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Good news, bad news for local hoops fans

Dec 3, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor

We were down at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse on Thursday evening to take in Tigers basketball practice and began to get quite excited as we realized roundball season is finally upon us once again.

However, said excitement was quickly quashed when we realized we won't see much local action at all until well after the calendar flips to the new year.

The reason?

All seven Fremont County high schools only have a handful of home games scheduled this season.

The responsible party?

Hello, Wyoming High School Activities Association.

By the way, while we have your collective ear, we would like to say thanks.

For nothing.

Yes, it seems as if the braintrust in charge of such things thought it was a better idea to constantly have high-school kids on the road away from their home courts and home fans for the first few months of the season.

Defending Class 3-A boys champion Riverton won't hit the home floor until Feb. 2 when the Wolverines host Lander, one of only five -- count 'em, five -- contests at Wolverine Gym all season.

As far as the Tigers are concerned, it isn't much better.

Lander hoops supporters only have to wait until Jan. 4 for the boys' home opener against Rawlins for the first of its six contests at The Fieldhouse.

However, both Big Red and Big Green enthusiasts can take the short 50-mile round-trip drive to the other's gym for bonus basketball.

But, all isn't lost.

The Lady Tigers will host their invitational on Dec. 15-16, but get your fix while you can because after that brief appearance, they don't return home again until Jan. 4 for a single date, then not again until Feb. 2.

All of the county's schools find themselves in similar predicaments.

Shoshoni hosts the Wrangler Invitational on Dec. 14-16, but nothing else until mid-January.

We won't bore you with the other schools' schedules because it's all the same nonsense and a complete disgrace.

Bottom line is if you want to see your favorite hoops squad this season, check the fluid levels before you head out on icy roads because that's what will be required early on in the new season.

Of course, you could always just watch practice.

Good for Colin

Finally, we address the curious case of Colin Kaepernick, the man who has been blackballed from NFL employment for simply taking a stand (or, if you prefer, a knee) for what he believes in.

Before we continue, let me make one thing perfectly clear.

I wore the uniform of an American Soldier in the U.S. Army for a decade and was as outraged as anyone when Kaepernick first began "protesting."

How dare this guy who has made his fame and fortune disrespect the very country which made it all possible?

However, as the big picture has unfolded over the past year or so, I've come to realize it's not about disrespecting America, its anthem or flag.

It's about not approving of some of the things going on in America -- not America itself.

Keeping things local, couldn't a certain Rocky Mountain Region professional football team use a signal-caller of Kaepernick's skills right about now?

Can't say I still completely approve of how he's going about this whole thing, but part of me admires the guy for having the courage to do it.

Even as a civilian to this day, I still stand at attention and salute during the anthem when I'm covering a game.

As an American, it's my right.

Just like it's Colin Kaepernick's right to do as he sees fit.

Anyway, maybe I've simply built up a resistance to the entire situation as more and more instances of this have occurred, almost being desensitized to it all.

Or, perhaps I've simply come to my senses.

Three stars

Boo! Still no high-school sports this week, but that all changes next week.

No. 3

Amanda Mitchell,

Central Wyoming College, basketball

Mitchell had a career-high 16 points in the Lady Rustlers' 96-75 home loss to Eastern Wyoming College on Saturday.

In fact, Mitchell's points came in only 12 minutes of play, hitting 4-of-5 from outside the arc on the afternoon.

Well done.

No. 2

Amryn Brown,

Central Wyoming College,

basketball

Something about facing former Wyoming Indian teammate Morning Gambler must fire up Brown, who has had two of the top three point totals of her young college career against Gambler and the Lady Lancers of Eastern Wyoming College.

After scoring 17 against Eastern during the first meeting on Nov. 10, Brown scored another 12 in Saturday's game.

Excellent.

No. 1

Irshaad Hunte,

Central Wyoming College,

basketball

After two weeks of holding steady at No. 2, Hunte has finally made the ascendancy to the top spot, with yet another double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds in the Rustlers' 57-55 home victory over Colorado Northwestern Community College on Saturday.

Here's a big man who will definite ball at the four-year level, but for now, the Canadian-by-way-of-California is getting it done as the lynchpin of the Orange-and-Black attack.

Very cool, indeed.

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