Bulldogs improve but drop two of three

Sometimes there was frustration, sometimes there was joy. Sometimes there was hair-pulling, sometimes there was fist-pumping.

Opening weekend with five new starters will do that to a basketball team and its coach.

Lovell senior point guard Chase Tippetts drives the ball up the court during Lovell’s 53-38 win over the Kemmerer Rangers Saturday afternoon in Greybull. The Bulldogs host Wyoming Indian tonight (Thursday) and Tongue River Saturday. David Peck photo

Lovell senior point guard Chase Tippetts drives the ball up the court during Lovell’s 53-38 win over the Kemmerer Rangers Saturday afternoon in Greybull. The Bulldogs host Wyoming Indian tonight (Thursday) and Tongue River Saturday.
David Peck photo

Coach Lundberg and his “work in progress” Bulldogs no doubt ran the gamut of emotions during the weekend’s Big Horn Basin Shootout, which included a frustrating, 31-23 loss to the Big Piney Punchers, a turnaround win over Kemmerer, 53-38, and a loss to one of the best teams in 1A and 2A combined, the Burlington Huskies, 73-42.

“If you watched us play Friday night, we struggled,” Lundberg said, “but Saturday we looked like a totally different team. I don’t know if it was jitters or players adapting to varsity play, but we played basketball in the first game Saturday and looked very good. I was very pleased with our progress from the first game (Friday) to our first game on Saturday.”

Big Piney

The Bulldogs certainly struggled Friday afternoon in Burlington, falling to a tough, defense-minded Puncher squad and only scoring 23 points in the process.

Points were hard to come by for both teams. Big Piney built a 5-0 lead midway through the first quarter, then didn’t score for more than eight minutes. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs couldn’t buy a basket until Brandon Wolvington dished the ball to CJ Murphey for two. Two Wolvington free throws made it 5-4, but then the Bulldogs went about six minutes without scoring a point.

“Big Piney got into us,” Lundberg said. “They’re a good defensive team. They put a lot of pressure on us.”

Morgan May scored on an inside lob to put Lovell up 6-5, and after two BP free throws, Wolvington dished to Murphey again for a jumper. Lovell led 8-7 but went scoreless in the final 2½ minutes of the first half, after which the two offense-challenged teams were tied 8-8.

Big Piney built a 17-11 lead near the end of the third quarter, but Calin McArthur converted a steal, May hit an inside jumper (making it 17-15 after three) and Murphey powered down the lane for two, knotting the score 17-17 one minute into the fourth quarter.

After that, however, Big Piney gained control of the game, outscoring Lovell 14-6 to win 31-23.

“Against Big Piney we tended to try to dribble way too much,” Lundberg said. “Against Kemmerer we got up the floor and were able to swing the ball and run our offense, but against Big Piney we dribbled too much and allowed their defense to dictate where we were going.”

Lundberg pointed out that very few of his players have varsity experience under game pressure.

“As the season goes on you’ll see the older kids look more confident,” he said. “As they settle into their roles, the more you’ll see us get better.

“We do need to stop fouling so much. That will come once we get familiar with our rotations.”

The box score:

BIG PINEY (31)

Michael Howard 1 1-2 3, JD Fear 2 2-2 8, Alma Stoutenburg 0 1-6 1, Nolan Jones 5 1-4 11, William Shafer 2 4-6 8. Totals 10 9-20 31.

LOVELL (23)

Dylan See 0 0-0 0, Chase Tippetts 2 2-4 6, Calin McArthur 1 0-0 2, Brandon Wolvington 0 2-4 2, Mysen McArthur 0 0-0 0, Morgan May 2 0-0 4, Cade Bischoff 0 0-0 0, Beau Green 0 0-0 0, Nic Haskell 0 1-4 1, CJ Murphey 4 0-0 8. Totals 9 5-12 23.

B Piney 5    3    9    14 – 31

Lovell  4    4    7      8 – 23

Three-point field goals – Fear 2. Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Big Piney 17, Lovell 21.

Kemmerer

The Bulldogs looked like a totally different team when they took the court at Greybull High School Saturday afternoon as they topped the Kemmerer Rangers. They got into the flow of the game, shot better and generally played with more confidence than the afternoon before.

“We got some nice shots inside and hit some outside shots, and once the shots started falling the kids played with more energy,” Lundberg said.

Ten players scored for the balanced Bulldogs, led by Wolvington, who scored 10 points, and Mysen McArthur, who shook off a tweaked knee suffered against Big Piney and added 8 points.

