Four Buffs named to all-conference team

Nathan Oster

With the end of the small school high school basketball season came the release of the all-conference and all-state teams.
And as expected, the Greybull Buffs were well represented on both after a season that produced a conference title, a second-place finish at regionals and a fifth-place finish at state.
The Buffs put four players on the all-conference team, headed by unanimous player of the year Carlos Rodriguez along with Coby Henderson, Juan Acuna and Caden Hunt.
“This is the first time we got four on it, so that was cool to see,” said Coach Logan Burningham, who was recognized as the conference coach of the year.
“Carlos was amazing — the jump he made from his junior  year to his senior year was just crazy,” said Burningham.  “He was a difference maker.
“It was the first time that we, as coaches, haven’t had an argument over who the player of the year should be.  All the conference coaches thought Carlos deserved it.”
Rodriguez averaged 20.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.5 steals during the regular season. In each category, he ranked either first or second among all conference players.
Henderson, a senior, ranked seventh in the conference in regular season scoring, averaging 12.6 ppg. He was also the team’s top 3-point shooter, burying 43 from distance. But he took his game to another level in the postseason.  At state, he scored 76 points, which included a 35-point effort against Kemmerer.
“Coby really showed what kind of player he is,” said Burningham.
Acuna, described as “the ultimate role player” by his coach, ranked fourth in the conference in assists, averaging 2.5 per game. “If Juan wasn’t part of the team, we wouldn’t have achieved what we achieved,” said Burningham.
“Coming off a torn ACL, I wasn’t even sure if he’d even be able to play this year. And if so, how effective he’d be. But he showed he was a very valuable player on the team.”
Hunt, the only non-senior of the bunch, averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game from a guard position.  “He’s our up and comer and we hope that he can step into a bigger role next year. He has the potential to be a great player and hopefully (making all conference) gives him a little confidence boost.”
Other members of the all-conference squad were Quinton Clark, Aiden Jarvis and Braxton Mills of Shoshoni, Mato Amos, Ford David and Wambli Romero of Wind River and Bryce Haslem and Cole Minchow of Rocky Mountain.
All state
Rodriguez also made the all-state team, where he was joined by Caleb Gibson of Big Horn, Rueben Stoutenberg of Big Piney, Chase Bowen of Kemmerer, Brady Cook of Lingle-Fort Laramie, Cory Brueger of Lusk, Aidan Mattheus of Lusk, Carsten Freeburg of Pine Bluffs, Keaton Mills of Sundance, Colter Hanft and Caleb Kilbride of Tongue River, Wambli Romero of Wind River, Jaxson Neely of Wright and Darwin Gambler of Wyoming Indian.
Burningham said Henderson fell one vote short of earning a spot on the team.  “I certainly thought he was deserving and after Saturday’s game, several coaches told me they felt bad he didn’t get it.”
Coaches cast their ballots on Saturday morning, hours before Henderson poured in 27 including six 3-pointers in a win over Big Piney.