Not many fans noticed, but Wind River set a record of sorts Friday night in a 72-55 win over rival Shoshoni at home. The Wranglers shot 50% from the free throw line, hitting 14-of-28 attempts, but the Cougars were far better, or maybe far worse depending on your viewpoint.
Saturday the Cougars moved to 2-0 in the Northwest 2-A with a 40-38 come-from-behind win at Greybull while Shoshoni dropped to 0-2 after a 63-37 loss to Rocky Mountain at home.
You can’t divide by zero, since it is undefined mathematically, so no free throws taken by the Cougars means no percentage at the line.
It’s extremely rare for a team to play a full 32 minutes of high school basketball without taking a single free throw, but the Cougars did it Friday.
Wind River is an aggressive defensive team and that was reflected by the 27 fouls called on the Cougars. The Wranglers were whistled just nine times on the game for fouls, and never had the Cougars close to the bonus at the line.
Some teams match up well with other teams and some don’t. Shoshoni doesn’t match up with Wind River well at all. The Cougars are deeper, quicker, and taller, making defensive assignments a challenge for the Wranglers.
Hitting six of eight from beyond the arc in the opening minutes didn’t help the matchup either.
For our friends south of the border you might say the Cougars were “en fuego” from the perimeter.
Wylie Shearer, Jaycee Herbert, Mato Amos, and Brayden Leonhardt all hit treys in the first period, and Hunter Walker hit two of them.
Wind River cooled off in the later periods but still hit an impressive 10 3-pointers on the game.
Shoshoni’s offense wasn’t that easy to generate. The Wranglers weren’t able to run the break often and relied on their half-court set.
The two familiar scoring leaders, seniors Trey Fike and Alex Mills generated most of the offense with Fike working feverishly to get open on inside fadeaway jump shots against the taller Cougars and Mills hitting a trio of 3-point shots to reach 11.
Rowdy Shearer blocks a shot and pulls down the ball
A nice surprise came in senior Cannon Campbell who had the first double-figure scoring night of his career with 11 points, including a 3-pointer. Campbell came to basketball this season after repeated shoulder injuries ended his promising wrestling career.
Highlights abound for the Cougars as they moved the ball well in both the full court and half court offensively.
One highlight came with 6-5 post Rowdy Shearer on the baseline ripping a no-look base down the sideline to Herbert for a backside layup, and the other came with a half-court bounce pass from Walker to Herbert in traffic for an easy transition basket.
Shoshoni had a similar play earlier with a repeat of football season with quarterback Mills throwing an arching three-quarter court pass to a sprinting Fike for a no-dribble fast break.
The weekend action moves the Cougars to a tie for first with Rocky Mountain, a team they beat by seven points last week in tournament play and the Wranglers to a tie with Greybull for third place in the Northwest 2-A.
Wind River 24 17 20 11 – 72
Shoshoni 16 9 12 18 – 55
Wind River – Brayden Leonhardt 1 (3) 0-0 11, Hunter Walker 2 (3) 0-0 13, Mato Amos 1 (1) 0-0 5, Jaycee Herbert 3 (1) 0-0 9, Calder Johnson 1 0-0 2, D Perry 1 0-0 2, J Stevens 1 0-0 2, Wylie Shearer 8 (2) 22, Kyzaia Jones 1 0-0 2, Rowdy Shearer 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 (10) 0-0 72
Shoshoni – Alex Mills (3) 2-7 11, Trey Fike 7 8-13 22, Leslie Todd 1 0-3 2, Quintan Clair 0-2 0, Braxton Mills 1 1-2 3, T Crimm 1-2 1, Cannon Campbell 3 (1) 2-2 11, M Neil (1) 0-0 3, Hicks 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 (5) 14-28 55