Mar 3, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterThe Wolverines lost Saturday's regional title game to Casper KellyR00;Walsh and will open state-tournament play Thursday night vs. Cheyenne South.
GREEN RIVER -- The Riverton Wolverines mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback Saturday but couldn't overcome a 16-point deficit and fell 57-48 to the Kelly Walsh Trojans in the championship game of the Class 4-A West tournament in Green River.
It's the second consecutive year that the Wolverines placed second in their conference tournament. RHS is the regular-season conference champ.
Riverton will take the No. 2 seed from the West to play Cheyenne South for the first time in school history at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Casper College in the first round of the state tournament.
Riverton pulverized Rock Springs 63-24 in its semifinal game Friday night to set up the title game against Kelly Walsh.
The Trojans are the only team in the conference that RHS didn't defeat handily during the regular season, losing at home and winning narrowly in Casper.
"We just didn't show the patience we needed to be successful," head coach Dick Quayle said after Saturday's loss, "but I am so proud of the kids and they way they tried to come back. Our ultimate goal was not to win the regional championship. Our goal is to win state."
Although the Wolverines tied the game three times in the first half, they never had the lead and became frustrated with Kelly Walsh's deliberate style of play.
Leading 22-15 at the half, the Trojans outscored the Wolverines 18-9 in the third quarter and gained their biggest lead at 40-24.
"Our kids have confidence against them, I don't know why, but they do," Kelly Walsh coach Randy Roden said.
Beecher Strube led all scores with 15 points, despite being in foul trouble much of the second quarter. He hurt the Wolverines both inside and outside.
"He's so physically strong, and that hurt us in the first half," Quayle said.
Seth Quayle led the Wolverines with 13, and Xavier Webb added 10.
Riverton's frantic comeback started in the fourth quarter when the press begin to take a toll on the Trojans.
RHS got three buckets by Seth Quayle, deuces by Kade Salisbury, Jordan Belville and Brandon Fullerton, a 3-point bomb from the top of the key by Xavier Webb, and with free throws from Quayle and Coley Nicholls. Nicholls's diving steal and pass to Fullerton pulled the Wolverines within three points at 51-48.
With 2:21 still to play, a good contingent of Riverton fans and 23 loud Wolverine cheerleaders gave the team hope, but RHS could not close the gap.
"We showed a lot of heart, because we were down," Dick Quayle said.
Kelly Walsh, which now advances to the state tournament as the top seed from the West, destroyed tournament host Green River 73-36 Thursday and slipped by Evanston 54-45 in Friday's other semifinal game to advance to Saturday's championship match against the Wolverines.
Riverton 63, Rock Springs 34
In the West regional semi-final game against Rock Springs on Friday, the top-seeded Wolverines used a suffocating defense and went aggressively to the boards to dominate the Tigers who had advanced to the semi-final game by ending Casper Natrona's season 52-48 Thursday night.
Xavier Webb, with four three-point shots, led Riverton in scoring with 17 and Seth Quayle added 12.
No Tiger player scored more than six and RHS held the Tigers' leading scorer, Jordon Rood, who averages 15 points per game, to just five.
Colley Nichols scored four of Riverton's first six points and after Seth Quayle swatted a Lennon Spence shot, the Wolverines went 6-0 run and really never looked back.
On to state
Evanston will advance to state as the third seed from the West. The Red Devils defeated Rock Springs 54-48 in a game marred by technical fouls and fan ejections.
From the Class 4-A East boys tournament, Gillette will take the top seed to Casper next Thursday. The Camels downed Laramie 60-55 on their home court to claim the Class 4-A East title. Fifth-seed Cheyenne South surprised Cheyenne Central 62-56 in the third-place game.
In the Class 4-A West girls title game, Rock Springs scored only its second field goal with two minutes remaining in the third quarter en route to a 58-16 drubbing by the Casper Natrona Fillies, who will have the No. 1 seed from the West.
Evanston will advance to the girls state bracket as the third seed. The Red Devils downed Green River 53-32 .
In Gillette, Sheridan won the regional Class 4-A East girls title, beating Gillette 54-38. Cheyenne East beat Laramie 60-36 for third.
Riverton's girls lost their qualifying game Thursday night and will not go to state.
Rock Springs 7 8 14 5 -34
Riverton 12 20 17 14 -- 63
Rock Springs (34) -- Jordon Rood 2 1-2 5, Lennon Spence 1 3-4 5, Nick Blume 2 1-1 5, Koltin Legerski 0 0-0 0, Sean Wilmore 1 0-0 2, Zach Legerski 0 0-0 0, Padilla 0 0-0 (2) 6, Braxton Rosette 2 0-0 4, Darek Mattinson 2 0-0 4, Kellyn Goodrich 0 0-1 (1) 3, Garrett Mcgaha 0 0-2 0, Hanson 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 5-10 (3) 34.
Riverton (63) -- Brandon Fullerton 0 0-0 (1) 3, Kade Salisbury 2 2-4 6, Anthony Condie 1 2-2 4, Chris Quayle 0 2-4 2, Xavier Webb 2 1-2 (4) 17, Eion Meyers 0 0-0 0, Michael Johnston 2 0-0 4, Coley Nicholls 1 6-6 8, Myron Oldman 0 1-2 1, Jordan Belville 2 0-0 3, Seth Quayle 4 4-4 12, Wyatt Meyer 1 0-1 2. Totals 15 18-27 (5) 63.
Kelly Walsh 7 15 18 17---- 57
Riverton 7 10 9 22---- 48
Kelly Walsh (57) -- Kirk Durtsche 0 3-4 3, Drew Petrie 3 2-2 (1) 11, Marcus Nolan 1 0-0 2, Jacob Tapp 3 1-1 (1) 10, Kooper Adams 3 3-6 9, Beecher Strube 4 1-3 (2) 15, Ethan Applegate 3 0-2 6. Totals 18 9-18 (4) 57, Marcus Nolan, Cam McDaniel. Totals .
Riverton (48) -- Brandon Fullerton 2 0-0 (1) 7, Kade Salisbury 2 2-2 6, Anthony Condie 0 0-0 0, Chris Quayle 0 0-0 0, Xavier Webb 3 1-1 (10), Michael Johnston 1 0-0 2, Coley Nicholls 0 2-2 2, Myron Oldman 0 0-0 0, Jordan Belville 4 0-2 8, Seth Quayle 6 1-1 13, Wyatt Meyer 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 6-8 (2) 48.
Class 4-A boys
Kelly Walsh vs. Cheyenne Central, noon at Casper College; Laramie vs. Evanston, 1:30 p.m at Casper College; Riverton vs. Cheyenne South, 7:30 p.m. at Casper College; Gillette vs. Rock Springs, 9 p.m. at Casper College.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.