Big Piney boys finish regular season undefeated in conference

BIG PINEY – Scoring a major 77-51 win against Wyoming Indian High School on Feb. 18, the Punchers remain undefeated in conference play and are the number-one seed going into the 2A Southwest Quadrant Regional Tournament.

WIHS started ahead in the first quarter, only to be knocked down by a powerful 46-point offensive launched by Big Piney over the next two quarters. WIHS was unable to close the gap, and the Punchers sailed to victory in front of the home crowd.

“I’m really happy and proud of all the boys,” said head coach Nate Strong. “Obviously being Senior Night, you have those senior kids in particular you think about, who have put in so much time and effort into the game. So it’s really rewarding to see them play and perform well in their last home game.”

Coach Strong said the Punchers look forward to competing in the quadrant regionals at Wind River on Thursday. The top two teams from the quadrant will advance to the 2A West Regional Tournament in Riverton on Saturday.

“I have always believed that 95 percent of the outcome of the game is a result of how well you are focused on what you do,” Strong added. “We will continue to follow this plan and try to hone our skills these last few days before Regionals. I know the boys are hungry to play and can’t wait for Thursday.”

WIHS led when the first quarter ended, 15-14. Senior Camron Thomas returned to the court for the Punchers and set the rhythm for Big Piney with a six-point run. Fellow senior Edwin Gonzalez proved his accuracy from outside the perimeter with a pair of 3-pointers. Carlos Munoz, a senior, rounded out the Puncher tally in the first quarter with a 2-pointer.

Dominating the second quarter, Big Piney offense scored 24 points and held WIHS to 11. Senior Kaden Raza dropped in five 2-pointers. Gonzalez and junior Ethan Whiterock both shot in a 3-pointer and 2-pointer. Thomas and senior Liam Hughes tossed in a 2-pointer apiece.

When the halftime buzzer sounded, Big Piney held a significant 38-27 lead.

The Punchers continued to hammer away at WIHS in the third period, outscoring their opponent, 22-14. Thomas punched in nine points, including a deep outside shot. Munoz and Gonzalez each added a 3-pointer to the scorebook. Junior Seth Stoutenburg shot in a pair of 2-pointers and a free throw.

Junior Jaspur Brower capped off a successful night with a pair of 2-pointers as the final seconds counted down.

The Punchers finished the match with three players scoring double digits. Gonzalez and Thomas both tossed in 17 points and Raza added 14 points. Whiterock made nine points, Stoutenburg seven and Munoz five. Hughes and Brower each contributed four points to the tally.