The Wolverines moved to 9-2 on the season, completed their sixth straight win, and more importantly won their conference opener at home on Saturday 66-52 over a tall, athletic Cody Broncs team.
Watching the two squad’s warmup before the game it looked like the Broncs had a decided advantage. Cody’s roster is filled with seniors and four of their five starters are as tall or taller than Riverton’s tallest player in 6-1 junior Darrick Devries, but warmups don’t win games.
Cody came out hard in the early going, taking the ball inside repeatedly with their three 6-4 players, but Riverton was unfazed despite two quick fouls on point guard Parker Paxton.
Devries took control for the Wolverines in the early going, scoring all 14 of Riverton’s first-period points off drives, free throws, and a pair of 3-point shots.
The balance returned to head coach Beau Sheets offense with Riverton scoring on 3-point shots by Nathan Hutchison, Devries, and Paxton and senior guard Jason Vincent going to work on drives to the basket.
Vincent is always a strong, tenacious defender but his offensive talents came to the fore in this contest with a career-high 16 points.
Cody towered over the Wolverines but didn’t defend the drive well, sending Riverton to the line 30 times on the game after Cody fouled them close to the basket.
The game was tied at 20 and again at 24 before Riverton rolled on an 8-0 run fueled by scores from Vincent, Paxton, and Dre’Vin Monroe.
The run prompted a Cody timeout, but the Wolverines remained on top 34-28 at the half.
The third opened with Cody attacking the baseline, but the strategy waned when Kade Gabrielson held his ground taking a hard charger by Robby Porter that set the defensive tone for the remainder of the game.
Riverton took their first double-digit lead with 3:52 remaining in the third quarter when Monroe snagged a rebound and drove coast-to-coast for a blistering full-speed layup and a 40-30 Wolverine lead.
The run continued, this time with a 10-3 surge, capped at the end by a Vincent trey for a 50-33 Riverton lead with 5:33 remaining in the game.
Cody clawed back to trail by 13 points, but a wild, towering, baseline jump shot by Paxton over a pair of 6-4 defenders ripped the net and the Wolverines never looked back.
Devries paced Riverton with 24, Vincent scored 16, and Paxton 10.
For Cody Porter led with a dozen and Luke Talich scored 10.
Riverton hosts Rock Springs Friday then plays at Kelly Walsh Saturday in a pair of conference contests.
Riverton 14 20 8 24 – 66
Cody 18 10 5 19 – 52
Riverton – Jason Vincent 2 (1) 9-11 16, Darrick Devries 4 (3) 7-8 24, Dre’Vin Monroe 2 1-2 5, Kade Gabrielson 2-4 2, Parker Paxton 2 (1) 3-4 10, Nathan Hutchison 1 (2) 1-2 9. Totals 11 (7) 23-30 66
Cody – Ball 3 0-2 6, Porter 4 (1) 1-2 12, Talich 4 2-2 10, Johnston (2) 0-0 6, McCarten (1) 0-0 3, Schroeder 1 0-1, Niemann 1 2-3 4, Radakovich 2 3-3 7, Jarrett 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 (4) 8-13 66