2018 Taco John’s Invite: Scores, Recaps and Updates

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Photo by Olivia Kennah

CHEYENNE — With winter break ending, high school winter sports are in full swing. This weekend both the Rock Springs Tigers and Green River Wolves basketball teams head to the 2018 Taco John’s Invite in Cheyenne.

Coverage of the tournament for both the Tigers and Wolves will be posted in here. Scores, recaps and any updates from the three-day event will be included in the coverage.

For tournament schedules check here for Rock Springs and Green River.

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Check back regularly for updates.

Thursday, January 3:

RSHS VARSITY GIRLS:

  • Rock Springs 64 Cheyenne South 62
    • The Rock Springs Tigers squared off against the Cheyenne South Bison Thursday night. The game marked the first action of 2019 for both teams. Rock Springs’ defense held strong throughout most of the first half, forcing plenty of Bison turnovers. Brenli Jenkins recorded the first 13 of 15 points for Rock Springs. Cheyenne South cleaned up the sloppy play and made several big shots to give the Bison a 31-19 lead at halftime. The lead grew to a comfortable 17-point advantage for the Bison. Cheyenne South struggled to take care of the ball which gave the Tigers extra possessions. A late fourth quarter comeback led by Payton Reese and Jenkins cut the deficit to four points with 2:32 left in the game. Rock Springs completed the comeback and tied the game 53-53 with 1:12 left and forced the game into overtime. In overtime the Tigers were able to capture a five point lead with 50 seconds left, however, South tied the game quickly leaving just 11 seconds on the clock. A pair of free throws by Rock Springs proved enough to secure the comeback victory for the Tigers 64-62. The Lady Tigers take on Cheyenne East Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
Photo by Brayden Flack

RSHS VARSITY BOYS:

  • Rock Springs 51 Cheyenne South 38
    • The Tigers and Bison started off slow throughout the first quarter as a total of 11 points between the two teams would be scored. A last second three-pointer at the end of the first quarter gave Cheyenne South a 7-4 lead over Rock Springs. Justis Reese opened up the second quarter with back to back three-pointers to take the lead for the Tigers. Both teams found rhythm and battled back and fourth. Rock Springs was able to capitalize on free throws in the second quarter. The Bison only had three players score as Cheyenne South was the favorite in the first half with a close score of 22-19. Rock Springs put together a solid third quarter of play. The defense held the Bison to only eight points in the quarter and scored 15 points to take a four point lead over Cheyenne South. The Bison allowed the Tigers to go on a 9-2 run to begin the fourth quarter giving Rock Springs a nine point lead. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the game was Rock Springs’ ability to close out the game. The Tigers gained a 10 point lead midway through the fourth and maintained that lead throughout the remainder of the game. The Tigers also only had two fouls in the second half. Rock Springs improved to 1-0 in the tournament and will play Cheyenne East Friday night at 8:00 p.m.

GRHS VARSITY GIRLS:

  • Green River 43 Laramie 56
    • Head coach Rick Carroll recorded his 650th career game against Laramie on Thursday night. The Wolves defense came to play throughout the first half, giving Laramie trouble when it came to ball control. The first quarter ended closely 14-13 in favor of the Lady Plainsmen. Green River would respond with an 8-2 run, putting them up by five. Laramie strung together their own 12-2 run to end the half with a 28-23 lead over Green River. Laramie exploded in the fourth quarter with another 12-0 spurt for the Plainsmen offense. The Wolves simply failed to slow down Laramie’s consistent play throughout the game which ultimately led to the 56-43 loss. Green River drops to 5-3 on the season. The Lady Wolves will take on Cheyenne Central Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
Photo by Olivia Kennah

GRHS VARSITY BOYS:

  • Green River 64 Laramie 73
    • Green River faced a familiar opponent for the second time this season. In the opening tournament in Riverton earlier this season the Wolves and Plainsmen battled in what led to a 59-45 victory for Green River. The Wolves continued the dominating trend from the previous matchup in the first quarter. Green River posted a 14-4 supported by a 12-0 run by the Wolves. Laramie struggled as they went 0-15 from the three-point line and shot 5-37 from the field resulting in a fourteen-percent shooting percentage through the first half. The Wolves went into halftime 24-11 with a 13 point lead. Laramie cleaned up the poor shooting act in the third quarter and scored 17 points. Green River was able to maintain the lead throughout the third despite the improved shooting. Three point-shooting and bench points helped Laramie comeback in the fourth quarter to cut the Green River lead to six. Laramie continued the stunning comeback and hit a buzzer beater to tie the game and force overtime. The Plainsmen opened up overtime to steal the lead with a three-pointer and the game continued to favor Laramie. The game stayed close throughout the overtime but Laramie was able to secure the win 73-64. The Wolves take on Cheyenne Central Friday night at 8:00 p.m.

Friday, January 4:

RSHS VARSITY GIRLS:

  • Rock Springs 43 vs Cheyenne East 54 @ 6:30
    • Coming off a 17-point comeback win in overtime against Cheyenne South Thursday night, the Lady Tigers had their work cut out for them Friday night against the second ranked Lady Thunderbirds. Offensively the Tigers struggled throughout the first quarter. Turnovers stalled the production of Rock Springs’ offense as the Tigers only posted two points halfway through the first quarter. East’s ability to shoot the three-pointer didn’t help the Tigers situation in the opening quarter as the Thunderbirds made three of four from deep. Turnovers for both teams headlined the second quarter of play. Midway through the second quarter Brenli Jenkins sparked the Tigers’ offense with five straight points to bring the deficit to a single point. The Thunderbirds’ production also slowed towards the end of the quarter which eventually led to a 21-16 halftime score in favor of East. Rock Springs had a difficult third quarter as the Tigers were outscored 22-11. The Thunderbirds had excellent ball movement which gave them open looks. Cheyenne East closed the game out in the fourth quarter as Rock Springs failed to muster up a comeback against the Thunderbirds with the final score reading 54-43, giving East another win. The Lady Tigers will finish the Taco John’s tournament tomorrow with a game against the Natrona Mustangs at 12:00 p.m.
Photo by Olivia Kennah

