Chiefs win a pair of close games

Crunchtime heroics were the name of the game this weekend at Alfred P. Redman Gym in Ethete. The Wyoming Indian boys won a pair of close conference games against visiting Kemmerer and Big Piney on Friday and Saturday to vault into first place in the Class 2-A Southwest with a perfect 3-0 conference mark.

Friday the Chiefs took a huge early lead against the Kemmerer Rangers only to see it evaporate in the second period. Another offensive burst in the third game the Chiefs a little breathing room, but Kemmerer was all in, battling to the finish and pulling off a rare statistical feat in converting 100 percent of their nine free throw attempts.

Corde{h/t Randy Tucker}ll Spoonhunter took a shot in the lane –

Saturday, it was almost a reversal of Friday with an off-balanced, struggling Wyoming Indian team trailing big in the opening minutes. The Chiefs trailed 21-10 after one period and the margin remained the same until the half with Big Piney playing a strong inside/outside game with guards Javonny Munoz and Reuben Stoutenberg. Munoz drove through the Wyoming Indian defense for close range shots off the glass, and Stautenberg was deadly with the jump shot. The duo combined for 16 2-point shots and 43 of the Punchers’ 57 points.

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Frustration reigned for Chiefs head coach Craig Ferris as he mixed his lineup, took timeouts, and worked with individual players trying to get them back into the groove.

As the final period opened, it looked like all of Ferris’ work was in vain, until just a couple of minutes remained.

Kalijah St. Clair found tough going in the paint – {h/t Randy Tucker}

Trailing by 13 in the final minutes the Chiefs suddenly came to life behind hot outside shooting from Tyson Soundingsides who drilled three of four 3-point attempts, and the suddenly flawless play of guard Jerrell Tillman.

After a scoreless 30 minutes, Tillman erupted for 10 points in the final 120 seconds of the game, hitting a driving layup, a 3-point shot, and converting five for five from the free throw line.

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Jerrell Tillman tallied 10 points in the final two minutes of the game – {h/t Randy Tucker}

It was Tillman who gave the Chiefs their first lead of the game with just a minute to play.

Wyoming Indian tried to run out the clock but turned the ball over twice in the final minutes. The last one giving Big Piney the ball with 23 seconds left in the game.

Big Piney head coach Nate Strong called a final timeout with 10 seconds left in the game to set up a play for Stoutenberg.

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The ensuing 3-point shot from the top of the key glanced slightly off the front of the rim and the Chiefs bench exploded with a victory celebration.

Brandon Coffee paced Wyoming Indian with 15 points, Tillman scored d15, and Soundingsides nine.

Wyoming Indian travels to St. Stephen’s on Friday for their only game of the week.

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Wyoming Indian 10 10 14  24 – 58

Big Piney               21 10 13 13 – 57

Wyoming Indian – Jerrell Tillman 1 (1) 5-5 10, Jason Slowbear 3 0-0 6, Parlayne Ferris (2) 0-0 6, Kalijah St. Clair 1 2-2 4, Brandon Coffee 4 (2) 1-2 15, Cordell Spoonhunter 3 0-1 6, Jayquin Jones 1 0-0 2, Tyson Soundingsides (3) 0-0 9. Totals 13 (8) 8-10 58

Big Piney – Munoz 6 5-6 17, Stoutenberg 10 6-7 26, Espenscheid 1 0-0 2, Walton (1) 0-0 3, Bennett 1 1-2 3, Hibbert 1 2-2 4, Staley 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 (1) 14-17 57

Wyoming Indian 21  7 14 22 – 64

Kemmerer           10 22  5 23 –  60

Wyoming Indian – Tillman 6 6-12 18, Slowbear 3 0-2 6, Ferris 1 (1) 0-0 5, Adriano Brown 1-2 1, St. Clair 4 0-0 8, Coffee 3 (1) 0-0 9, Spoonhunter 1 0-0 2, Jones (1) 0-0 3, Soundingsides 3 (2) 0-0 12. Totals 21 (5) 7-12 64

Kemmerer – Totals 18 (5) 9-9 60

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