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Younger hoops team wins title in Montana

Jan 25, 2013 - From staff reports

Riverton showed balanced scoring and team depth at the tournament.

A Riverton basketball team had a successful tournament Jan.19-20, winning a team title in Billings. Mont.

The eighth-grade boys traveled to Billings, and competed in the Billings Central Rams Hoopfest. There were 12 teams in the bracket. Ten were from Montana, with Cody and Riverton representing Wyoming.

The boys team consists of Easton Paxton, Brady Fullerton, Niko Garcia, Andre Goodman, Teron Doebele, Alec Richardson, Gary Medicine Cloud, Kylan Shultz and Treyton Paxton.

The first two games of the tournament were pool-play games. Teams had to win their pool to advance to the championship bracket.

Riverton opened the tournament with a win over the Billings Cyclones, 47-39.

Garcia led the team in scoring with 20, Doebele added nine. The second game and must win to stay in championship contention was won later Saturday against the Billings Flight.

The young Wolverines came out more determined and used a full-court, pressure defense to notch the win 59-34. Medicine Cloud scored a team-high 14, with Fullerton and Garcia each pitching in 13.

In the championship bracket, Riverton faced the Billings Gators. Defense again fueled the Wolver-ines ,as they gave up only 28 while pouring in 54 of their own.

Easton Paxton was the high- point man with 16. The rest of the team spread out the points. Fullerton had nine, Doebele eight, Medicine Cloud and Garcia netted six, and Shultz had five.

The championship game was a much anticipated game with a fourth team from Billings, the Fellas.

The Fellas had beaten their previous three opponents by 38, 31 and 18.

Defense was again the answer as Riverton rolled to a 59-35 victory.

Easton Paxton again led all scorers with 21, Doebele and Medicine Cloud each had 11, and Fullerton and Garcia netted seven apiece. Riverton coach Curt Paxton was pleased with the team's effort and chemistry.

"These boys have been out of the gym since November. I was a little concerned with their conditioning. Every time we go to Billings, we face some really tough competition."

Paxton also was quick to mention the depth that the team is building.

"We are getting to a point when there is little to no drop-off when we substitute. That is huge, when your second five are giving the other team's first five fits, it makes it easy to coach."

The boys have little time to celebrate as they will be heading to Gillette next weekend for their second tournament in as many weekends.

The team hopes to play in Rapid City, Cody and Casper to round out the season.

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