Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Sisco Molina
Sports Editor 


Worland basketball teams head to state tournament in Casper today


March 10, 2016

WORLAND – A week ago, 32 total teams in the 3A ranks began the fight to keep their season alive at their respective regional tournaments.

Now, only eight boys and eight girls teams remain as they converge in Casper today for the Class 3A Wyoming High School State Basketball Championships.

And in three days’ time, only two teams will be left standing to be crowned state champions.

The Warriors and Lady Warriors each enter as heavy favorites to contend for state titles in their respective field of teams, both building up impressive regular-season resumes and turning in strong performances at the 3A East tournament in Glenrock last weekend with third-place and first-place finishes, respectively.

Today, they’re both hoping to take the first step toward the coveted state title.

The Lady Warriors will play first, with a matchup against Lovell at 10:30 a.m. today at the Casper Events Center. The Lady Bulldogs enter as the No. 4 seed from the 3A West, going 2-2 at the regional tournament in Star Valley last weekend where they fell in the third-place game to Powell.

The two teams haven’t faced yet this season, but having faced common opponents like Powell and Cody gives Worland girls basketball coach Mark Mortimer enough insight to his first-round opponent.

“Lovell’s a team that when you see them on film and watch them play other teams, you’ll see that they have three really athletic guards and a small, undersized post player who does a fantastic job,” Mortimer said of Lovell. “They’re going to be quick and athletic and I think it’s going to be a great matchup for us.”

While he expects a tough test from Lovell – last year’s 3A state runner-up – Mortimer knows his team provides a majority of the matchup problems today against the Lady Bulldogs.

“Our size offensively is going to be a huge advantage for us. Whether they play man or zone, they’re probably going to struggle a little bit with our 6-foot posts and just the determination of Bryanna (Mickelson) and Aubrey (Goodrick) in there,” Mortimer said.

For the Warriors, the first round of the tournament serves as a bit of déjà vu. They’ll be facing Cody at 7:30 p.m. this evening, the same team they saw in the first round of last year’s state tournament and defeated 54-49.

They’ve also faced the Broncs on two separate occasions this season, twice coming away with victories – a 57-49 win in Cody on Jan. 7 and a 62-54 win in Worland on Feb. 6.

Today, they’ll try to make it a perfect sweep over the Broncs. But they know it won’t be an easy task.

“They’re a very strong team and they defend as hard as anybody. We have our work cut out for us from day one,” Worland boys basketball coach Aaron Abel said of Cody. “They’ve given us a tough go both times we met already and they’ve had second-half leads in both games we’ve played this season.

“They’re definitely dangerous. They’re the best 3-point shooting team in the state … and they’ve got a lot of really good catch-and-shoot guys.”


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