Feb 28, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterNow it gets interesting.
The Riverton Wolverines boys basketball team, after one of the most successful regular seasons in school history, will take the No. 1 seed into the the Class 4-A West regional tournament in Green River.
The Wolverines (21-3, 8-2 Class 4-A West) play their first game Friday at 8:30 p.m. after receiving a first-round bye and an automatic state tournament berth. Riverton will face the winner of the Casper Natrona vs. Rock Springs game to be played at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the tournament.
Riverton will try to recover from last Saturday's stumble at Evanston, where the Red Devils put a late season damper on the Wolverines with a 63-54 win.
"We has a bit of a letdown. With Rock Springs beating Evanston the night before (giving Riverton the Class 4-A West regular season title), the kids kind of relaxed a little bit. We played pretty well defensively, but we didn't rebound very well, and our offense was not very good," RHS head coach Dick Quayle said.
Although Riverton leads the Class 4-A West in both offensive production, scoring 61.5 points per game and is second in team defense, yielding 46 points per game, the stall last week is top-of-mind for Riverton's coaching staff.
"It's a definite concern. We didn't play real well and we weren't sharp. We have to improve on our rebounding. We can't give second opportunities like we did in that game," Quayle said.
In other first round action, Kelly Walsh, the only other conference team to beat Riverton this year, will face Green River at 8:30 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to Friday's state tournament seeding bracket with a 5:30 p.m. game against second-seeded Evanston.
"I am just hoping we can play well. I'm hoping that we can get on a track where were moving up a little bit instead of coming down," Quayle said.
Quayle said the Wolverine team players were disappointed with their performance at Evanston and have played hard in practice in preparation for upcoming regional and state tournaments.
"There's always that nervousness that it's getting down to the end now," Quayle said.
Riverton will hit the tournament in good health and will go with its usual starting lineup of Seth Quayle, Jordan Belville, Xavier Webb, Kade Salisbury and Coley Nicholls, all seniors.
Quayle predicts that Gillette is the class of the 4-A East and that Laramie will be strong also.
But it's this week's tournament that is now the focus for Riverton.
"I don't see it as there is an easy game for us in this tournament. We will have to play well to beat everybody," Quayle said.
Final Class 4-A West Standings
Riverton 21-3, 8-2
Evanston 14 -9, 7-3
Kelly Walsh 12 - 11, 6-4
Rock Springs 10 - 13, 5-5
Natrona 8-13, 4-6
Green River 4-18, 0-10
Final Class 4-A East Standings
Gillette 20-2, 10-0
Laramie 18-4, 8-2
Cheyenne Central 9-11, 4-6
Sheridan 9-13, 4-6
Cheyenne South 9-14, 2-8
Cheyenne East 5-18, 2-8
Class 4-A West Regional Tournament
at Green River
Natrona (5) vs. Rock Springs (4) 5:30 p.m.
Green River (6) vs. Kelly Walsh (3) 8:30 p.m.
3 vs. Winner vs 2 Evanston (2) 5:30 p.m.
4 vs. 5 Winner vs Riverton (1) 8:30 p.m.
Class 4-A East
Cheyenne East (6) vs. Cheyenne Central (3) at Cheyenne Central 7 p.m.
Cheyenne South (5) vs. Sheridan (4) 5:30 p.m.
3 vs. 6 Winner vs. Laramie (2) 5:30 p.m. 4 vs. 5 Winner vs. Gillette (1) 8:30 p.m.
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