Chiefs advance to the big dance

    The Chiefs are back in the title game after a defensive stifling of the Tongue River Eagles Friday night in semi-final action at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper. Wyoming Indian played shut down defense in the second and fourth periods to take a 55-41 win over the Eagles.

    Tongue River handed Wyoming Indian a 60-54 regular season loss in Sheridan County back in early December, this this time the Chiefs led from early on and never looked back.

    Tongue River is a big, athletic squad, but they were often limited to just a single shot was the Chiefs rebounded well and limited the Eagles to one shot on many possessions.

    Darwin Gambler dove the lane – h/t Randy Tucker

    For the Chefs they concentrated on taking the ball inside behind 6-3 post Darwin Gambler and 4-2 forward Heeyeniniitou Monroe-Black. The duo combined for 26 points, with Gambler scoring 15 and Monroe-Black 11.

    The Chiefs held a decisive 30-18 lead as the opening half came to a close. Tongue River was obviously frustrated after being the top or second-ranked team in Class 2-A for much of the season.

    As the halftime buzzer sounded, a Tongue River player shoved one of the Chiefs, earning himself a technical foul. Standing alone in the middle of the big floor, Cordell Spoonhunter hit one of two attempts, grinning at the partisan Tongue River section after hitting the first shot.

    Tyson Soundingsides soared on a layup – h/t Randy Tucker

    Gambler and Monroe-Black went to work inside against the taller Eagle post defense leading the Chiefs to a 43-32 advantage with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.


    In a low-scoring game, with a state championship berth on the table, every possession took on more importance.

    Heeyeniniitou Monroe-Black powered inside – h/t Randy Tucker

    Parlayne Ferris came off the bench, hitting a pair of arching 3-pointers that barely moved the net. The outside shooting kept the Eagle defense extended, opening up more post opportunities.

    Frustration increased for the Eagles and a double foul was called on Gambler and Tongue River’s Colter Hanft.


    Wyoming Indians’ pressure forced 23 turnovers and the Chiefs converted those to 27 points, a deciding factor in the game.

    Cordell Spoonhunter on the drive – h/t Randy Tucker

     A couple of excellent plays highlighted the final moments of the game. As Tongue River’s defense extended forward, Cordell Spoonhunter lobed a perfect pass over the top to Monroe-Black on the baseline for an easy post up.

    When Tongue River got the ball into the post in a similar situation for Hanft, Kelyn Mount swatted the shot into the vacant area of the floor near the Chiefs’ bench.


    Ferris scored 11 points to join Gambler and Monroe-Black in double-figures.

    WYOMING INDIAN 18 13 12 12 – 55

    TONGUE RIVER        13   5 16    7 – 41

    Wyoming Indian – Darwin Gambler 4 (2) 1-1 15, Kelynn Mount 1 0-0 2, Parlayne Ferris 2 (2) 0-0 11, Heeyeniniitou Monroe-Black 3 5-6 11, Tyson Soundingsides 2 2-6 6, Cordell Spoonhunter 1 3-4 5, Adriano Brown 3 0-2 6. Totals 16 (4) 11-19 55

    Tongue River – Caleb Kilbride 3 2-2 8, Connor Cummins (1) 0-0 3, Logan Rosics (3) 1-10 10, Monty Walters 1 0-0 2, Kole Spotted 3 2-2 8, Colter Hanft 4 2-9 10. Totals 11 (4) 7-15 41


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