Jan 18, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterGame time for the girls is 2 p.m. Saturday, with the boys to follow.
One way to look at Riverton's boys and girls basketball trip to Rock Springs on Saturday is that each team will knock off one more game on the schedule in a long season. But the way both head coaches, Dick Quayle for the boys and Ron Porter for the girls, are thinking, the stakes are a bit higher when the Wolverines and Lady Wolverines begin Class 4-A West conference play this weekend.
From here on out, games count in conference standings and will determine seeding for the Class 4-A West regional tournament in Green River beginning Feb. 28.
"We really look forward to it. It's the second season of four, and I kind of look at it as a ball game. This is the second quarter of four with pre-conference, then conference, regional and state," Porter said.
Saturday's varsity games in Rock Springs start at 2 p.m. for the girls, with the boys to follow.
The Lady Wolverines hope to steal a win on the road but know they will have to stop three of the conference's top scorers and two of the top three Class 4-A West top rebounders.
"They are a solid team, but we relish the opportunity and hope that we can get out to a little better start than we have in the last few weeks," Porter said.
The Lady Wolverines have struggled in the first quarter often this year in what many consider the weaker of the two Class 4-A conferences.
"We have an opportunity. We set our sights on qualifying for state. Hopefully we can continue to improve. We need to finish when we get good shots and minimize our turnovers," Porter said.
And for the boys, their primary goal is to get one of the two top seeds to gain an automatic berth to the state tournament in March. Dig a little deeper, and a conference title is the next goal for the 13-1 Wolverines, ranked No. 2 in 4-A ball.
Quayle said Thursday that his team will focus on consistent play as the Wolverines work to play a full 32 minutes of basketball every game -- something Riverton has struggled to do.
"We've been really trying to focus again on our defense. Hopefully we've made a little progress there. The kids know what this means, so hopefully we'll be more intense for the whole game," Quayle said.
Quayle confirmed Thursday that senior guard Xavier Webb, currently tied for second in Wyoming Class 4-A scoring at 18.3 points per game, is Wyoming's nomination among the 814 boys and girls high school players nationwide under consideration to play in the 2013 McDonald's All-American Games. According to press releases, the finalists will be announced Feb. 14 on ESPN-U. Webb is the only Wyoming boys player to receive the nomination.
"It's a nice honor for him," Quayle said.
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