CASPER – The Torrington High School boys season came to an abrupt end Friday afternoon following two straight losses at the Class 3A State Tournament in Casper.
On Thursday, Torrington led only once all game.
Senior Bryan Lemmon put the Blazers in front 9-8 with just under three minutes to play, but the Powell Panthers regained the lead on the next possession, handing the Blazers a 68-39 loss.
“It was a very frustrating day,” THS coach Neil Baker said. “I was just talking with the kids and the coaches, you can’t prepare for someone else’s great shooting night.”
Powell shot a blistering 53 percent from the floor, including 66 percent in the second half.
“They made their first seven 3s right out of the gate,” Baker said. “It was difficult to take that punch in the mouth.”
The Panthers really started putting some distance on the Blazers in the second quarter, outscoring Torrington 13-6, taking a 32-17 lead into the locker room.
However, the Blazers weren’t finished yet.
Midway through the third quarter, senior Jordan Malm scored his only four points in the third quarter, bringing Torrington back within four, 36-32.
“Once we cut it to four and we had a turnover, an ill-advised shot and another turnover,” Baker said. “We gave up like 13 in a row before we scored again. At that point, we were in desperation mode, gave up some points when we’re scrambling trying to make things happen.”
Over the final 12 and a half minutes of the game, Powell outscored the Blazers 32-7, including a 20-1 run to finish out the third quarter.
“I’ll give their kids credit. They played great,” Baker said. “They had some issues with kids getting suspended, and I’m happy for them that they responded and came out and played that well.”
Bryan Lemmon led the team with 19 points, while senior Jared Lemmon added 13. No one else had more than four points.
For the game, the Blazers shot 28 percent from the floor, including 21 percent in the first half.
“We didn’t hit many shots. We shot the ball terribly,” Baker said. “You aren’t going to beat anyone shooting the ball like that. Jordan struggled offensively. Sam (Firminhac) struggled offensively.”
The loss dropped Torrington to the consolation side of the bracket on Friday morning.
“We just told the guys, you get one more day,” Baker said. “That’s all you are guaranteed. It’ll be great to win tomorrow and play on Saturday for a trophy – just not the trophy we wanted.”
However, that game went south quickly for the Blazers.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by the Pinedale Wranglers left Torrington playing from behind once again in a 74-44 season-ending loss.
Malm drew the Blazers back within three with a trey of his own.
However, the No. 4-seeded Wranglers outscored the Blazers 15-4 over the final five and a half minutes of the quarter.
Pinedale’s lead continued to grow throughout the second quarter, outscoring the Blazers 16-4.
Malm and Bryan Lemmon scored the only points of the frame for Torrington.
In the second half, the Wranglers lead continued to grow, reaching as many as 38 early in the fourth quarter.
The Blazers shot 26 percent, including only five field goals in the first half, while Pinedale shot 45 percent.
Malm led Torrington with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Bryan Lemmon added 12 points. Firminhac tossed in six.
The Blazers’ season came to a close with a 13-12 record.