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March 8, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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March 8, 2012 I The Lovell Chronicle I 11 Lovell wins battle of the Bulldogs, 66-35 BY DAVID PECK Despite a slow start and some cold shooting, the Lovell Bulldogs blew out Sundance in the first round of the 2A State Tour- nament in Casper Thurs- day afternoon, 66-35. Sundance, the second seed out of the East de- spite an 8-16 record, was no match for the Bulldogs, despite an early lead. Sun- dance came out strong and led 7-2, but once the team in blue found their rhythm, it was all Lovell after that. Lovell was cold early. After Dylan Hultgren con- verted a steal into a layup, Sundance scored 7 straight including a three-pointer by senior Kyle Shamion to cap the run. In the first five minutes of the game the Lovell squad was 1-8 shooting and had three turnovers, but in the final three minutes of the first quarter the Bulldogs out- scored Sundance 8-2. "I think it was jitters and nerves and wanting to do well," coach Brian May said about the slow start. "I think the kids maybe forced some things. But they settled down and started getting comfort- able. With our defensive pressure we were getting plenty of turnovers. It was just a matter of convert- ing. "You worry that a team like Sundance that wins its pigtail game and goes DAVID PECK Lovell junior Dylan Hultgren is not to be denied as he slashes to the basket despite a foul during Lovell's 66-35 win over the Sundance Bulldogs in the first round of the state basketball tournament Thursday afternoon at Casper College. to Regionals and wins a couple of games are click- ing pretty good. You don't know the players. But once you're in the game and see them, you are comfortable that you're going to take care of that game." Colin May got the run starte'd with a trey, then Morgan Baxendale found Cody Savage in- side for two. After a Sun- dance deuce, Savage hit a free throw and Ryan Clark scored inside to give Lovell a 10-9 lead at the quarter break. The second, third and fourth quarters were all Lovell as pressure defense led to numerous turnovers and scoring opportuni- ties. A Steven Pickett trey launched a 9-1 run early in the second quarter that included a pair of pow- er baskets inside by Cody Savage, a steal and layup by Hultgren and another Pickett bucket on an assist from Hunter Hinckley. Lovell went on to out- score Sundance 23-11 to lead 33-20 at the half. A personal 6-0 run by Colin May that included -a three-point play (basket and free throw) off a steal and a trey put Lovell up 39-20 early in the third, and after Sundance whit- tled the deficit to 15, Lovell finished the third with a 7-0 run to lead 50-28. Hultgren had, five points during the run, including a trey, and Baxendale fol- lowed his own miss inside, was fouled and hit the free throw. The Bulldogs kept up the pressure in the fourth quarter, starting the quar- ter with a 12-2 run that boosted the lead to 32 points, 62-30. Hultgren scored 6 points during the run. Lovell went on to out- score Sundance 16-7 in the fourth to win 66-35. The Lovell Bulldogs were actually outshot by the Sundance Bulldogs 36 percent to 35 percent, but they got 35 more shots than the team from Crook County - 71-36 - thanks, in part, to the pressure de- fense. Sundance" finished with 34 turnovers, Lovell 16. Lovell also won the bat- tle of the boards 45-32. Hultgren finished with 21 points on seven-of-10 shooting and added seven rebounds and five steals. Savage added 15 points on seven-of-12 shooting and nine boards, Colin May 14 points on four-of-19 shoot- ing and five steals. Clark finished with seven re- bounds, Pickett 7 points and three assists. "I thought Dylan had a nice game shooting," May said. "He was probably our most consistent shooter in that game, with his jump shot." The box score: LOVELL (66) Colin May 4 4-5 14, Collin McArthur 0 0-0 0, Steven Pickett 3 0-0 7, Hunter Hinckley 1 0-2 2, McKayan May O 0-0 0, Brandon Wolvington 0 O-0 O, Austin Ellis 0 0-0 O, Morgan Baxendale 1 1-1 3, Dylan Hultgren 7 5-6 21, Ryan Clark 2 0-0 4, Cody Savage 7 1-2 15, Calm McArthur 0 0-2 0. Totals 25 11-18 66. SUNDANCE (35) Derek Yeadon 1 4-4 6, Jeremy Adams 1 0-1 2, Skyler Wagaman 2 O-0 4, Trent Peplow 2 0-0 4, Kory Butts 2 1-3 5, Kyle Shamion 2 0-0 5, Kayman Martens 1 0-0 2, Shan- non Morris 1 2-2 4, Caleb Moeller 0 1-2 1, Lane Carter 