ROCK SPRINGS – The Rock Springs Tigers and Kelly Walsh Trojans will meet in the rubber match for the 4A West title on Saturday after the Tigers knocked off Evanston Friday night, 53-50.
Rock Springs won both meetings with Evanston this season and looked to be in control to start the game as they quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead behind Kelby Kramer, Kael Mikkelsen and Brady Arnoldi. Evanston battled back to pull within one but threes by Trevor Hautala and Jesus Beltran put the Tigers up five. Beltran added another three at the buzzer as the Tigers jumped up 24-18 after one.
Evanston started the second on a 9-2 run to take the lead. Nick McMurtrey scored the only bucket for the Tigers during the run. Josh Tepera and Kramer went on the offensive to give Rock Springs the lead but Evanston came right back to take a two-point advantage to end the first half, 36-34.
Arnoldi, McMurtrey and Beltran came out of the locker room firing as the Tigers regained the lead and never looked back. A Kramer bucket had the Tigers up eight but Evanston was able to pull back within six by the end of a low-scoring third quarter, 50-44.
Hautala and McMurtrey scored to start the fourth but Evanston answered. The Red Devils got as close as three but Mikkelsen hit a big shot to put the Tigers back up five with under a minute left. Evanston scored to end the game but it was too little too late.
Kramer led the way with 14 points and nine rebounds on the night. McMurtrey also had a big night for Rock Springs finishing with 11. Beltran and Hautala each finished with nine while Arnoldi added eight points in the win.
The Tigers will take on Kelly Walsh for the title at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Both teams split during the regular season with each team winning on their home court.
Rock Springs High School
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