WHEATLAND - After losing 10 straight games, the Wheatland Bulldog boys basketball team was searching for a winning recipe this past weekend when they hosted a pair of Big Horn Basin foes, Thermopolis and Worland.
On Friday, Wheatland jumped on the Thermopolis Bobcats with their signature aggressive zone defense, and held on to a 51-48 victory. Wheatland led at halftime 24-20 and traded baskets in the second half to never trail in their first 3A win this season.
Senior guards Trevor Vaughn and Zac Gunter were aggressive in taking the ball to the rim finishing with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Trigg Peasley and Colton Caves each pulled down nine rebounds. Peasley added 10 points, while Clayton Iacovetto added eight points and four rebounds.
Wheatland again struggled at the free throw line shooting 5-of-21. The Bulldogs missed several front ends of one-and-one opportunities and nearly lost the lead in the second half. The Bulldogs were able to keep the Bobcats from getting off a good shot at the end to pull out the victory.
In Saturday’s game against the Worland Warriors, the Bulldogs fell in a close one, 50-48. Wheatland fell behind 4-0 at the start but battled back to take an 11-6 lead at the end of the first period. Wheatland lead by 10, 38-28 at the end of the third period. The Warriors scored eight-straight points with an aggressive man-to-man full court press to close to 38-36 early in the fourth quarter. The Warriors got hot from behind the arc and scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to gain the win.
Wheatland had an opportunity to win the game with a three pointer by Gunter as time expired. The ball went off the front of the rim as the game ended. Peasley finished with a game-high 15 points, Vaughn had eight, Gunter seven, Kobey Preuit six and Jamison Brown and Colton Caves each chipped in two points.
Although a disappointing loss for the Bulldogs, the weekend showed a team that continues to improve on both ends of the court. Coach Mick Cochran feels the Bulldogs are peaking at the right time and are a team that could pull off an upset at the regional tournament.
The Wheatland boys will be at home Friday against the Glenrock Herders at 7 p.m. and travel to Douglas on Saturday to face the Bearcats.