Feb 22, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterSchool was in session again in the late game Thursday at Wolverine Gym in Riverton as the top-ranked Lovell Bulldogs educated the upstart Wind River Cougars 69-27 in opening-round action at the Class 2-A West regional basketball tournament.
Rarely has a physical presence been so one-sided in prep basketball as the two squads appeared Thursday. Lovell is a huge team dominated by 11 players 6 or taller, six of those 6-3 to 6-6. There is a weight room at Lovell High School, and it looks like the entire team knows where the key is located.
The Bulldogs were a power in Class 2-A football the last two years and averaged about seven inches and 45 pounds over their opponents per player.
Wind River is laden with freshmen and has just one senior in 6-2 post Ryan Weliever.
At times the game looked like a practice in an open week when the eighth grade came up to scrimmage the high school varsity.
Lovell played exemplary basketball behind 6-6 guard Cody Savage. Savage was impressive in nearly every aspect of the game, scoring easily with either his left or right hand, bringing the ball up the floor, and passing accurately to wide open teammates under the basket.
Perhaps his best play of the game came with 5:00 remaining in the second period. He dropped to shoot and Ryan Weliever closed defensively. Savage faked the shot, stepped wide, and hit a wide-open Austin Ellis for a layup from the opposite side.
Overall, Lovell passed the ball as well as any team in recent memory, putting on a dazzling display of teamwork, systematically carving up the determined but overmatched Cougars.
Savage led all scorers with 18, while Ryan Clark added 16 for the Bulldogs.
Freshmen Delshai Roanhorse and Caleb C'Bearing paced the Cougars with eight and seven, respectively.
Lovell faces third-seeded Thermopolis, a 60-57 winner of Big Piney, at 7:30 in Wolverine gym Friday night.
LOVELL 18 14 18 19 -- 69
WIND RIVER - 5 7 13 2 -- 27
Lovell -- Jacob Adey 1 0-0 2, Chase Tippetts (1) 0-0 3, Mysen McArthur 2 0-2 4, Dylan Hultgren 1 0-0 2, Kade Nicholls 3 2-4 8, Seth Kite 3 0-2 6, Austin Ellis 2 1-3 5, Ryan Clark 8 0-2 16, Cody Savage 9 0-0 18, C.J. Murphey 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 (1) 6-17 69
Wind River -- Caleb C'Bearing 2 (1) 0-0 7, Brett Roanhorse 1 0-0 2, Clayton Renick 1 0-0 2, Ryan Weliever 1 0-2 2, Bryce Hankins 2 0-0 4, Delshai Roanhorse 2 (1) 1-4 8, Jason Sorensen 0-2 0, Dakota Snyder 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 (1) 1-8 27
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