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TMS A team takes championship


Courtesy photo

Thermopolis Middle School A basketball team members from left, front row: Wyatt McDermott, Tristin Brown and Hardy Johnson. Back row: Anthony Sword, Jase Longwell, coach Shane Corpening, Adley Coyne and Eli McCumber.

The Thermopolis Middle School 8th grade "A" boys basketball team competed in their tournament in Powell last weekend, defeating Lander, Riverton and Worland to be named champion.

Coach Shane Corpening stated, "Our first game we played Lander. We beat them 33-29. However, our offense really struggled during the course of this game. Lander ran a 3-2 zone against us. Something we haven't seen all year. This forced us to take a lot of outside shots which is tough for a middle school team to accomplish. We had to rely on our defense in this game and they really stepped up. It was definitely a hard fought game. We had good individual efforts from Hardy Johnson (10 points) and Tristin Brown (8 points)."

As for the second game against Riverton, the boys beat them 41-34. Corpening stated, "Riverton has a substantial size advantage over us so we made some defensive adjustments that we worked on all week. From a coach's perspective it is extremely rewarding to see your boys execute a game plan perfectly and they did exactly that during this game. We wanted to take away their inside attack and force them to take jump shots from the outside, which is exactly what happened. This really stymied their offense. Outside of Riverton enjoying a first quarter lead, this was our game from the second quarter on as we enjoyed a comfortable 6-10 point lead throughout the game. We had good production from Hardy Johnson (15 ponts), Adley Coyne (10 points), and Jase Longwell (9 points)."

Going into the championship game, Corpening stated the team "knew it was going to be a tough game as we went 0-2 against them during the regular season. Once again we made some defensive adjustments that we worked on during the week leading up to the tournament and they paid off for us during this game as well. We forced Worland to take a lot of poor shots and we did not give up anything easy on defense. We took a nice 18-13 lead into the locker room after a nice lift in the second quarter from Eli McCumber who scored six points. Both teams were tired after having played 2 games, but our boys really dug deep and found an extra boost in the second half. We were able to finish the game strongly by making some free throws, taking care of the ball, and once again playing solid defense. We had good individual performances from Hardy Johnson (14 points) and Adley Coyne (9 points)."

Overall, Corpening said it was a great showing for the kids. "They played their best ball of the season and as a coach I couldn't ask for any more than that. They accomplished great things over the course of the season and on Saturday and I could not be any prouder of them."


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