Cougars win two, lose one at Bridger Valley tourneyDec 10, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer
Wind River rolled into the Bridger Valley Classic championship game against Class 4-A Green River riding back-to-back fourth-quarter rallies to pull away from Class 1-A Farson-Eden, 72-63 and Big Piney, 68-53.
The Cougars have been on the giving side of 40-point blowouts many times over the last few years and came within a point of the mercy rule on the receiving side, 82-43.The Class 4-A Wolves rolled over the 1-A, 2-A and 3-A teams in the tournament.
Wind River faced a scrappy Farson-Eden Pronghorns squad in the opening round of the only true tournament played by Fremont County teams this weekend.
The final margin by the Cougars was actually much closer than it seemed, with the Pronghorns cutting the margin to three two times in the final minutes.
The Cougars cruised in the opening minutes behind the one-two punch of seniors Dalton Finley and Jayin Trumbull and eventually built a commanding 16-point lead, 40-24 at the intermission.
Farson wouldn't fade and clawed back into the game behind a game- high 28 points from Lain Mitchelson.
A pair of quick surges by the Pronghorns in the early third and late fourth periods made the game a lot closer than the opening minutes would indicate.
Free throws proved to be the difference, with Wind River hitting 16 of 21 on the game and seven of eight in the final five minutes of play.
Finley hit all four of his attempts and added a pair of 3-pointers to preserve the Cougars' lead, while Trumbull controlled the boards and added five of his team-high 25 in the fourth quarter.
Dillan Cachelin was perfect from the line on the game as well, hitting four of four.Finley finished with 22 points, including all six free throws and four 3-pointers.
Wind River trailed 4-0 when Finley bounced the ball off a Big Piney defender, caught the ball and scored, then hit the ensuing free throw to get the Cougars untracked.Wind River led 22-13 after one on two threes from Finley and dominating play by Trumbull in the post.
Trumbull was unstoppable, finishing the game with 34 points and 15 rebounds. Big Piney's only recourse was to foul him in the block.
The Puncher's 5-foot-8 guard Randall Whiterock was their high point, scoring 26, mostly from long-range bombs and an occasional drive, but it wasn't nearly enough.
The Cougars played without three key players this weekend, one academically ineligible and the other two recovering from surgery, but the younger players have risen to the occasion.
The Cougars forced 18 turnovers and converted most of those into free throws or layups as the Punchers continually hammered away.
Finley was the floor general once again, with 17 points and Jaren Guina, Ashley Addison and Jackson Clair all handled the ball well and passed into the interior to 6-5 sophomore McCaden Anderson and 6-3 junior Cachelin, who gave the Cougars a 1-2-3 look inside with the 6-4 Trumbull.
"I asked Jayin and Dalton to step up as leaders and they have," said Wind River head coach Justin Walker. "Our young kids are doing a nice job. Dillan and McCaden are playing strong inside."
Wind River 22 18 13 19 - 72
Farson-Eden 13 11 20 19 - 63
Wind River - Morgan Miller 1 2-4 4, Ashley Addison 2 (1) 0-0 7, Jayin Trumbull 10 (1) 2-3 25, Dillon Cachelin 1 4-4 6, Dalton Finley 2 (4) 6-6 22, Jaren Guina 0-1 0, McCaden Anderson 4 2-2 10. Totals 19 (6) 16-21 72
Farson - Cruz Lucero 2 (3) 0-1 15, Braxton Applequist 1 1-2 3, Lain Mitchelson 13 2-3 28, Colby Jones 2 0-0 4, Hagan Jones 1 0-0 2, Carson Jones 2 1-2 5, Carter Malec 4 0-0 8, Shad Sellers 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 (3) 4-6 63
Wind River 19 13 14 22 68
Big Piney 13 13 13 14 - 53