When the Wyoming Indian Chiefs burst out of the starting gate and quickly built a 12-3 lead over the Lovell Bulldogs Thursday night, forcing numerous turnovers in the process with their high-energy style, it looked like the Bulldogs night suffer their second loss of the early season.
But the Bulldogs calmed down, the Chiefs’ energy burned out and Lovell outscored the visitors from Ethete 74-32 the rest of the way en route to a 77-44 win at Winterholler Gym in Lovell.
“Our kids kept their composure,” coach Brian May said. “The Chiefs came out with a lot of energy, but I think in the second quarter our kids just started to exert themselves. They crashed the boards, got after loose balls and were running the floor. Cody (Savage) really ran the floor hard. We got a lot of opportunities to push the ball to him.”
Senior Morgan Baxendale led a mini 7-4 run late in the first quarter to keep the Bulldogs close at the end of one, trailing 16-10, and with the Bulldogs down 21-18 midway through the second, the Bulldogs took off on a 21-2 run to take charge of the game. Savage, Colin May, Ryan Clark, McKayan May and Dylan Hultgren all contributed to the outburst. Lovell outscored Wyoming Indian 29-9 in the quarter to lead 39-25 at the half.
A cold-shooting Wyoming Indian team could get no closer than 13 points in the second half as the Bulldogs controlled the game, outscoring the Chiefs 22-8 in the third quarter and 16-11 in the fourth.
“I felt our seniors really stepped up,” May said, “like Morgan and Hunter (Hinckley) and Collin McArthur, who accepted the challenge of defending (John) Sounding Sides. We tried to extend our defense and make him work as much as possible and also communicate in their offensive sets where they were trying to screen for him. We did a good job helping each other.
“They’re young. They’re going to get better as the year goes on and hit more shots than they did against us. I felt our defensive rebounding (37) tells me that we were eliminating their second-chance opportunities, as well.”
Colin May finished with 20 points, four assists and four steals, Savage 17 points, 12 rebounds and three steals. Baxendale added 13 points and five rebounds, McKayan May 9 points, Clark 6 points and seven boards, Hultgren 4 points, six rebounds and five assists. McArthur grabbed six rebounds.
Sounding Sides led Wyoming Indian with 14 points.
The box score:
Shane Willow 0 2-2 2, Tyler Penatac 0 1-2 1, John Sounding Sides 5 3-6 14, Joey Aragon 5 0-0 10, Joseph Howell 3 0-0 6, Ron Mitchell 1 6-8 8, Greg Long Time Sleeping 0 0-0 0, Alvin Spoonhunter 0 1-2 1, Trevor Williamson 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 13-20 44.
Colin May 5 8-9 20, Collin McArthur 0 2-2 2, Hunter Hinckley 2 0-0 4, McKayan May 4 0-2 9, Morgan Baxendale 6 0-1 13, Dylan Hultgren 1 2-2 4, Ryan Clark 2 2-2 6, Cody Savage 6 5-8 17, Austin Ellis 0 0-0 0, Brandon Wolvington 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 19-26 77.
WIHS 16 9 8 11 – 44
Lovell 10 29 22 16 – 77
Three-point field goals – Sounding Sides 1; C. May 2, M. May 1, Baxendale 1. Fouled out – Aragon. Total fouls – WIHS 22, Lovell 14.
Panthers to town
The Bulldogs will be at home again tonight (Thursday) to take on the Powell Panthers at 4 (JV at LMS) and 7 p.m. The Panthers are 4-1 on the season with wins over Rawlins, Wheatland, Jackson and Star Valley. Their only loss is to Riverton.
“They’re a good team,” May said. “They have a group of kids coming back who have played a lot of basketball together. They can hit the perimeter shot, they’re athletic and they can run their offense patiently.
“The Partridge kid (Chase) can be a match-up problem for us, and Marshall McArthur is lengthy, a good shooter and can take the ball to the basket. (Brady) Schaefer can hit the perimeter shot, and Cooper Wise does a nice job handling the ball and getting them into their offensive sets. He’s a good defender. (Josh) Cragoe is defensive-minded and a physical kid.
“We’ll definitely have our work cut out for us.”
By David Peck