East boys come alive in second to beat South

Jan. 21—CHEYENNE — Through a quarter-and-a-half, Cheyenne East and Cheyenne South were locked in a battle.

The lead changed hands 10 times and the score was tied three more times.

Then the top-ranked Thunderbirds had a 21-0 outburst that put them firmly in control during an 88-40 win over South on Friday night.

"We haven't been starting out well, and we have to come out more focused," East coach Rusty Horsley said. "South shot the ball really well and, to make things worse, we weren't playing very well defensively. We were gambling and leaving kids open for wide-open (3-pointers).

"When we settled in and started making things more difficult in the half court, we kind of flattened them out and made it tougher for them to score."

Neither team led by more than three points in the early going. The Bison (4-9 overall, 0-2 Class 4A Southeast Quadrant) held a 26-23 advantage when they were called for a technical foul for having six players on the court.

East junior Drew Jackson knocked down one of the two free throw attempts that came as a result of that technical. Senior Colter McAnelly spun along the baseline and scored on the ensuing possession to knot the score 26-26.

McAnelly added a pair of free throws on the T-Birds' next possession to give his squad the lead for good. The forward finished with 12 points despite missing the entire second half after suffering a right arm injury late in the second quarter.

South went 3 minutes, 49 seconds between field goals in the second. Junior guard Gabe Hernandez ended the drought with 2:01 to play in the half. The Bison didn't get another bucket until Hernandez scored in transition with 4:26 left in the third quarter. East (11-2, 2-0) led 61-32 by that point.

"That technical is on us as a staff, we should have paid better attention to what we had out there on the court," first-year South coach Chad DeBruyn said. "That contributed to a big swing."

Hernandez paced the Bison with 14 points, while Dylan Willmarth added 11 off the bench.

South hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and two more in the second. It had just one the rest of the way.

"We were sharing the ball, getting to the second side and third side and playing some defense," DeBruyn said. "Fatigue kind of hurts us because we don't have the same depth (East does). Once we get tired, the energy we had in the first quarter kind of dissipates."

Jackson led all scorers with 24 for the T-Birds. Senior forward Kysar Jolley added 16 points and 15 rebounds. Nathan Mirich scored 13 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out four assists.

Senior guard Garet Schlabs chipped in with nine assists and eight points.

"We have been starting kind of slow until we settle in," Jolley said. "We're not always there sometimes in the first quarter. Once things started clicking, we got up big.

"South came to play and started off hot. They didn't miss early. They really put up a fight until we turned it around."


Cheyenne East...... 15 35 27 11 — 88

Cheyenne South...... 14 14 10 2 — 40

Cheyenne East: C. McAnelly 12, G. Schlabs 8, Jo. Rayl 5, Na. Mirich 13, Lissman 2, Br. Bohlmann 0, Jackson 24, Popham 0, C. Hayes 8, A. Lahnert 0, Henry 0, Fertig 0, Jolley 16.

Cheyenne South: Hernandez 14, Pountney 2, Gillispie 0, Strong 5, Gire 0, N. Haggberg 3, Parson 2, Hartshorn 0, Hart 3, Willmarth 11, Ibanez 0.

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at jjohnke@wyosports.net or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.