermopolis, Laramie and Sheridan in a home tournament last weekend at Wolverine Gym.
"Our kids didn't play really well offensively," Quayle said. "The foul trouble that we got in hurt us a little bit. I thought that we got some good performances out of several kids."
RHS is ranked No. 2 in the Class 4-A division.
"We lost to a really good Riverton team," LVHS coach Terry Hopkin said.
"They are a very well-coached team. I hope that Riverton will win the 4-A championship just to show people."
Hopkin said the biggest difference this time around was that LVHS took care of the basketball.
"We didn't have 30 turnovers," Hopkin said. "We worked the basketball. Our defense was tough. We played hard, but the difference was how many mistakes we were making."
RHS moved to 12-1 on the year. The Wolverines end their preseason schedule on Saturday on the road vs. Powell. LVHS fell to 5-6 on the season
Riverton 49, Lander 45
The Tigers controlled the pace of the game from the start against Riverton.
RHS had a 13-12 lead after the first quarter. In the second period, the Wolverines outscored the Tigers 13-8.
In the third period, LVHS put together a 14-point period to keep pace. n the third quarter, Lucas Watkins had six points. Hunter Bregar and Casey Winger had huge 3-pointers for Lander that kept the Wolverines on edge.
Riverton's Michael Johnston ended the third quarter on a dunk to it up 34-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
"That dunk by Michael was big," Salisbury said. "That got us all fired up. That gave us extra energy."
Johnston and Seth Quayle put in back-to-back field goals for a 38-34 lead.
Watkins hit a pair of free throws to make it 40-38. Xavier Webb left the game after being knocked to the floor on a no call with 4:19 left in the game. Webb returned at the 1:10 mark and hit two late free throws for the Wolverines.
Webb netted 13 points, and Salisbury finished with 12.
"I just tried to hustle and get steals," Salisbury said.
Coach Quayle liked the way Johnston, Anthony Condie and Brandon Fullerton all contributed to the victory after coming off the bench.
Condie guarded Watkins in the paint during his time on the court.
"Brandon did a good job defensively," Quayle said.
Johnston had eight points, and Fullerton scored two.
Watkins put in 16, the only LVHS player in double figures.
Riverton 49, Lander 45
RHS 13 13 8 15 -- 49
LVHS 12 8 14 11 -- 45
Riverton -- Brandon Fullerton 1 0-0 2, Kade Salisbury 4 (1) 1-3 12, Xavier Webb 3 (1) 4-4 13, Michael Johnston 3 2-2 8, Jordan Belville 1 2-2 4, Seth Quayle 2 0-0 4, Wyatt Meyer 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 (2) 9-11 49.
Lander -- Jordan Crane 1 2-2 4, Hunter Bregar 1 (2) 0-0 8, Casey Winger (2) 3-4 9, Adam Shipley 4 0-3 8, Lucas Watkins 7 2-8 16. Totals 13 (4) 7-17 45.
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