ROCK SPRINGS – The Rock Springs High School Tigers narrowly beat the Devils of Evanston High School on Tuesday night, Jan. 11, by the score of 41-38.
The Tigers looked strong out of the gate with senior Ethan Willey showing off his layup package early on. After winning a loose ball, Wiley put some English on the ball and finished with a gorgeous up and under. The next play, Wiley finished at the basket with a Stephen Curry like finger roll floater to grab himself four quick points and give the Tigers an 8-4 lead. The Devils did fight their way back and finished the quarter on top, 11-8.
The second quarter wasn’t any better for the Tigers as they could only manage to tie their point total of the previous quarter by dropping another eight points.
In the second half, the Tigers took a page out of what the Lady Tigers had done, hours before, and stepped up their game for the final stretch.
The Tigers were looking to take the game into the fourth at a standstill, but a late Evanston bank shot gave the Devils the lead going into the last quarter, 30-28.
Senior Brock Bider was quiet the first half but came to life in the second. Bider scored all his 12 points in the second half and poured in 10 of them in the fourth quarter. Capped off with a go-ahead floater in the dying seconds from Bider, the Tigers failed to sink multiple free throws to put Evanston to bed completely. It was sophomore Joey Stauffer who grabbed an impressive rebound off a missed Tiger free throw and then was fouled and hit one of two free throws. Evanston had one last chance to make the Tigers pay for their missed free throws but a potential game winning three pointer clanged off the rim to seal the home opener victory for Rock Springs.
Despite the win, head coach Bill Rosette was brutally honest with his team’s performance.
“I thought it was an ugly game,” Rosette said of his team’s win. “Good teams win ugly games though and the kids never gave up. A win is a win, and we will take it. We need as much confidence as we can get.”
Rosette dives deeper into what exactly almost went wrong for the Tigers in their home opener.
“My older kids just have to be smarter. When there is a minute and a half left in the game, we don’t need to be throwing up a three. We want to be patient and that is something we talked about before the game. Sometimes they just want to rush things and we aren’t that kind of team. So, I saw some good things and some bad things, but I know we are a better defensive team than that. We gave up too many open shots and they were hitting their threes but I’m proud that my team never gave up.”
Next up, the Tigers hit the road for a battle against Laramie High School for the third time during this young season, but Rosette feels like giving his kids a little bit of a break before the matchup.
“We’ve played a lot of basketball the last four or five days so tomorrow we plan on taking it a little light. We are going to watch some film and get a few shots up, but we do need to prepare for Laramie. They beat us twice, so we do need to prepare.”
The game in Laramie will tip-off Saturday, Jan.15, at 2:30 p.m.