Tigers take hoops opener from BearcatsDec 10, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
On Friday at the Cody Invitational, the Stuart Mullins era of Lander Valley boys basketball began in fine fashion, with a 55-45 victory over Douglas.
Antonio Coando led the Tigers, with 20 points, while Mason Cronk added 11 and Ty Massey another 10 in the triumph.
"I'm extremely proud of our kids," said Mullins. "We started two sophomores and two juniors."
According to Mullins, his club was able to establish itself from the get-go.
"It was really good for us to get right into the flow of the game," said Mullins. "They came back on us in the fourth quarter, but we weathered the storm. It made the entire weekend worthwhile."
Lander led 9-6 after the opening quarter and opened up a 25-14 halftime lead, before the second half saw the contest open up offensively.
Douglas outscored the Tigers in the second half by a 32-21 margin, but it wasn't enough to reverse the earlier deficit.
Rawlins 68, Lander 31
On Saturday, the Tigers failed to capitalize on the positive momentum generated by Friday's victory in a 68-31 loss at the hands of Rawlins.
Mullins put his squad's struggles down to quality of the opposition, he said.
"The opponent was certainly a big reason," said Mullins, of the Class 3-A No. 2-ranked Outlaws. "They hit 70 percent from three and are huge up front."
Rawlins jumped out to a 16-0 lead to begin the game and had a 20-4 advantage at the conclusion of the first quarter.
The Outlaws continued their onslaught throughout the second and third quarters, outscoring the Tigers, 42-17.
Lander then outpointed Rawlins, 10-6, in the fourth.
Coando led the Tigers with 14 points.
Mullins said his players weren't quite equal for the physical challenge the Outlaws presented.
"Our guys really weren't ready for that kind of game -- having to grind out each possession," he said. "Also, we're so young and ripe and learning the system."
Buffalo 74, Lander 50
Finally, the Tigers faced the Bison of Buffalo to close out the weekend and suffered another loss by a final score of 74-50.
"We played really well at times," said Mullins. "We handled their pressure with no problems, our defense is what hurt us."
Lander (1-2) will next play at the Bearcat Invitational in Douglas next weekend.
Lander 9 14 15 17 -- 55
Douglas 6 8 15 16 -- 45
Lander - Cronk 11, Swenson 5, Coando 20, Black 2, Massey 10, Renner 0, O'Neal 4.
Douglas - Bratton 2, Robles 4, Rhoades 19, Yeaman 6, Yeaman 4, Townsend 2, Davidson 4, Underberg 4.
Lander 4 10 7 10 -- 31
Rawlins 20 19 23 6 -- 68
Lander - Cronk 2, Spoonhunter 7, Swenson 2, Coando 14, O'Neal 2, Black 0, Massey 4, Renner 0.
Rawlins - Solis 6, Pixler 6, Pfeffer 0, Mendez 2, Forney 0, Murry 16, Schanck 6, Jerome 26, Flores 2, Allard 3.