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

By Mark Dykes

Young team nets first win


December 28, 2017

Dennis Nierzwicki

Logan Shumway goes up for a shot against a Fort Washakie defender.

The freshman/sophomore boys basketball team came away with its first win of the season when it took down Fort Washakie 63-52 on Dec. 19.

Coach Ryan Shaffer noted there are currently two freshmen - Jesse Skelton and Eli Dickey - and during the Fort Washakie game Skelton was out sick so the majority of the players were sophomores. He added that was okay as this was considered Fort Washakie's JV team.

"It was good for our guys," Shaffer said. "We needed a win for sure." The coach is always pushing for keeping opposing teams to 10 points per quarter. After giving up 19 in the first quarter, they stepped up and held their opponents to 10 in the second and to nine in the fourth.

Fort Washakie liked to shoot a lot from the outside, attempting 33 three-pointers and hitting eight, and that played to the Bobcats advantage, Shaffer said. "When they run and do a quick shot, and we grab the rebound we're off and running." Thermopolis shot 52 two-point attempts compared to Fort Washakie's 20. "We just took it inside, which is what we wanted them to do, just drive, drive, drive and get to the free throw line."

The Bobcats did make it to the line 19 times, making only six free throws. Shaffer noted those are just points being left on the table. Overall, the boys put 64 shots up, which is a "fun game to watch," Shaffer said.

He challenged the team to play better defense, particularly with things like rebounding and boxing out. "They did exactly what I wanted them to. We out-rebounded them by 15." He noted Oran Coyne had 11 on his own. Turnovers weren't great, with 25, but we forced 31.

A big part of the game was the crowd, Shaffer said. "There's no way you would've walked in that gym and thought it was a freshman game. It was like we were playing a varsity game mid-season. The crowd was in it, cheering for those boys . . . and those boys just fed off it. They definitely fed off the energy."

The boys come to the court with a team attitude, Shaffer said, and he enjoys how they think about and interact with each other.

Scoring against Fort Washakie were: Logan Shumway, 18; Jarron Mortimore, 12; Sterling Gerber, 14; Dustin Harvey, 11; Cade McLean, 5; and Hunter Bartholomew, 3.

The boys had a bit of a rough start to the season with a 46-31 loss to Lovell on Dec. 14. Shaffer said that game was more nerves than anything.

"We had two freshmen, of course, and a sophomore that had never played a game," he said. "I think that first game was a little bit of a shock. I wasn't real sure what was going to happen and we had a lot of easy opportunities we did not make shots."

The Bobcats were outscored by 12 in the first half, and wound up losing by 15. "I think we played much better after we settled in," Shaffer said. The boys were also seven for 18 on free throw attempts.

Shaffer said the boys like to run up and down the court, and Lovell had 23 fouls on us, which slows the game down quite a bit. "It's hard when you're trying to run the floor and it just gets stopped every time. I think they got frustrated with it, got frustrated with the speed and made some silly fouls."

Scoring against Lovell was: Dustin Harvey, 9; Cade McLean, 6; Jarron Mortimore, 6; Logan Shumway, 4; Jesse Skelton, 4; Sterling Gerber, 2;

The boys will practice through the break, with days off for Christmas and New Year, and next take to the court on Jan. 16 at Worland. Tip off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.


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