Wind River plays for third place Saturday afternoon

It’s why semi-final games are considered the best basketball at most state tournaments. With 11 lead changes and a dozen ties, the Wind River Cougars and the Big Horn Rams battled for 32 minutes on the big floor at the Ford Wyoming Center, but there won’t be a trophy with a net on it for the Cougars this season after a 54-50 loss to the Rams.

The late Friday night loss sends Wind River into a third-place game against the Tongue River Eagles at Natrona County High School at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The floor of the Wyoming Ford Center has been difficult to shot in from the days when it was the Casper Events Center. The addition of blackout curtains on the north end of the floor and the darker color scheme on the south end have helped, but it remains a facility devoid of the depth perception enhancing features of a traditional floor.


The Cougars were a paltry three of 19 from the 3-point circle on the game. That combined with four player control fouls that negated eight potential points was the difference in the contest.

Having leading scorer Chaumbrey Romero sidelined with three first half fouls didn’t help either.

Romero finished with a dozen points, and Wylie Shearer led the team with 13, but the usually hot perimeter shooting Shearer had problems finding the range and hit just one of seven attempts from beyond the arc.

On a bright note, the Cougars didn’t get many free throw chances, but they converted well when they did, hitting nine of 10 on the game.


The Rams were led by Cade Butler with 18 points, and 6-8 junior post Toby Schons who tallied 13.

With a decided height advantage, the Rams pulled down 33 rebounds to only 26 by the Cougars, another key factor in the game.

Wind River is 19-6 entering their final game Saturday with Tongue River.


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