Weekend sweeps sends Buffs into Classic with momentum

Nathan Oster

Wyoming Indian is known for momentum-changing scoring runs, but on Friday night at Buff Gym, the Chiefs found themselves on the receiving end of one that would have the made some of their all-time great teams proud.

Three minutes into the opening quarter, the No. 4 ranked team in 2A led 2-0.  Greybull hadn’t hit a shot and had two turnovers.  The run started simply enough — with banked-in 3-pointer by Coby Henderson with 4:56 to play.

By the time it was over, the Buffs had hung 26 on the Chiefs.  Greybull had 11 offensive possessions over the final 4:56, scoring on nine of them including six straight trips at one point.  Henderson hit four 3s, Cale Wright another three, plus one of the conventional hoop-and-harm variety. It was 26-10 after one.

The Chiefs never threatened again as the Buffs proceeded to win that one, 70-46, and follow that up with a 64-62 win over St. Stephens in a Saturday road game to improve to 6-2 overall heading into this weekend’s Big Horn Basin Hoops Classic.

“They were a couple of fun games, that’s for sure,” said Coach Logan Burningham.  “I don’t think we can expect to shoot the ball like that again, but we got the kind of shots we want out of our offense — the inside-and-then-out 3s — which was the encouraging part.”

The Buffs extended their lead to 39-19 at the half and 55-27 at the end of three en route to the win.

“I was thinking (after the first quarter) that with three quarters left, we had to keep the pedal down — and we did,” said Burningham. “We kept (WIHS) from doing what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go with the ball against our zone.  They seemed a little off on everything.”

The Buffs connected on 55% of their field goal attempts, burying 8-of-14 from deep and 18-of-33 from inside the arc against the normally stingy Chiefs.   Carlos Rodriguez scored 21 to go along with nine boards, while Henderson and Wright chipped in 19 and 14, respectively, combining for seven 3-pointers.

“I think everyone played really well,” said Burningham, summing up the night.

Saturday’s game in St. Stephens proved to be a tougher test for the Buffs.  The Buffs beat the Eagles 60-46 at the Foothills Classic, and while they again shot the ball well in the rematch, they lacked some of the defensive intensity they showed against the Chiefs.

It showed up on the glass.

“We didn’t rebound nearly as well and gave up 17 offensive rebounds, which you just can’t do,” said Burningham. “If we could have rebounded better, we’d have put them away a lot sooner.”

The game was decided at the buzzer.  Rodriguez took a hard foul — later determined to have caused a concussion — that forced him to leave the game.  Beto Diaz-Rios took his foul shots, missing both. But Aiden Reece was in the right place at the right time, grabbing the carom and sinking the shot to give the Buffs the two-point win.

The Buffs had another good shooting night, sinking 56% from the field including 8-of-12 from 3-point land and 15-of-29 from inside.  But 24 turnovers — many of them unforced errors — were cause for concern, according to Burningham.

“I’m happy with how the kids are improving, but again, we need to keep taking steps forward, cleaning things up as we go,” said the coach.


BHB Hoops Classic

The Buffs are among the 12 teams set to battle in this weekend’s Big Horn Basin Hoops Classic and will begin their journey with Friday pool games in Powell against the host Panthers at 1:30 p.m. and Burlington at 4:30 p.m.   Thermopolis, Lander and Wyoming Indian are also in Powell, playing in Pool B.

Records from pool play will be used to set matchups for Saturday’s games, culminating in the 4:30 p.m. championship game pitting the winner of the Powell side versus the winner of Cowley side, which consists of Rocky Mountain, Glenrock, Worland, Lovell, Riverside and Wind River.

The Buffs are likely to be shorthanded — with Rodriguez out with a concussion and Ethan Goton still nursing an ankle injury that has kept him out since the first week of the season.  The team’s top reserves, Juan Acuna and Beto Diaz-Rios, will be asked to play more minutes as a result.

“With how well we’ve been playing, I was really excited to see how we stacked up — Powell beat Rocky the other night by 30 — but not having Carlos will definitely hurt,” said Burningham. “We’ll need other kids to step up and play even better than they have.

“It’s a great opportunity, though, playing a couple of tough non-conference opponents.”

The opening weekend of conference play follows, with matchups against Rocky and Wind River.


Wyo. Indian  10   9   8 19 — 46

Greybull       26 11 16 17 — 70

GREYBULL — Jesus Rodriguez 1-1 0-0 2, Coby Henderson 6-9 3-4 19, Juan Acuna 0-1 0-0 0, Aiden Reece 3-6 1-2 8, Cade Cooper 2-6 0-0 4, Cale Wright 5-9 1-1 14, Carlos Rodriguez 8-14 5-7 21, Beto Diaz-Rios 1-1 0-0 2.  Totals 26-of-47 10-of-14 70.

3-POINT GOALS — Henderson 4, Wright 3, Reece;  REBOUNDS — Greybull 40 (Cooper 10).  STEALS — Greybull 8 (Wright 3).  ASSISTS — Greybull 12 (Wright, Henderson 3).   TURNOVERS — Greybull 20.


St. Stephens  21 11 15 15 — 62

Greybull       17 14 19 14 — 64

GREYBULL ­— Henderson 8-11 3-3 22, Acuna 0-1 0-0 0, Reece 3-4 0-0 7, Cooper 2-2 0-0 4, Wright 4-8 1-2 12, Rodriguez 5-13 6-12 17, Diaz-Rios 1-2 0-3 2.  Totals 23-of-41 10-of-20 64.

3-POINT GOALS — Henderson 3, Wright 3, Reece, Rodriguez; REBOUNDS — Greybull 33 (Cooper 9).  STEALS — Greybull 8 (Rodriguez 3).  ASSISTS — Greybull 9.  TURNOVERS — Greybull 24.