By Mark Dykes

Cats, Lady Cats wrap up basketball season at regionals

Turning point coming for boys


Courtesy photo by Andrew Towne-Torrington Telegram

Adley Coyne puts a shot up during action a regional basketball. The games close the season for the Bobcats. Coach Shane Corpening said he's seen plenty of improvement from the boys.

The Thermopolis Boys Basketball team wrapped up its season this past week at the 3A East Regionals in Wheatland, with a 60-33 loss against Rawlins on Thursday and a 55-36 loss against Douglas on Friday.

Coach Shane Corpening said it was certainly a short weekend, and turnover troubles continued to plague the Bobcats in their match against Rawlins. Their opponents definitely did their homework, Corpening said, and they forced plenty of turnovers. He further added it was hard for the Thermopolis boys to get good looks at the basket though they did a fairly good job of getting the ball inside. Rawlins having a player who is 6'7" and can swat away almost anything certainly didn't help either.

Overall, Corpening said, the boys didn't play as well as they could've, but "it is what it is." On the positive, he added, defensively they did make some good stops, but Thermopolis turnovers led to easy Rawlins buckets.

The boys played better in the Douglas matchup, Corpening said, keeping their opponent's best scorer - Tait Larson - from only making six on us compared to his average 15 points per game. The defense gave them a chance to win and the offense kept up, the coach said, noting they were only down by one at the end of the first quarter. In the second, however, Douglas got on a run and advanced their lead to 12 by the end of the half, nailing a couple three-pointers right before halftime.

"I feel like if we would've went to half trailing by four, five, six points, I think it would've been a different outcome."

The Bobcats also struggled to make shots from the foul line, Corpening said, and Douglas was able to knock out shots where we couldn't. Though still a loss, Corpening was encouraged by the fact that the Bobcats played better this go around, having lost Douglas 63-24 a couple weeks ago.

As for the overall season, Corpening was discouraged to see a record of 4-20, and "close but not quite" seemed to be the name of the season.

Corpening saw improvement through the entire season, which is huge with nine players getting significant varsity time. He will miss seniors Sean Miller and Kolby George as they did a lot of great things this year.

In the off-season, Corpening said it's important for the boys to stay hungry. Being disadvantaged with numbers and playing in 3A, he said, "there can't be any shortcuts in the off-season. We just have to work harder than other teams do and I think those boys are going to do that."

Though ending the season with a 4-20 record, Corpening said the boys were in mostly every game they played, and if they weren't they played well for at least a quarter or two. "I can feel the turning point in the program. I think it's going to come sooner than some people might expect." He expects there to be competition for starting spots and playing time. "I think that's probably something new around this basketball program that hasn't been there for a while that's super important."


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