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March 4, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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16 I The Lovell Chronicle I March 4, 2010 www.LovellChronicle.com Rocky Mountain senior JR Vezain works over Hulett's Curtis Clark in the 140-pound championship match of the state wrestling tournament in Casper Saturday evening. Vezain won his second straight state title on a pin in 1:04. NATHAN OSTER PHOTO Powell tournament NBH Wrestlers hit the mat this weekend BY BRAD DEVEREAUX The North Big Horn USA Wrestling team start- ed practice on Feb. 22 and is currently preparing for the team's first tournament in Powell Saturday. The club has 41 wres- tlers this year, according to Jody Lynne Bassett. The head coach is James Habeck and assistant coach is Jackson Bassett. The tournament will be held Saturday, March 6, at 9:30 a.m. at the Powell High School gym. Weigh- ins will be from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. USA wrestling includes competitors from age 6 to 16. Medals will be awarded for first, second and third and ribbons will be awarded for fourth, fifth and sixth. NBHUSA practices are held Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for wrestlers 9 and older; Tuesdays and Thurs- days from 6 to 7 p.m. for 8 and under; and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 to 8 p.m. for all other wres- tlers. State tournament provides opportunities to reach goals BY DAVID PECK AND BRAD DEVEREAUX Coaches and players work all season with one main goal in mind: earning a trip to the state tournament to give themselves a chance to win a title. State tourna- ment time is here, and three of north Big Horn County's four basketball teams have given themselves a chance to reach the ultimate goal - a state tournament champi- onship trophy. The Lovell Lady Bull- dogs fell two points short of their regional tournament goal, falling to the Wyo- ming Indian Lady Chiefs Saturday evening, 56-55, but as coach Bob Geiser put it, the weekend that "really counts" is this weekend in Casper. Lovell will open the state tournament at 10:30 a.m. today (Thursday) at Casper College against the Southeast Cyclones, who placed third at the 3A East Regional. Southeast was upset in the first round of the regional by Sundance, then came back to win three straight over Lusk, Burns and Pine Bluffs to earn a trip to State. The Cyclones are now 18-8. "They're tough," Gei- ser said. "They like to play a good, tough man-to-man defense. They've got a real physical team. They want to keep the score low. If we set good screens and get the lead, they'll get out of their comfort zone, but if they can keep it low scoring and frus- trate us offensively, we'll be out of our comfort zone." If the Lady Bulldogs win, their likely second- round opponent would be the top-ranked (26-0) Big Horn Lady Rams Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Events Cen- ter. Big Horn likes to run full-court pressure, and the Lady Rams have good size, ball-handling and shoot- ing. Geiser called the Lady Rams "a mirror image of us," although they don't run quite as much up-tempo of- fense. "They have lots of ex- perience. They're going for their third straight title," Geiser said. "They beat Tongue River three times in a row, which says some- thing about them. "We're looking forward to a chance to play them." If the Lady Bulldogs fall to Southeast in the first round, they will play the loser of Thursday morn- ing's Big Horn-Kemmerer game at 9 a.m. Friday at the Events Center. If they beat Southeast but fall to Big Horn, they would play for third place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Casper Col- lege. The 2A title game is scheduled for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Events Cen- ter. BACK AT STATE The Rocky Mountain Lady Grizzlies earned a berth in the state tourna- ment for the first time in eight years with their 3-1 record in Riverton over the weekend. Coach Ryan Boettcher said 2002 was the last time the Lady Grizz qualified for State and said the team is excited to be competing on the state level. %Ve've been through a bit of a drought and the girls are pretty excited to be going," he said. "Some of the teams seem easy on paper, but it just isn't as easy as it seems with so many domi- nant programs in the state. It feels good to be a part of the eight." The third-place finish sets up Rocky Mountain to face the second-ranked Tongue River Lady Eagles (20-5) in the first round at State today (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m. at Casper College. If they beat TR, they will play the winner of the Pine Bluffs Wyoming Indian game Friday at 6 p.m. at the Events Center. If