The Saratoga Sun -

Tigers earn No. 3 seed


Photo courtesy of Mary Martin

Gage Bartlett puts up the game-winning shot with seconds to go in the Snake River game Saturday.

The Encampment Tigers headed to Lander Thursday to face Meeteetse as their first opponent in regional play.

According to Head Coach Clint Bromley his team began the contest slow due to tournament jitters but came back strong in the second half to finish with a 73-55 win.

Of the win, coach Bromley said, "We played good team basketball vs Meeteetse with four guys in double figures and two scoring 9 each. When the scoring is distributed this evenly we usually have good results."

The four double-figure scorers were Guy Erickson with an impressive stat line of 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, KeeGan Johnson with 14 points, Hunter Hammer with 12 points, 7 boards and 2 steals and Gage Bartlett with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 5 dimes. Of the near doubles in scoring were Jared Stewart with 9 points and a glass-cleaning 10 rebounds to go with 6 assists, a theft and 2 blocks and Wyatt Cox who dropped in 9 points.

Friday's opposition was the central division St. Stephens Eagles.

Despite losing 87-82 Coach Bromley said, "This was probably the funnest game that we played this year and everyone came out of it with a smile on their face. Even in a loss we learned a lot about ourselves and what we need to do different next week to come out of a game like this as the winner."

In the match, Guy Erickson totaled 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, Cox had 18 points, 7 rebounds, Hammer dropped in 16 points, Bartlett added 10 points, 8 boards and 4 assists, Jared Stewart had 9 points, 8 rebounds and 5 dimes while Johnson chipped in 9 points and 4 rebounds.

Saturday the Tigers won a play-in game against southwest conference rivals, the Farson-Eden Pronghorns.

After winning the 69-56 contest Coach Bromley said, "This was the play-in game to the state tournament and, after a loss last year in this same game, our seniors were not going to be denied this year."

Erickson came out with a huge performance and a season-high of 33 points. Erickson also added 7 rebounds and 3 assists to his impressive performance.

Helping Erickson in the game were Johnson with 11 points and 4 blocks, Bartlett with 8 points, 5 steals and 2 assists, Cox with 7 points and 4 boards and Stewart claiming 6 points, 9 rebounds, 3 dimes and 2 steals.

In a game that came down to a last-second shot, Encampment managed to continue their winning ways versus Little Snake River Saturday.

Coach Bromley summed up the game against the Rattlers like this, "This was a game about pride and who was going to win the rubber match between them. Both teams had a hard-fought game that morning and being the fourth one of the weekend we both were a little flat and didn't get off to a very quick start. To sum up the game, it came down to a last-second shot by Bartlett to win the game, but it could have been anyone on either team that could have done it; it was just Bartlett who happened to have it in his hands last. Great finish to a game that really didn't matter because we were both going to state regardless of the outcome."

In the game, Erickson collected 15 points and 3 assists, Bartlett hit 12 points (including the game winner) to go with 2 blocks, Cox totaled 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 swats while Hammer added 6 points and 3 rebounds.

The No. 3-seeded southeast conference Encampment Tigers will face the northeast conference No. 2-seed Kaycee Buckaroos in the first round of state competition. That game will take place at noon on March 3 in the Casper Events Center in Casper.


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