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

By Mark Dykes

Boys go on the road to face Wheatland, Torrington


February 1, 2018

Mark Dykes

Jarron Mortimore gets through the Rawlins defense for a layup during Bobcat basketball action.

Friday night's game against Rawlins was much different than the Thermopolis Boys Basketball team was expecting, Coach Kevin Gerber said of the Bobcats' 60-19 loss against the Outlaws.

For starters, Rawlins' main scorer, Bryce Jerome, was out with an injury. Also, the Outlaws were a very aggressive team "that really beat us up on the inside," Gerber said. Of their 60 points, 44 were made inside the paint.

"We did want to challenge them from the outside," Gerber said. "With Jerome being gone I didn't feel like they would be a very good three point shooting team." They were right on that point, as the Outlaws only made one of 11 three-point attempts.

Honestly, for us," the coach said, "it was just a tough night all the way around. We couldn't make our layups and that started right away. I think on our first possession we got it inside, did exactly what we wanted, and then went up for a layup and missed it."

The Cats did have fewer turnovers than they have in the past, with 20, that's still more than they'd like. They caused 14 for Rawlins.

This past week, Gerber said, one of the big things was to have the boys set their team goals, with the hope that it would have more meaning to them.

Overall, "It was really one of those games we really all were just in shell shock. Even at halftime we were down by 33," Gerber said, adding it's kind of a "gut check," trying to find out what they're not doing. Gerber told the boys to "let go" of this one, but not to forget it. He took responsibility for both the JV and varsity losses on his shoulders, and felt like he let the boys down.

"We just didn't execute in any way very well. We've had games where we can look at one or two things we really need to improve on. If we only looked at this game right now the list could be substantial. We just kind of got beat up all around."

On the positive side for the Cats, Noah Schwalbe came away with seven rebounds - two offensive and five defensive - and Hudson Roling made three assists.

Gerber did praise the boys' sticking together after the game, with nobody pointing fingers or yelling at each other. Instead, they all sat down and looked at what happened. The coach said this sense of brotherhood will continue, going forward from this game and keeping positive.

Scoring against Rawlins were Jarron Mortimore - 6, Roling - 5, Schwalbe - 4, Sterling Gerber - 2 and Cade McLean - 2.

The boys will be on the road again this weekend, facing up against Wheatland and Torrington. Gerber said these are two winnable games, and it will be interesting to see where they match up, as Thermopolis could possibly face either team at Regionals.

"Maybe it's a good weekend for us to be away," Gerber said. "We get a little bit more bonding with our brothers on the bus and go play some good basketball. I anticipate our boys will really bounce back. I really think they recognize we've got to put in some long, hard work in the gym at practices. I have a different feel of the way this week's going to go than I feel like last week."

There might be some changes as to what the boys look for going into the weekend, he added, but they have four days of practice to put in, and see what they need to do from there.

Tip off for the Wheatland game is 7 p.m. Friday, and tip off for the Torrington game is 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The JV team also had a hard time against Rawlins, losing 55-12.

Coach Ryan Shaffer stated the boys "played ok defensively although we want to keep teams under 48. We couldn't find a way to score and turnovers plagued us again. We are definitely working on getting ourselves in a better position offensively these next few games and hopefully we will see our 45-plus scoring average come back."

Shaffer added Oran Coyne had a good defensive game with three steals and a block, and "altogether we were pretty active as a team on that end of the ball.

"Goals for upcoming games will be to obviously to score more and continue to stay aggressive on the defensive end, keeping them down to 48 points."

Scoring against Rawlins were Cade McLean - 4, Logan Shumway - 2, Hunter Bartholomew - 2, Kolby George - 2, Sean Miller - 1 and Coyne - 1.


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