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Wolverines get slim win vs. Torrington; late shot ruled a '2'

Dec 22, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer

The adage is that football is a game of inches, but when a toe touches the 3-point arc late in the game, even a shoe size can determine the outcome.

Riverton escaped a late

Torrington rally Thursday night in Goshen County 64-63 when Trailblazer guard Jordan Malm's final shot was determined to be just inside the arc. What was a 3-pointer in the eyes of Torrington fans was a 2-pointer to the officials, and Torrington came up a point short.

Malm finished with a game high 29 points.

The Wolverines were ready to play after the long bus ride from Fremont County earlier in the day and jumped to an early 8-0 lead behind a Treyton Paxton 3-pointer and three trips to the free-throw line, where he converted three straight attempts.

The free-throw line was hot for Riverton all game with a combined 16 of 19 from the stripe for the Wolverines.

"Treyton did a great job. He hit some shots early," Riverton head coach Beau Sheets said.

"Ridge (McCoy) had good game, and Sol (Van Dellen) rebounded well for us at times when he wasn't in foul trouble."

Foul trouble was RHS's nemesis in the paint with the 6-8 Van Dellen picking up three in the opening half and a fourth early in the third. McCoy's 6-5 presence was limited as well in the second half, and he fouled out in the final period.

"When your 6-8 kid sits, it leaves things open for the other team," Sheets said.

Torrington isn't a huge team was has good size in the 6-0 to 6-2 range in all five starters.

"They drive and shoot well," Sheets said of the Trailblazers. "We had to play the last three or four minutes without the big guys."

Riverton fired away effectively from long range hitting 10 3-pointers, paced by five from Paxton and a pair of key shots beyond the arc by Chace Garcia.

"Chase had a really good third quarter, he hit a couple of big threes to get us going," Sheets said.

Torrington's shot well from the perimeter, too, hitting eight 3-pointers on the game but with Riverton's size advantage the Blazers worked the ball inside off the dribble and with close-range passes.

Malm is a deadeye from long range, sinking a couple from six feet behind the 3-point line.

"They tried to spread us out," Sheets said. "44 (points) after three periods is a little more than we'd like to give up, but with foul trouble we didn't defend as well as we'd like. When you slow it down a little bit, you get tight."

Torrington trailed 60-51 late in the game but rallied on a 12-4 run in the final minutes to make it a nail-biter.

Paxton's 24 points led the Wolverines. McCoy finished with 13 including a 3-pointer and six-of-eight shooting from the line.

Garcia was the other RHS starter in double figures with 11.

Riverton, the defending Class 3-A state champion, is unbeaten against Class 3-A competition this season with a 5-2 overall record that includes losses to very solid Class 4-A Evanston and Kelly Walsh.

The Wolverines return to the floor after the Christmas break at the Taco John's Invite in Cheyenne against Cheyenne South, Laramie and Cheyenne East -- all Class 4-A opponents.

Riverton 23 11 19 11 - 64

Torrington 16 16 12 19 - 63

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Riverton junior Treyton Paxton, top scorer among Class 3-A West baskeball teams this season, lit up Torrington for 24 points Thursday night on the road, and the Wolverines needed them all. Final score: Riverton 64, Torrington 63. </p><p>
Photo by Phillip Harnden/Douglas Budget

Riverton junior Treyton Paxton, top scorer among Class 3-A West baskeball teams this season, lit up Torrington for 24 points Thursday night on the road, and the Wolverines needed them all. Final score: Riverton 64, Torrington 63.

Photo by Phillip Harnden/Douglas Budget


Riverton junior Treyton Paxton, top scorer among Class 3-A West baskeball teams this season, lit up Torrington for 24 points Thursday night on the road, and the Wolverines needed them all. Final score: Riverton 64, Torrington 63. </p><p>
Photo by Phillip Harnden/Douglas Budget

Riverton junior Treyton Paxton, top scorer among Class 3-A West baskeball teams this season, lit up Torrington for 24 points Thursday night on the road, and the Wolverines needed them all. Final score: Riverton 64, Torrington 63.

Photo by Phillip Harnden/Douglas Budget

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