Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes
Editor 

Merit team wins adult league basketball championship

 

Mark Dykes

The championship Merit team from left, front row: Sheena Cornella, Cassie Owsley and Dustin McLean. Back row: Zack Larson, Brad Peil, Dan Hemann, TJ Owsley, David Evans, Matt Cordingly and Dale Cornella.

Merit won the Hot Springs County Recreation District Adult Co-ed Basketball Championship with a 47-33 victory over Vicklund Pharmacy.

Rec Director Anja Abbott stated, "No. 3 seed Vicklund Pharmacy is a team that lives and dies by the 3," though the league-leaders in three-pointers made couldn't put it through the hoop. "No. 4 seed Merit Energy jumped out to an early 13-0 lead before Vicklund could get their offense working.

"Steth Daniels was able to drive to the hoop, scoring 15 for the game, with Nick Moline (7 points) working down low. Matt McPhie (6 points) cashed in some three- pointers late in the game, but it would not be enough.

Merit was able to score through the two-pronged attack of David Evans (13 points) and Brad Peil (15 points), with contributions at the stripe and the 3 point line from Dan Hemann (6 points) and Dusty McLean (6 points), respectively."

Prior to the championship match, during the third place match, Abbott stated "No. 1 seed Red Rock prevailed over No. 2 seed One Hill of a Cizzle to take the consolation title. The Travis duo got Red Rock off to a hot start, while Gary Benefiel did the work for One Hill, tallying nine in the first half. Red Rock led by six to start the second half, but One Hill fought their way back and evened it up midway through the period before McKenna Bomengen (8 points) hit two clutch threes to secure the lead. Red Rock never looked back, despite One Hill's best efforts."

Red Rock took third place over One Hill. Riley Witt led Red Rock with 12 points, while Gary Benefiel of One Hill finished with a game-high 18 points.

Prior to the final games, there was a three-point contest, and Abbott stated , "Our three-point contestants combined for a stunning 28 three-pointers made of 90 attempts. Brandon Deromedi set the pace early, with a hard-to-beat score of 6. Contestant after contestant fell short of the mark until the final entry stepped up to the line.

"Jess Benefiel got off to a blazing start, sinking three balls off the first rack, but couldn't regain her rhythm through the second, making just one shot there. She tied up the score with one ball remaining, hitting the last shot no-doubter right as time expired to give her the buzzer beater win."

End of season awards included: Most Valuable Player - Steth Daniels; Women's MVP - Shae Townsley & Courtney Thoren (tie); Offensive Player of the Year - Paul Collamer; Defensive Player of the Year - Bob Hill; Rookie of the Year - McKenna Bomengen; and 6th Man of the Year - Kevin Simpson

 

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