WHEATLAND – Cross-county rival Torrington came to Wheatland Friday night with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads and instead, they had Wheatland Bulldogs dancing on their heads as the Dawgs came away with a 54-33 victory.
The Trailblazers came out in a flurry of activity and junior all-area player Kieser Wolfe who has been unstoppable of late scored eight points in the first quarter. As the score went back and forth, the first quarter buzzer sounded with both teams in a deadlock, 14-14. In the highly touted battle of the juniors, Wheatland’s Kade Preuit bettered Wolfe by one point in that quarter.
Wheatland varsity coach Mick Cochran had a serious talk about defense and intensity in the quarter break and the Bulldogs responded by coming out and not only shutting down Wolfe, but held the entire Torrington team to 4 points in the quarter and went into the half leading 27-18.
The third quarter tightened down defensively for both teams as the Bulldogs added to their lead and went into the final stanza with a double-digit 36-23 lead. In the fourth quarter Preuit scored as many quarter points as the Trailblazers and the Dawgs walked away with the victory.
Preuit led all scorers with 25 points. Trent Jones had 10 and Khai Johnson had seven.
“We were really pleased with the way we defended,” Cochran said. “Adam Suko did a tremendous job on Wolfe. That’s their guy, when he gets going they’re pretty tough to beat. I also think that collectively we did a good job helping, I am really proud of our effort, especially defensively.”
Saturday morning the Bulldogs packed the bus and headed to Rawlins through blizzard conditions. Though it was cold, the Dawgs and the Outlaws heated up the hardcourt and combined for 140 points. The defense wasn’t exemplary, but a very enjoyable game to watch.
Rawlins came out of the gate red-hot and scored 21 points to Wheatland’s 11 in the first quarter. That 10-point deficit was never to be overcome and lingered as a dark cloud over Wheatland all the way to the end.
Wheatland went into the half trailing 45-35 and the same scenarios in the second half as the third quarter score was 64-54 and the final was 75-65. The game leaves Rawlins 5-3 for the year while Wheatland is now 4-6.
Preuit was the high scorer for both teams with 25 points. Rodee Brow had 12 points and Ned Hageman had 11. Both teams had 4 3-point goals and for the Dawgs, Brow had two, Jones had one and Preuit had one.