WHEATLAND - Coach Cochran’s Bulldogs came out hot on Saturday night against the Rawlins Outlaws, and it seemed they couldn’t be stopped. In spite of intense defense by the Outlaws, the Bulldogs powered up and down the court, gaining a five-point lead by half-time, 29-24.
The second half started out much the same, however, skillful ball-handling and massive defensive pressure continued to give the Bulldogs problems, especially in the paint. Extremely physical play found the boys of both teams on the floor more than once, even though the refs were not letting anything slide. Good sportsmanship was exhibited by both teams as they helped each other off the floor good-naturedly when people started getting knocked around.
A three-point streak fueled the momentum of the Rawlins team, and the Bulldogs found it difficult to answer, as there seemed to be a lid on the Wheatland basket. Midway through the third quarter, the Bulldogs had lost their lead and now trailed by three, 32-35. Though the ‘Dawgs fought admirably, the third quarter buzzer showed a ten-point deficit for the home team.
Fourth quarter play saw the Bulldogs carefully plotting their next move and they kept pace with the Outlaws and began closing the gap little by little. However, the Rawlins boys seemed to never tire and continued to keep the upper hand even with the Bulldogs’ own level of intensity. By the last five seconds of the fourth quarter, Rawlins led Wheatland 55-44, and the Rawlins guard pulled up his dribble and let the clock run out.
Leading scoring for Wheatland was senior Lee Raser with eight points, senior Brock Peasley with seven, senior Jacob Hyche with seven, freshman Tate Nichols added five, Nolan Schaffner also added five, Tagg Mickelsen put in three, senior Bryce Stenson contributed two, Kenny Raser added two and Jacob Miller put in one. Nolan Schaffner was named Sportsman of the Game.
The Bulldogs will travel to Douglas this Friday and will play at home against conference foe Newcastle on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., following the girls’ game.