WHEATLAND – The third meeting of the season between the Wheatland Bulldogs and the Torrington Blazers was nearly identical as the team’s second matchup on Jan. 24 in Torrington.
On Friday, the visiting Blazers raced out to a double-digit lead, but when the final horn sounded, it was Wheatland coming out on top, 58-50.
Torrington scored the first nine points of the game behind seven quick points from THS senior Jackson Jones. Wheatland finally got on the scoreboard with under three minutes to play in the first quarter.
“We talked at the end of the first quarter, we liked the pace of the game,” THS coach Neil Baker said. “We kept from getting comfortable.”
The Blazer lead reached 15-4 in the first minute of the second quarter before Wheatland senior Luke Anderson netted a 3-pointer, sparking the rally.
The Bulldogs chipped away at the deficit and back-to-back buckets from Anderson and Preuit gave Wheatland a 20-19 lead.
“In the second quarter, we allowed ourselves to get sped up a little bit,” Baker said. “When we let the pace get sped up, they got more shots. That quarter was the difference in the game.”
The scores came in the midst of a 9-0 Bulldog run. When Wheatland took the lead, they never surrendered it lead for the remaining 18 minutes of the game.
By halftime, the Bulldogs pushed their lead to 29-22.
Early in the fourth quarter, Torrington cut the deficit to six but couldn’t get any closer.
“The kids played hard, but we still made some of those mistakes,” Baker said. “We’d turn the ball over here and there. There were a few shots we missed. There were a few rebounds we don’t come down with. We let (Luke) Anderson get out and have four or five layups in the second half.”
Senior Sam Firminhac led the Blazers with 24 points, while senior Jackson Jones had 14.
The next day, Torrington celebrated its trio of seniors in their final home game of the season, hosting the Burns Broncs.
“It’s a big game for us. Our kids have to have a great showing tomorrow,” Baker said “Burns played well against us in Burns. I would think our kids will play well and send our seniors out in style.”
And that’s exactly what the Blazers did.
Torrington blistered Burns, 71-34.
No stats were available at press time.
The Blazers wrap up the regular season Friday at Rawlins. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.