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 8-13 35. Lovell 10 23 17 16-66 Sundance 9 11 8 7-35 Three-point field goals - Hultgren 2, C. May 2, Pickett 1; Shamion 1. Fouled out - none. Total fouls - Lovel118, Sundance 18. Bulldogs win semifinal thriller over Wind River BY DAVID PECK To say that basketball is a game of streaks and momentum doesn't even begin to describe the "un- be-lieve-able" game be- tween the Lovell Bulldogs and the Wind River Cou- gars in the state semifi- nals Friday night that had fans first giddy with ex- citement, then sweating and clutching their chests and finally relieved and wondering what they had just seen in Lovell's 79-52 win. The Bulldogs and Cou- gars have traded top spots in the Wyopreps.com poll all season, and fans, play- ers and coaches expected a donnybrook at the Casper Events Center. They got it. The Bulldogs played perhaps their best half of basketball this season in the first half, leading 17- 11 after the first quarter and blowing the Cougars out 25-5 in the second to lead 42-16 at halftime. "That was an excep- tional first half," coach Brian May said. "Playing against that caliber of a team, both offensively and defensively I would have to say it was an excellent first half." But the talented Cou- gars came back in the third with fire in their eyes, out- scored the Bulldogs 28-15, then chopped Lovell's one- time 26-point lead to five early in the fourth before they flamed out and the Bulldogs scored the final 22 points of the game to win 79-52. Wind River led ear- ly, 6-2, but the Bulldogs clamped down on defense and executed the inside- outside game perfectly on offense, outscoring the Cougars 15-5 the rest of the first quarter to lead 17-11. Lovell forced six turnovers in the quarter. "We didn't press them the first time (in Decem- ber)," May said, "but we pressed them this time. We felt it confused them and frustrated them. They turned the ball over and were not able to score like they're used to. "Our energy was up. We were active and mov- ing our feet. We were trap- ping when we were sup- posed to and rotating in the press they way we're supposed to. We contested their shots and got hands in their faces. We didn't give them many open looks or second-chance baskets." Down 6-2, junior cen- ter Cody Savage got it go- ing for the Bulldogs with a power move and a baby hook, then Dylan Hult- gren drained a three- pointer in transition to put the Bulldogs on top, 9-6. With Lovell up 10-6, Hult- gren converted a Colin May steal into two, then swooped to the hoop for two more. Lovell led 14-6 and went on to lead by six at the quarter break. The second quarter was an amazing display of basketball for the Bull- dogs, who ran away from the frustrated Cougars and outscored the crew from Pavillion 25-5. Co- lin May was red hot and started the quarter with a trey. Savage followed his own miss for two as Lovell doubled up Wind River 22-11. Hunter Hinckley dished to Ryan Clark for two, and after a Wind Riv- er free throw, May scored seven straight: a jump- er, steal and layup and a trey. Lovell led the shell- shocked Cougars 31-12. Up 35-16, the Bulldogs scored seven consecutive points in the final 1:08 - two free throws by Steven Pickett, a bank hook by Savage, a swooping hook by Morgan Baxendale and a Baxendale free throw. Lovell led 42-16 at the half. "When we have our pe- rimeter game going and our inside game going we're pretty tough," May said. "Colin and Cody and the other kids were con- tributing. When we have DAVID PECK Lovell senior guard Steven Pickett slices to the basket against the Wind River Cougars during Saturday night's semifinal game at the Casper Events Center. Pickett came back strong late in the season after severe leg injury suffered during football season. that bench going it's hard to beat us." The Bulldogs expect- ed the Cougars to make a run, and they did so in the third - big time. For a while, the two teams trad- ed baskets. During that stretch May found Savage inside for two, then hit two free throws after a techni- cal foul on the Wind River coaching staff. May hit a trey a minute and a half later that kept the Bull- dogs up by 24 points, 52-28. "Everything seemed to come so easy in the first half," May said. "We were stale offensively in the first four or five minutes of the third quarter. We didn't execute at the offen- sive end." The final three and a half minutes of the third belonged to Wind River as the Cougars made a monumental push to get back in the