“Cade (Bischoff) was a spark plug out there,” Lundberg added. “He played with so much energy, he and Chase both. And Dylan (See, 5 points), is one of those people who a lot of people don’t know but he came in and played really hard for us and did some positive things.”

The game was tied at 3, 5, 7 and 11 before the Bulldogs launched a 14-2 run that put them up 25-13 at halftime. Nic Haskell started the run with a drive, and Wolvington came alive, scoring 7 points during the run including a three-pointer and an old fashioned three-point play.

Kemmerer fought to within nine and later seven points in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs responded each time, first with a 6-0 run and later with a 5-0 burst that included a trey by Calin McArthur. Lovell led 39-27 after three.

Lovell continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter, twice building a 19-point lead before the Rangers closed the final margin to 15, 53-38.

The box score:

LOVELL (53)

Dylan See 2 1-2 5, Chase Tippetts 2 1-2 5, Calin McArthur 2 0-0 6, Brandon Wolvington 3 3-5 10, Mysen McArthur 3 2-2 8, Morgan May 2 1-2 5, Cade Bischoff 1 0-2 2, Beau Green 1 0-0 2, Nic Haskell 2 0-0 4, CJ Murphey 3 0-0 6. Totals 21 8-15 53.

KEMMERER (38)

Connor Tiller 0 0-0 0, Kyle Corbridge 7 1-2 15, Tre Deeter 3 0-0 6, Robert Webster 0 1-4 1, Dylan McCloud 2 2-4 6, Hazle 4 0-0 10. Totals 16 4-10 38.

Lovell 9    16    14    14 – 53

Kemmerer 7      6    14    11 – 38

Three-point field goals – C. McArthur 2, Wolvington 1; Hazle 2. Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Lovell 15, Kemmerer 12.

Burlington

The Bulldogs met a very talented Burlington squad on their home court and kept with them for a while before falling 73-42. Lovell came out strong and led midway through the first quarter before falling behind.

“I was pretty pleased with the intensity in our last two games,” Lundberg said. “We played pretty well against Burlington but then weren’t able to get back and recover in transition.

“We were able to break their three-quarter court pressure in the first quarter and were trading baskets, but they went to a 1-2-2 matchup zone and we were not able to adjust to that. They were able to get hands on passes and were quicker to the ball.”

Burlington outscored the Bulldogs 22-12 in the first quarter, 18-5 in the second and 21-13 in the third before a 12-12 final period. Lundberg said he was impressed by how hard the Huskies played.

“They out-muscled us and outhustled us,” he said. “I think it was a good learning experience for the boys. I know it was a good learning experience for me as a coach.

“We talked later about how intense and physical Burlington was. Our practices are intense, but are they at that level? All the drills we do, we have to be at a certain level of intensity. We also have to work on limiting second shots.”

The box score:

LOVELL (42)

Dylan See 0 2-2 2, Chase Tippetts 1 0-0 2, Calin McArthur 0 0-0 0, Brandon Wolvington 0 1-2 1, Mysen McArthur 4 0-2 8, Morgan May 1 1-2 3, Cade Bischoff 2 102 5, Beau Green 3 0-1 6, Nic Haskell 3 0-2 6, CJ Murphey 3 3-4 9. Totals 17 8-17 42.

BURLINGTON (73)

Nathan Carrizales 2 0-1 4, Jared Peterson 1 0-0 3, Jess McNiven 1 2-4 4, Landon George 5 2-3 12, Trevor Wardell 5 0-0 10, Nick Carrizales 6 1-1 15, Bridger Jones 0 0-1 0, James Davidson 2 2-5 7, Preston Wardell 7 4-4 18. Totals 29 11-19 73.

Lovell 12      5    13    12 – 42

Burlington 22    18    21    12 – 73

Three-point field goals – N. Carrizales 2, Peterson 1, Davidson 1. Fouled out – Davidson. Total fouls – Lovell 21, Burlington 17.

Chiefs to town

The Bulldogs will play their annual home opener against the Wyoming Indian High School Chiefs tonight (Thursday) at 4 (JV) and 7 p.m.

Lundberg said the Chiefs return a lot of talent from the team that fell to the Bulldogs in the regional title game and have added some strong freshmen to the mix. He said the Bulldogs will have to build on the Shootout and be at the top of their game.

“If we can be consistent we’ll be able to hang with teams and pull out wins,” he said.

After a day off Friday, the Bulldogs will be at home again Saturday, taking on the Tongue River Eagles at 1 (JV) and 4 p.m. Tongue River will provide another quality opponent, Lundberg said.

“They were kind of young last year,” he said. “They play hard. They get after you.”

By David Peck

 

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