the Grizz fall to Tongue River, they will fall to the consolation bracket to face the loser of the Pine Bluffs - Wyoming Indian contest at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Events Cen- ter. The Grizz fell to Tongue River twice this season, 62- 43 on Dec. 11 in Byron and 42-26 Feb. 6 on the road. In practice this week, the Grizz have been focus- ing on things that will help them beat Tongue River, the coach said, including better ball movement. "We played defense well against them in the last game, holding them to 42 points despite about 30 turnovers," Boettcher said. The Grizz offense was a different story in their last meeting, with Tongue River's half-court pressure trapping Rocky' Mountain a few times, forcing turnovers and stealing momentum from the Grizz. "They sit in a zone and we have to do better at mak- ing passes through their de- fense," he said. ,It's a matter of taking care of the ball." GLAD TO BE IN The Lovell Bulldogs have been up and down this season and are glad to be participating at State after falling to Wind River in the first round of the 2A West Regional in Riverton, then upsetting third-ranked Kemmerer to earn the state berth. The Bulldogs open play tonight (Thursday) at 9 p.m. against the unde- feated (24-0) and second- ranked Southeast Cyclones, making it a double Lovell- Southeast day. Southeast went 21-0 during the regular season, then went 3-0 at the 2A East Regional, defeating Big Horn for the title, 58- 49. Lovell coach Brian May said the Cyclones are "a se- nior group" with good size and athleticism. "They've been togeth- er for a while," May said. "They like to create pres- sure. They're good with presses and they'll push the ball up the floor. I think it's going to be a good match- up." If the Bulldogs pull off the upset, they'll meet the winner of Thursday night's Greybull-Tongue River game at 9 p.m. Friday at the Events Center. If they fall to Southeast, they'll take on the Greybull-TR loser at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Events Center. May said the Bulldogs will play hard in Casper and he's happy for the op- portunity to continue the team's growth. "We have quality kids in the program who need experience and opportuni- ty," he said. Lovell boys whistled for traveling, but Lewis missed the front end of a one-plus-the-bonus foul shot with 16 seconds left and Robinson hit two of two with four ticks left on the clock to send the game into overtime. The overtime was thrilling. Lewis got things going with a power move for two and a free throw. Lovell led 54-51. Harrison had a steal and an offensive rebound, but the Bulldogs threw the ball out of bounds on an entering pass and Robinson hit one of two at the line to cut the deficit to two. Another Lovell turnover cost the Bull- dogs a chance to extend the lead, but Lewis blocked a shot at the other end with a min- ute to play. Robinson missed and fouled on the rebound, and Savage hit one of two at the line - 55-52 Lovell. Kemmerer needed a trey to tie, a feat that Shane Corpening ac- complished with 27 seconds left. "I was yelling man, but we went into a 2-3 and they swung the ball to 5 (Corpening) and he hit it," May said. Looking for the last shot, the Bulldogs were patient and eventually worked the ball in to Lewis, who was fouled and hit one of two at the line with five seconds left to put the Bulldogs up 56-55. Kemmerer called time out and set up a final shot for Robin- Continued from page 14 son, who got a good look but saw the shot rim out at the buzzer. Lovell players and fans swarmed the floor to celebrate the comeback victory. As in the previous win over Big Piney, the Bulldogs shot the ball well (53 percent) and got to the foul line, hitting 15 of 23 free throws. They had only 20 turnovers against Kemmerer's pressure defense and forced 20 ........................................ themselves. Lewis finished with 18 points on five-of- nine shooting, 8-11 at the line. May added 12 points, Savage 10 to go along with six re- bounds, three blocks and three assists. Bax- endale had 8 points, Harrison 4 points and seven boards. KEMMERER (55) Seen Wood 4 1-2 9. Shane Corpening 4 2-2 12, Cody Roberts 3 0-1 6, Cole Shimmin 1 1-2 3, Taylor Doherty 1 2-2 4, Eric Robinson 4 13-15 21. Totals 17 19-24 55. LOVELL (56) Colin May 3 5-7 12, Kede Baxendale 3 0-0 8, Zac HaskeH 0 0-0 0, Tyrel Harrison 2 0-0 4, Cody Savage 4 2-5 10, Steven Pickett 1 0-0 2, Aaron Clark 0 0-0 0, Jeff Lewis 5 8-11 18, Jonathan Wakelin 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 15-23 56. Kemmerer 10 18 18 5 4 -55 Lovell 14 12 8 17 5 -56 Three-point field goals - Corpening 2; Baxendale 2, May 1. Fouled out- Doherty. 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