game. Junior guard Roger Wagon was a one-man wrecking crew for the Cougars. Having already scored 8 points in the quarter, including a pair of treys, he scored seven straight on a drive, a fast-break bucket and a trey that cut the margin to 17, 52-35. Clark scored inside for Lovell, but Wind River outscored the Bulldogs 9-3 in the final two minutes of the quarter including a deep trey by Jesse Brown and a steal on the ensuing in-bound play from Ward Gordon. Lovell clung to a 57-44 lead after three. Lovell suffered from nine turnovers in the third quarter. "When they hit some threes their energy picks up. They run the floor bet- ter and execute better," May said. "We got back on our heels and got a little tight. We called a time out or two, and after that they got within five." Wind River continued to rally'in th fourth quar- ter - at leaat, for a time. Wagon drained a trey from Glenrock, then Ty- son Lonebear scored a trey and sprinted home on the fast break. Now it was the Bulldogs who looked shell- shocked and tentative as Wind River was close at 57-52. But in the final six minutes the Bulldogs not only righted the ship, they left the Cougars in their wake. Savage hit one of two at the line, and May slashed to the basket for two: 60-52. Wind Riv- er leader Brown fouled out, and Hultgren calmly hit both free throws, Af- ter May hit one of two at the line, the Bulldog stole the ball and Savage fed the streaking May for two more: 65-52. "Jesse,..he's their guard. He runs the offense and gets people in the spots they're supposed to be in," May said. "Defensively, we did a good job on Brown and Lonebear. Wagon got a few. He got hot and hit some deep ones with kids closing out on him. "We held Lonebear to 14 and he averages 20. We held Brown to 7 and he av- erages 16." Baxendale powered home an offensive fol- low shot to put Lovell up 67-52 and it was obvious that the tide had changed. The Bulldogs hit seven of 10 free throws down the stretch, plus two more to baskets to win 79-52, hav- ing scored the final 22 points of the game against the wilting Cougars. "I was just proud of our kids," May said. "Many people felt Wind River and Wyoming Indian would be in the championship game." In the final analysis, the Bulldogs shot the ball well - 56.7 percent (17-30) in the first half and 50 per- cent (10-20) in the second to finish at 54 percent, and Lovell got to the foul line 31 times, hitting 19. Wind River shot 21-7 percent (5-23) in the first half and 40.6 percent (13- 32) in the second includ- ing six of 15 three-point attempts to finish at 32.7 percent. The Cougars also had 25 turnovers to Lovell's 18. Another key statistic was the play of the Lovell reserves. Lovell had 19 points off the bench, Wind River zero. May finished with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, and had four assists and four steals. Savage add- ed 18 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, hitting seven of his eight shot at: tempts. Hultgren added 12 points, five assists and four steals, Clark 6 points and 11 boards. Off the bench, Baxendale scored 6 points, Collin McArthur 5 and Pickett 4. The  box score: LOVELL (79) Colin May 7 5-9 22, Collin McArthur 1 2-2 5, Steven Pickett 1 2-2 4, Hunter Hinckley 0 2-4 2, McKayan May 1 0-0 2, Brandon Wolvington 1, 0-0 2, Austin Ellis 0 0-0 0, Morgan Baxendale 2 2-6 6, Dylan Hultgren 4 2-2 12, Ryan Clark 3 0-0 6, Cody Savage 7 4-6 18, Calin McArthur 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 19-31 79. WIND RIVER (52) Ward Gordon 2 0-0 4, Joe Tidzump 0 0-0 0, Zach Landstadt 0 0-0 0, Joe Lupher 0 0-O 0, Ryan Weliever 1 4-8 6, Drew Antone 0 0-0 0, Tyson Lonebear 6 1-2 14, Roger Wagon 7 2-2 21, Jesse Brown 2 2-2 7, Tyler Rupe 0 0-0 0, Brodie Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 9-14 52. Lovell 17 25 15 22-79 W. River 11 5 28 8-52 Three-point field goals - C. May 3, Hultgren 2, Co. McArthur 1; Wagon 5, Lonebear 1, Brown 1. Fouled out - Gordon, Brown Total fouls - Lovel113, Wind River 24. we Fount of gou, DsIlan Hu/tgren. Congrats on a great season[ Morn  Dac[ SERVICE MANAGER Gillette, WY Branch Cummins Rocky Mountain, exclusive distributor of Cummins/ Onan products for the Rocky Mountain area is looking for a Service Manager in our Gillette, WY branch, Please apply online at www. cumminsrockymountainiobs.com Rock,_Mountain. EEO/AWM/F/D/V Congratulations, Colin May, on a great state tournament and senior season. Love, Morn, Dad, Ashton and Dylan : :'i i I