The Cokeville Panthers basketball team earned a spot in the 1A state basketball tournament with a third-place finish in the 1A West regional tournament last weekend. Cokeville fans made the trek to Lander to support the Panthers.
Cokeville began the tournament on Thursday, Feb. 21, as they faced the Eagles of St. Stephens. This is always a good match-up for the Panthers with fast-paced action.
This game was no exception, and Cokeville came away with the huge win, 76-58. Andrew Thomas led the Panther team scoring with 26. Hayden Hatch had 15 and Kyle Wayment had 12.
This win put the Panthers in the semi-final game against the Encampment Tigers. The Panthers had a close game against the Tigers but fell, 66-58. The loss put the Panthers in a do-or-die situation. If they won the consolation semis against the Rattlers of Little Snake River Valley they would be headed to state. If they lost they would be headed home.
The Panthers played against LSR with intensity and a will to win and came away victorious, 68-53. Andrew Thomas had 15 points and Kyle Wayment had 11. Nate Barnes and Hayden Hatch each had 10.
Cokeville advanced to the consolation finals against the Huskies of Burlington, the number one seed from the 1A East. The Panthers were feeling good and wanted to head to the state tournament on a win, and that they did, as they were again victorious, 55-50.
Hayden Hatch had 15 points to lead the Panthers, Andrew Thomas had 13 and Kyle Wayment had 12 points. The Panthers will continue their quest for State in Casper on Thursday, Feb. 28, against Kaycee at 7:30 p.m.