Weekend sweep: Blazer boys pick up weekend wins over Glenrock, Wheatland and Newcastle

TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School boys’ basketball team has won four of its last five games, and second-year coach Logan Barker said the Blazers haven’t peaked yet.

“I hope it’s still in front of us,” he said. “I hope we hit our peak a little bit later even than now. I’m proud of how hard these guys have worked, and I think 100% on them. Our job as coaches is to put them in the right spots, and they are ones who go out and make it happen.”

On Thursday, the Blazers picked up a 68-41 victory over the Glenrock Herders.

Torrington had five players in double figures in the win. Senior Ryan Baker led the Blazers with 13 points, while freshman Landre Greiman and senior Ben Firminhac added 12 each. Senior Skyler Sargent and sophomore Ned Nelson tossed in 11 each. Sargent also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, to go along with four assists and two blocks.

“They came out ready to go,” Barker said. “They had put in a good week of practice and were focused. It really showed this weekend.”

On Friday, it took the Blazers an extra four minutes to knock off Wheatland 36-32.

“We knew it would come down to one final shot or one final possession,” Barker said.

Adding, “That’s to be expected,” Barker said of the slower paced game. “They are looking for the perfect shot, and they’ll spend as much time as they need to get that perfect shot. We have to know going in, that’s what it’s going to be like. We have to be efficient just like they are going to be.”

Torrington jumped out to a 5-1 lead behind four quick points from Sargent.

It wasn’t until the 3:17 mark in the first quarter when Wheatland hit their first field goal of the game. The score by Lee Raser sparked a 12-2 Bulldog run.

Wheatland’s Jacob Hyche tied the game at seven with 5:30 left in the second quarter, and Brock Peasely gave Wheatland its first lead of the game.

Wheatland held on to the lead until 2:35 remaining in the third quarter.

Firminhac tied the game at 19, and on the ensuing possession, Adam Bartlett gave the Blazers its first lead since early in the second quarter.

The Blazers held a 23-19 lead with 1:21 left in the third, but Wheatland battled back with four straight points to tie the game going into the final eight minutes.

Aric Suko gave the Bulldogs a 25-23 early lead in the fourth quarter, and it was a lead which the visitors held on to until Sargent’s 3-pointer gave Torrington a 28-26 lead with 2:33 left in the game.

Thirty-three seconds later, Hyche tied the game at 28.

Wheatland held the ball for the final minute of the game, calling two timeouts, while Torrington also called one. The Bulldog shot attempt at the buzzer bounced off the rim, forcing overtime.

In overtime, Firminhac gave Torrington a 29-28 lead hitting the first of two free throws, and it was a lead which the Blazers held for the remainder of the extra period.

Greiman and Nelson sealed the victory for Torrington, knocking down 3-of-4 free throw attempts in the final 20 seconds of the game.

“(Greiman) and Nelson put down some big free throws that were much needed,” Barker said. “In general, if we make free throws prior to that moment, we don’t end up in our overtime situation.”

For the game, the Blazers went 5-of-11 from the charity stripe.

Sargent led the team with 13 points and five rebounds. Firminhac added nine points and five rebounds.

On Saturday, the Blazers wrapped up the home portion of the schedule with a 78-44 win over the Newcastle Dogies.

It took all of eight minutes for Torrington’s lead to reach 20.

Torrington jumped out to a 13-2 lead in less than four minutes, and by the end of the first quarter, the Blazer lead was 24-4.

The Torrington lead continued to grow throughout the remainder of the game.

With 6:54 left in the game, Greiman’s 3-pointer pushed the Blazer lead to 39, its largest of the contest, at 72-33.

“(Newcastle) is incredibly well coached,” Barker said. “I have a lot of respect for coach (Allen) Von Eye and their program. We just went out and played really well. We played together like they should have, and it was a great win.”

Sargent led the team with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Nelson added 17 points, including three treys. Greiman added 13 points, to go along with six assists and four steals.

Torrington (7-12 overall and 2-3 in the 3A Southeast) heads to Rawlins on Friday to wrap up the regular season. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.