Wolverines win 4-A Consolation Title

    How do you win a bumper match with a team you’ve battled to an overtime win and a three point loss? If you’re the Riverton Wolverines there is a formula you follow. First, play great half-court defense, and hold your opponent to around 45 points, second take good shots, and third, if you’re Star Valley, don’t foul Parker Paxton or Kade Gabrielson at crunch time.

    Riverton handled Star Valley in a solid defensive effort 53-49 to take their third consecutive Consolation Championship at the Class 4-A State Tournament behind a game-high 30 points from the 5-8 Paxton.

    Parker Paxton held up by Hunter Hauck, Darrick DeVries and Ty Sheets had the hot hand with 30 points against Star Valley – {h/t Riverton High School}

    Riverton witnessed the final game played by three outstanding seniors in Jason Vincent, Kade Gabrielson, and Nathan Hutchison.


    It was a game played just as head coach Beau Sheets always prepares his team to play.

    “It was right in the 4-A defensive target,” Sheets said. “Although it wasn’t a Saturday night victory, I’m so proud of the boys.”

    Last Saturday the Braves beat the Wolverines 56-53 on their home court for the West crown. It was different a week later at the Ford Wyoming Center.

    In a close contest, Riverton trailed 30-29 with just a second remaining in the third period when Paxton let a leaping jump shot fly from the elbow, two feet beyond the 3-point arc. The ball hit the bottom of the net after the horn sounded for a 32-30 Wolverine lead, and Riverton never looked back.


    The two teams played like the very familiar opponents they’ve become over the last three weeks of the season.

    Free throws were the biggest factor in a pair of defensive styles that refused to yield an uncontested interior basket. Riverton hit just six 2-point shots on the game, and Star Valley only nine.

    The Wolverines shot 23-for-30 from the line on the afternoon, and the Braves slightly higher at 16-of-18. Paxton was impressive hitting 14-of-15, and Gabrielson was perfect in four attempts.


    Down the stretch, the duo combined for six straight free throws after the Wolverines took a five-point lead and Star Valley was forced to the rarely successful “foul to get the ball strategy.”

    Luke Linford of Star Valley had a good game at the charity stripe as well, hitting all eight of his attempts.

    The three departing seniors were integral parts of this year’s team, but Sheets returns a nucleus of very talented juniors and has size coming in the sophomore class for next year’s team.


    Riverton     12    8 12 21 – 53

    Star Valley 15 10    5 19 – 49

    Riverton – Jason Vincent 1 0-0 2, Darrick DeVries 2 (1) 2-6 9, Kade Gabrielson (1) 4-4 7, Parker Paxton 2 (4) 14-15, Nathan Hutchison 1 3-4 5, Hunter Hauck 0-1 0. Totals 6 (6) 23-30

    Star Valley – Jacob Hodges 4 3-4 11, Luke Linford 2 (1) 8-8, Taeson Johnson 1 2-2 4, Corix Jenkins (1) 3-4 6. Totals 9 (5) 16-18 49


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