WYOMING STATE TOURNAMENT
at Powers Field – Cheyenne
Seeds in parentheses.
Wednesday Game 1: (S2) Wheatland vs. (N3) Casper, 9:30 a.m. Game 2: (N2) Sheridan vs. (S3) Laramie, 12:30 p.m. Game 3: (N1) Gillette vs. (S4) Torrington, 4 p.m. Game 4: (S1) Cheyenne vs. (N4) Douglas, 7:30 p.m. Thursday Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 3 loser, 9:30 a.m., loser eliminated Game 6: Game 2 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 12:30 p.m., loser eliminated Game 7: Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 4 p.m. Game 8: Game 2 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 7 p.m. Friday Game 9: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 9:30 a.m., loser eliminated Game 10: Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser, 12:30 p.m., loser eliminated Game 11: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 4 p.m., loser eliminated Game 12: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 7 p.m. Saturday Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 loser, 1 p.m., loser eliminated Championship: Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 7 p.m. *** If the championship loser only has one loss, a second game will be played at 2 p.m. Sunday to determine the state champion.
The NCAA Div. I men’s lacrosse final four starts at 2 MDT today. There are only four high-school-age club lacrosse teams in Wyoming — Jackson, Laramie and teams featuring students from Cheyenne Central and Cheyenne East. However, there are two Cheyenne products playing varsity lacrosse at the college level. Here’s how they did this season.
Cheyenne East graduate Matt Burns – also seen playing defense in the action shot above – started and played in seven games for Wheelock College, an NCAA Div. III school in Boston. He scored three goals and had an assist in the Wildcats’ final game. The 6-foot-1 midfielder also won 44 of the 125 faceoffs he took this season. Wheelock went 0-10 this season.
Cheyenne Central alum John Beedle played in one game for Pfeiffer University an NCAA Div. II school in Misenheimer, N.C.. The Falcons went 10-6 this season.
Malone Munford, a 2009 Central grad, started the year at Pfeiffer, but transferred back to the University of Wyoming for the spring semester. He played in one game for the UW club team (1-7). Tony Meena, a 2008 Central alum, played in three games for the Cowboys and scored one goal. Central grad Bryce Stratton started seven games in goal for Wyoming, making 158 saves and stopping 56 percent of the shots he faced.
The Pine Bluffs girls basketball team sits at 7-2 on the season.
The Lady Hornets have had no real drop off from the start of the season. No, they didn’t want to come out of the winter break with a loss to Kimball, Neb.
At the same time, Pine Bluffs coach Bob Cochran can use that loss as motivation. No matter how good their start was, they have room to get even better.
“I think most of the reason we’ve had this start is we’ve played like a team,” he said. “And I think defensively we’re getting some things done that we want to get done. We’re getting some turnovers, and it’s causing us to get some easy points because of it. And we’ve played unselfish. For us to continue this in the second part of the season, we have to continue to do that.”
Nevertheless, Cochran is still pleased with how well his team has started the season.
“I thought we could start like this, but I didn’t know for sure,” he said. “With only having one senior, you didn’t know how that would work out. The underclassmen have taken a role to help out in that regard.”
One big area Cochran wants to sees his Hornets improve on is rebounding.
“It doesn’t seem like we do a good job of boxing out yet,” he said. “We can still get better offensively. I don’t think we’re running our sets like we want to. We’re getting better at it. I think we’re still kind of learning. But I do think we’ll get better in that area too. And if we do, we should have some success.”
As the Burns girls headed out of the winter break, Barry Ward was pleased with his basketball team.
That’s even truer after the Lady Broncs won both games to improve to 8-1 on the season. But there is still room for improvement in Ward’s opinion.
“I’m concerned about rebounding and consistent defense,” he said last week. “Other than that, it’s been good for our team. And I think the girls have nailed it down to the girls realize they have to practice the way they want to play. And we have to get more consistent defensive-minded practices to get that.”
Minus those concerns, Ward said the season has topped his expectations for how the season has gone.
“I think some of the games that we’ve played it has exceeded expectations,” he said. “For example, our game against Glenrock. You just don’t go into a game like that and beat a good team like Glenrock by 29 points. And that goes back to defensive effort is what it was. When we have that defensive-mindset, our offense always follows suit. Everybody always says that, but in our case I know it’s true.”
As the season continues to move closer to the regional and state tourney, that is the kind of effort Ward wants to see from his girls. If they want to make good on their goal of playing for the Class 2A state title this season, they have no choice.
“Everybody has those big post players, and for whatever reason, it’s not our turn,” Ward said. “So we have to defend, and we have to battle.”
On my two trips out to Burns and Pine Bluffs, it is apparent that both girls basketball teams will contend for the Class 2A state title this season.
The Lady Broncs and Lady Hornets know what they have to do to have success, and they do it.
They don’t do any more or any less than that. Plus, the two teams listen to their respective coaches.
That tells me as situations arise as the season goes on, they are open to being coached. And that, more than anything else, is what leads me to think as I do.
What gives Burns a slight edge over its bitter rival is experience.
The Broncs have gone through this before when they finished third at state a season ago.
You can tell their loss to eventual state champ Big Horn serves as their motivation to make sure this season turns out different.
Burns plays in your face defense, forces turnovers and has a balanced offensive attack.
On any given night, the Broncs have four players who can score. The mix of those three things makes for a dangerous team.
Now, whether that means Burns will win a state title this season, I don’t know.
As for the Hornets, it’s just a matter of gaining experience and growing as a team, as cliche as it sounds.
The thing Pine as going for it is it has talent and depth.
At the same time, those are the same things Burns possesses.
I don’t know who will win the Class 2A state title this season, but from what I’ve seen, both of these teams will have a say in who does.