Mar 28, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff WriterThe second annual charity basketball game between the Lander and Riverton volunteer fire departments Saturday night raised nearly twice as much as it did last year for Tough Enough to Help Cancer Fund.
"We are still waiting to tally up all of the money but right now we are over $8,000," Lander fire administrator Nick Hudson said Monday morning.
"I think we had a lot of guys and their wives who went out and busted their tails in getting sponsorships. We had a fairly substantial amount of money raised before the game even started."
By Monday afternoon, Riverton Capt. David Woolery said the amount was up to $9,000.
"We doubled what we made last year. I think it's more sponsorships from local businesses and the live auction that made a little more money this year," Woolery said.
The cancer fund is a nonprofit created to help Fremont County residents who are undergoing care for cancer.
The two departments squared off at 6 p.m. at the Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in Lander, where the Lander team defeated Riverton 47-29.
This is the second consecutive win for the Lander Volunteer Fire Department. Last year, the team defeated Riverton 39-29.
"Of course there will be some bragging rights," Hudson said with a laugh.
Hudson was the only player to foul out of the game.
"It was a good night all around," he said.
Prior to tipoff, a moment of silence was held for those who have fought or are fighting cancer, followed by Hudson's rendition of the national anthem.
As game announcer Don Reynolds introduced the teams, players handed out basketballs to children in the bleachers.
Players on the Lander team were: Hudson, Rich Davey, Robbie Zuspan, Pete Logue, Ron Wells, Rod Wietzki, Jeremy Bingaman, Bob Perkins, Dan Hahn, Jason Laird, Keith Poston and Wayne Robertson. Larry Sutt served as head coach and was assisted by Eric Siwik.
On the Riverton side, which was coached by Reggie Miller, were: Woolery, Scott Walters, Buddy Armstrong, Eric Nowland, E.J. Martinez, Cory Lucas, Henry DeClerq, Tim Edwards, Jesse Jones, Mike Hutchison, Brady Patrick, Cory Higgs and Kim Wells.
At the midcourt line, Lander's Logue was able to tip the ball in his team's favor, despite a strong attempt by Riverton's Hutchison.
Woolery put up the first points of the evening at 8:51 in the first 10-minute quarter.
The score evened out with a basket by Lander's Davey. Teammate Perkins followed with another two-pointer.
At the end of the first quarter, Lander was in the lead 12-4.
In the second quarter, Zuspan and Bingaman were stellar at stealing the ball and causing a lot of turnovers. Nowland stood out in Riverton's defense, also taking possession of the ball several times.
Lander continued to lead at the end of the first half, 16-11. In the third quarter, Riverton put up five more points, and Lander put up nine.
The fourth quarter started with Lander again leading 27-16. Riverton's offense fought hard, particularly in the last minute of the game, when three baskets were made. Hutchison made the competition's final basket with less than five seconds remaining on the clock.
"It's a good team builder for our department, it's good for morality, and it's fun," Woolery said about the annual competition.
The cancer cund purchased a traveling trophy this year that the fire departments will pass back and fourth in future competitions.
"I think it's very important for our communities to keep something like this going," Woolery said.
"We'd like to thank everybody for their support, thank the local businesses, and thank the local communities."
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.