Jan 10, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorDavion Pearson was held scoreless until he hit four free throws in the final two minutes, and teammate Roozario Wiggins put in another one as Central Wyoming College posted a 72-69 victory against Sheridan College in an early showdown of two top teams in the Region IX North men's basketball division.
The win Wednesday night at Rustler Gym moved the CWC Rustlers to 3-1 in the division and 13-3 overall. Sheridan College is now 3-1 and 14-4 on the year.
The Rustlers were 14-24 from the charity stripe and Sheridan was 13-20. CWC had 19 turnovers. Sheridan College finished with 12 in the physical battle.
"Free throws are always big at the end, but if we don't turn the ball over three or four times before that and miss a couple of free throws then we are not in that situation," CWC men's coach Shelby Lindley said.
Pearson picked up his second foul three minutes into the contest, forcing Lindley to have backup point guard Jordan Phouthavong run the show the rest of the half.
Phouthavong responded with eight points and dishing out three assists. Phouthavong closed out the first half on a buzzer-beater from half court to give CWC a commanding 39-25 lead at the break.
"Jordan was ready to play," Lindley said. "He won us the game. That is what sophomores do. I told Jordan at the end of the first half 'I don't want you to pass the ball,' because I didn't want Sheridan taking any momentum into halftime. Those are the shots that Jordan makes every day in practice."
In the second half, the Rustlers kept it a 15-point advantage on a Tanner Newbold 3-pointer for a 55-40 cushion at the 12:42 mark.
"We did the little things until about seven minutes to go," Lindley said. "We had too many turnovers at the end. We didn't get them in sets. When we do the little things, we are a pretty good team."
Sheridan closed the score to 62-56, but Newbold hit another 3-pointer for a 65-56 edge. The visiting team closed to 67-63, but could never take the lead vs. CWC.
Armani Flannigan powered his way to 17 points and eight rebounds for CWC. Ryan Thomas connected for 12 points and five rebounds. The Rustlers outrebounded Sheridan 31-25. CWC had six 3-pointers.
"One thing that we are focusing in on is throwing the basketball to the low post," Lindley said. "We have some of the best post players in the league. Our guards are very good at coming off screens shooting the basketball."
Ron Mvouika paced Sheridan with 18 points. Tate Stensgaard put in 12, and Frederic Dure 11.
"Sheridan is a top two team in the league," Lindley said. Sheridan and Casper College are good. They have very good guard play and their bigs are good. They are talented."
The Rustlers play Saturday at Miles Community College.
"I told the players that if you want to be a great team, then you have to be ready to play every night," Lindley said.
Miles is 7-8 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
CWC men 72, Sheridan College 69
CWC 39 33 -- 72
SHERIDAN 25 44 -- 69
CWC -- Davion Pearson 0 4-6 4, Tanner Newbold 0 (3) 2-3 11, Armani Flannigan 7 3-8 17, w Tademy 3 (1) 0-0 9, Austin Hudson 3 0-0 6, Jordan Phouthavong 1 (2) 0-0 8, David Beaty 1 0-0 2, Roozario Wiggins 1 1-1 3, Ryan Thomas 4 4-5 12. Totals 20 (6) 14-24 72.
Sheridan -- Joe Kiely 2 (1) 1-2 8, Ron Mvouika 4 (2) 4-6 18, Isaac Oeltjen 2 1-2 5 Victor Bermudez 1 (1) 2-2 7, Tate Stensgaard 6 0-0 12, Frederic Dure (2) 5-8 11, Iakeem Alston 2 0-0 4, John Ruffin 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 (6) 13-20 69.