Rustlers put on fine showJan 7, 2018 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
When last we left Central Wyoming College's men's basketball squad, they had just suffered a deflating 103-85 loss to Western Nebraska Community College in its last game before the Christmas break on Dec. 16, which completely sucked the life out of The Corral.
So much for holiday cheer.
So, after having three weeks to stew over such a stinging setback, it was good to see the Orange-and-Black back in attack mode on Thursday in a 90-81 victory over Williston State College.
However, it wasn't easy, as after jumping out to an early lead only to rubbish said advantage away to the visiting Tetons, the home side heroically rescued victory from the jaws of defeat.
Being able to watch basketball games up-close-and-personal with the action literally only inches away at times provides glimpses into the game within the game as the battle rages on.
Such as the deft little moves these behemoths are able to execute going through their various paces as they move up and down the shiny hardwood.
One thing which is particularly striking is the speed at which the college game is played, with these highly-skilled ballers able to make moves on a dime without breaking stride while chaos unfolds around them.
During Thursday's game, Central sophomore Colter Galante gathered in a pass from a teammate in the left-wing corner right in front of our position, then froze for a moment before forcefully driving along the baseline, rising up and violently -- yet gracefully -- slamming home over a hapless defender like it was nothing.
Next time down the court, it was Galante again with a spin move in the lane followed by a skyhook which rattled home.
Or when Irshaad Hunte went up over Williston's 7-foot center for a play above the rim, displaying the same aerial acrobatics his teammate had displayed only moments before.
Of course, when you're right on top of the action, you can hear all of the dialogue which constantly goes on between players, coaches and officials, which adds to the entertainment value of the proceedings.
However, sometimes certain outbursts can be heard as far away as the grandstands, like when Williston's head coach bellowed "Hey, we got concussed guys over here!" seemingly at nobody in particular, but probably aimed at the referees after a rough sequence had just concluded without a whistle being blown after one of his players had already been forced from the action with an apparent concussion.
Or other times when actions speak louder than words, like when the Rustlers were trying their best to give the game away to the visitors in the second half and during one particularly ugly passage of play, Central boss Jack Nelson hurled something made of plastic against the wall behind the Rustlers' bench.
We say "something" because by the time the shrapnel of what was left of said item hit the floor, it could no longer be determined what it originally was.
A water bottle? A pen? One of those mini-megaphones all kinds of things can be amplified through at sporting events, like perhaps "Hey, we got concussed guys over here!?"
Guess we'll never know.
However, the highlight of the entire evening was when Central point guard Devon Colley single-handedly took over the game like a one-man wrecking crew the likes of which we haven't seen since Audie Murphy fought off all those German soldiers atop a burning hulk of metal which was once a tank in the fields of France during World War II.
No Medal of Honor for D.C. on this battlefield, but you get the point.
Next up for Nelson's crew is the rugged Region IX schedule which will feature the likes of desperados from places like Casper, Gillette and Sheridan saddling up and heading out to pay the Rustlers a visit at The Corral.
We'll be ready.
With or without concussed guys.
A lady Chief, a Tiger and a Jedi.
The Lady Chiefs' 5-foot-10 power forward had a sparkling weekend up north at the Big Horn Shootout in Basin, scoring 22 points in a 59-56 victory over Wright and 19 more in a 62-19 demolition job of Shoshoni.
The Tigers' junior guard poured in 32 points during Lander's 84-42 win against Glenrock in putting the Herders out to pasture, then followed up with 20 against Greybull while taming the Buffs in another triumph.
All this after having begun the weekend with a 27-point performance against some Grizzlies from Rocky Mountain.
Do the math, people -- 79 points in three games.
Apparently, Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi, but nobody told Colley, who put otherworldly powers to work on Thursday night at Rustler Gym.
Central's sophomore point guard took the law into his own hands late in the home side's victory by going on a personal 12-0 run, including a pair of long-range strikes Yoda would've been proud of, helping the good guys secure victory over the Imperial Forces which had tried to invade The Corral, but to no avail -- thanks to Obi-Wan Colley and his 24 points.
All without a lightsaber.
Very cool, indeed.