Feb 24, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterMost of Wind River's players won't remember their final tournament game of 2013 for very long, because they'll have three more to play in the future.
The very young Cougar boys played Big Piney toe to toe for three periods before fading in the final minutes in a loser-out game early Friday afternoon at Riverton High School by a 46-37 score.
Wind River fell to Big Piney twice in the regular season, but improvement was evident with the Cougars, who led until late in the game Friday.
Big Piney had a sizable physical advantage, as has every team the Cougars have faced this season, but quickness and good passing kept Wind River in the game.
Caleb C'Bearing paced the Cougars with 16 points, including four long range 3-pointers ,but the essence of the game came down to the battle in the low post. As long as 6-2 senior Ryan Weliever was playing low, the Cougar defense held tight against the taller Punchers, but Weliever picked up fouls in the process and fouled out with 1:11 remaining in the third period.
The Cougars led 32-31 at the end of three quarters after coming from behind twice to tie the game at 27 and 30.
The first tie came on a Delshai Roanhorse layup and the second on C'Bearing's third trey.
With Weliever on the bench, Big Piney went inside on nearly every possession to Nolan Jones or Jordan Sims, but the Cougars were able to answer from the perimeter for a while.
C'Bearing gave the Cougars a final lead at 35-33 on his last 3-pointer.
Big Piney quickly tied the game on a Banks follow shot.
Dakota Snyder tied the game for a final time on a running one-hand shot with 3:26 to go, but the Cougars didn't score again. Big Piney advanced with a 9-0 run to finish the game.
Wind River coach Scott Groenke loses Weliever to graduation but returns the remainder of the squad.
WIND RIVER 11 7 14 5 W22; 37
BIG PINEY 13 14 4 15 W22; 46
Wind River - Caleb C'Bearing 2 (4) 0-0 16, Brett Roanhorse 1 0-2 2, Clayton Renick 3 0-1 6, Ryan Weliever 2 0-0 4, Delshai Roanhorse 2 0-0 4, Dakota Snyder 1 (1) 0-0 5. Totals 11 (5) 0-3 37
Big Piney - Michael Howard 1 3-5 5, Jordan Sims 4 3-5 11, Jordan Banks (4) 3-3 15, Nolan Jones 5 3-4 13. Totals 11 (4) 12-17
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