Mar 8, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterR00;The Wolverines thumped Cheyenne South 65-46 Thursday night at Casper College.
CASPER -- The Riverton Wolverines started strong, finished strong, and earned their first state tournament opening-round win of this century Thursday, dominating Cheyenne South 65-46 before an enthusiastic crowd at Casper College.
It was Cheyenne South's first-ever appearance at the Class 4-A state tournament. Cheyenne's third high school is just three years old.
Riverton now advances to the Class 4-A semifinals against the Gillette Camels at 9 p.m. Friday at the Casper Events Center.
Gillette had no problem disposing of Rock Springs 67-23 in its first-round game.
Evanston, with its 65-54 upset win over Laramie, and Casper Kelly Walsh, which beat Cheyenne Central 29-26 game, will meet in the other Class 4-A semifinal Friday night. Riverton owns wins over both Evanston and Kelly Walsh but also has lost to both this season. Riverton lost to Gillette early in the season in a tournament game in Green River.
Xavier Webb and Kade Salsibury led Riverton with 19 and 14 points, respectively.
"There is so much pressure in the first game. Last year I felt like, 'Oh geez, I hope we can win.' This year I felt like we were supposed to win," Riverton head coach Dick Quayle said.
RHS senior Coley Nichols got Riverton on the board first with a 3-point shot that was quickly answered by South's leading scorer,, Kyhler Cummings who scored 13 points on the night.
But Riverton was playing in top form early in the game.Webb, Salisbury (who scored eight in the first), Nicholls, Seth Quayle and Michael Johnston helped Riverton jump on a 17-6 run to give the Wolverines a comfortable lead.
Up 31-20 at halftime, Riverton let South make it interesting in the third quarter and saw the lead dwindle to five at 37-32.
Sophomore Brandon Fullerton hit a short jumper, but it was Nicholls's huge 3-pointer right before the third quarter buzzer that fueled a Wolverine 13-1 run.
"Coley made a shot that was just huge for us," Quayle said.
Starting the fourth, the Wolverines clamped down on defense as they had done at the start of the game and did not let South back in it.
South, the victim of foul trouble throughout, lost big post player Isaiah Sims early in the fourth quarter when he gave Jordan Belville a forearm shiver in his back off the ball.
"Sims fouls out. That was huge," Bison coach Jim Shaffer said.
The Wolverines outscored the Bison 23-14 down the stretch.
"We didn't come out well in the second half, and we knew we had to pick it up on defense," Webb said.
South's head coach, whose team played Rock Springs in a consolation game Friday, was rightfully pleased with his team's first state appearance.
"It's huge to be here. You have to start somewhere. But Riverton is a good team. There's a reason they were 22-4 coming in," Shaffer said.
Thursday's win was Riverton's 23rd, and one more win at the state tournament will give this year's Wolverines the most in school history.
They hope it comes Friday against tournament favorite Gillette, who outscored the Wolverines 31-6 in the second half of their only meeting at the December Flaming Gorge Classic in Green River. The Camels (23-2) went on to win that game 83-54.
"We've tightened up a lot of things since then, but they play a lot of basketball. We feel we can play with them," Salisbury said.
Quayle and assistant coach Stuart Mullins both agreed but acknowledged that their team will need a great performance against Gillette team to have a chance to advance to Saturday's state-championship game.
Cheyenne South 12 8 12 14 -- 46
Riverton 21 10 11 23 -- 65
Cheyenne South (46) -- Michael DeBruyn 3 1-2 7, Robert Dilsaver 2 1-2 (1) 8, Adam Haberkorn 0 2-2 (1) 5, Marquez Jefferson 0 0-0 0, Ryan Fawcett 0 0-0 0, Kyhler Cummings 0 4-6 (3) 13, Gene Bonney 0 0-1 0, Courtney Page 0 0-0 0, Mark DeBruyn 3 2-2 8, Shane Dilsaver 0 0-0 0, James Marshall 0 0-0 0, Isaiah Sims 2 1-2 5. Totals 10 11-17 (5) 46.
Riverton (65) -- Brandon Fullerton 3 0-3 6, Kade Salisbury 6 2-2 14, Anthony Condie 0 0-0 0, Chris Quayle 0 1-3 1, Xavier Webb 6 1-2 (2) 19, Triston Ortiz 0 0-0 0, Michael Johnston 2 0-0 4, Coley Nicholls 1 0-0 (2) 8, Myron Oldman 1 0-1 2, Jordan Belville 1 0-0 2, Seth Quayle 4 1-1 9, Wyatt Meyer 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 5-12 (5) 65.
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