RSHS VARSITY BOYS:

  • Rock Springs Cheyenne East
    • The Rock Springs Tigers played an excellent second half to secure the first win of the tournament. Cheyenne East posed to be the toughest competition for the Tigers this year as the Thunderbirds currently sit first the 4A rankings. The Tigers started off strong keeping the score close as they were only down a point near the end of the first quarter. East put together a 6-2 run for comfort room to close out the first eight minutes of the game. The second quarter proved to be disastrous for Rock Springs. Second chance points and a scoring drought allowed the Thunderbirds to jump out to a 21 point lead at halftime, 41-20. The frustrating game spilled into the second half for the Tigers in what was a six-point third quarter performance. East couldn’t miss a shot and easily put Rock Springs away as a running clock began in the fourth quarter. The 31-80 loss ranks second worst in school history since 2005. The only loss to surpass Friday’s game was in 2009 against Natrona when the Tigers lost by 72. Rock Springs will play it’s third and final game tomorrow against Natrona at 1:30 p.m.

GRHS VARSITY GIRLS:

  • Green River 53 Cheyenne Central 58
    • Thursday night netted a loss for the Lady Wolves against Laramie. Friday night presented a prime opportunity for Green River to take on a ranked Cheyenne Central team. The Lady Wolves matched the intensity that Central brought to the opening quarter. Both offenses were able to score and lead changes were exchanged several times throughout the quarter which led to a knotted score of 17 at the end of the first. Green River was able to get to the free throw line which sent Central to rely on the bench in the first half. Unfortunately Green River shot poorly from the charity stripe. The Wolves not only struggled from the free throw line, but didn’t score a point in the second quarter until halfway through the quarter. Cheyenne Central took advantage of Green River’s six point quarter to lead 31-23 at the half. Green River came back in the third quarter to pull within three points. The Wolves comeback was supported by great defense which slowed the bleeding from the second quarter. Central went on another offensive run in the fourth quarter. With two minutes left in the fourth, Green River pulled the game once gain within three points. The Indians were able to pull away with a handful of free throws as the Wolves failed to find an offensive run, losing the game 58-53. Green River will look to finish the Taco John’s tournament with a win against second ranked Cheyenne East at 3:00 p.m.
Photo by Olivia Kennah.

GRHS VARSITY BOYS:

  • Green River 65 Cheyenne Central 79
    • The Wolves lost a heartbreaking game last night against Laramie in overtime. The sloppy second half led to the loss for Green River. Coming into the game against Cheyenne Central on Friday night, Green River looked to bounce back against the fourth ranked Indians. Green River hit a three-pointer and didn’t find another point until the very end of the first quarter. Central played a near perfect opening quarter as the Indians went on a 16-3 run which lasted the rest of the quarter. The domination by the Indians continued as the Central lead grew to 24 over the Wolves. Green River could not find an answer to Central’s offense. On the flip side the Wolves could not buy a basket either. At halftime, the Indians led 37-13. Green River found the offense it needed and recorded a 26-point third quarter but still found themselves down 18, however, Central shut down any attempt at a comeback in the fourth winning the game 79-65. The Wolves finish the tournament with a tough matchup against the first ranked Cheyenne East Thunderbirds at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 5:

RSHS VARSITY GIRLS:

  • Rock Springs 48 Natrona 36
    • After splitting the first two games of the Taco John’s tournament, the Lady Tigers aimed to add another victory to the win column before heading home. The Tigers did a superb job of finding the free throw line throughout the first quarter, however, Rock Springs was only able to claim one point from the line. The two teams matched up evenly as Natrona led 10-8 heading into the second quarter. Rock Springs’ leading scorer, Brenli Jenkins found her first points of the game to begin the second. Jenkins scored 13 to end the half. The full court press by the Lady Tigers gave the Phillies trouble, which allowed for two back-to-back three-pointers to take the first lead of the game. Going into halftime, the Tigers maintained a 23-22 advantage. Consistency headlined the second half for the Lady Tigers. Head coach Ramiro Candelaria stuck with the full-court pressure which continued to force turnovers which was evident as Natrona had over 30 turnovers in the game. Rock Springs did an excellent job closing out the game and keeping a safe lead in the fourth quarter. The win over Natrona gave the Lady Tigers a 2-1 record in the tournament. Rock Springs will be back at home next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Tiger arena.
Photo by Brayden Flack

RSHS VARSITY BOYS:

  • Rock Springs 44 Natrona 73
    • Last night’s 49-point loss against Cheyenne East continued into Saturday afternoon against the Natrona Mustangs. Turnovers hurt the Tigers in the first quarter. Rock Springs had 9 turnovers in the first eight minutes alone. Despite the turnovers, Justis Reese scored 10 of the 12 opening quarter points for Rock Springs to keep the Natrona lead 17-12. A six-point quarter for Rock Springs would follow in the second quarter. Natrona extended the five point lead to as much as 19. Almost identical to yesterday’s game, the Tigers went into halftime with a 37-18 score. The second half wouldn’t bring any luck for Rock Springs as the lead continued to build for Natrona. The bright spot from the second half was the Tigers’ bench getting varsity experience in what ultimately led to a 73-44 loss. Rock Springs drops to 3-6 on the season and will be back at home next weekend.

GRHS VARSITY GIRLS:

  • Green River…Cheyenne East

GRHS VARSITY BOYS:

  • Green River…Cheyenne East