Rangers earn road split with loss at Rich, win at Farson
Host Wyoming Indian, St. Stephens this weekend
The Kemmerer High School boys’ basketball team earned a split on their most recent road trip, falling 68-58 at Rich, Utah, on Thursday, before bouncing back with a 58-47 win at Farson-Eden.
With the win, the Rangers improve to 8-8 on the season, though they’re still in search of their first 2A Southwest Quadrant win.
“I think it was a pretty good weekend for us – we didn’t play great at Rich; it’s a little different going over there,” said KHS head coach Matt Stewart. “The officiating is a little different, and they have a shot clock, which actually didn’t affect us as much as I thought it would. The kids played very well against Farson. We took care of the ball – we only turned the ball over seven times, so that was really good for us.”
The Rangers are back home for a pair of 2A Southwest Quadrant contests this weekend, beginning with Wyoming Indian Friday, and concluding Saturday with St. Stephens. Wyoming Indian is coming off a 64-62 upset of No. 4 Rocky Mountain, and won the first meeting with Kemmerer last month, 64-60.
“We’ll be watching a lot of film on them this week, trying to see if they’re doing things differently,” Stewart said. “They had a couple of good games this weekend, so hopefully we get the film from those, see what we can learn from them. First time we played them, we played really good for three quarters, but we had one quarter right in the middle where we struggled taking care of the ball and scoring. We’ll do a lot of prep work, a lot of ball-handling drills and defense. Playing a complete game against them this week is going to be big for us.”
The Rangers traveled to Rich County Thursday to take on the Rebels (11-9, 4-4 in 1A Region 22), in what turned into a very physical contest.
“The kids battled hard, we just didn’t knock down a bunch of shots,” Stewart said. “We didn't shoot very well from the free throw line, like we have been the past couple of weeks.”
Both teams were solid out of the gate, with Kemmerer holding a slim 17-15 lead after a quarter of play. The Rebels outplayed the visitors in the second, and led 31-26 at the break. Both teams scored 18 points in the third quarter, but Rich outscored the Rangers 19-14 in the final frame to hold on for the 68-58 win.
Jake Kampman paced the Rangers with 23 points, to go along with nine rebounds. Chase Bowen followed with 13 points, while Wyatt Peternal and Mason Riding finished with nine points and eight points, respectively; Paternal also dished off a team-high four assists.
“We turned the ball over a few too many times against Rich, but all in all, it wasn’t a terrible game for us – we were right there with them,” Stewart said. “Not getting back on defense – they were sending one guy back every time a shot went up, and we just weren’t getting back quick enough to defend that.”
The memory of Thursday’s loss to Rich still fresh in their minds, the Rangers took out their frustrations Friday on Farson-Eden, with three players scoring in double figures in a 58-47 win.
“Friday against Farson, we knew what to expect, and they did exactly what we thought they were going to do,” Stewart said. “It felt like one of our most complete games – we played all four quarters, and took care of the ball. That’s a big thing for us.”
The Pronghorns didn’t make it easy, at least for three quarters. Kemmerer led 37-34 heading into the final frame, but pulled away in the final eight minutes, outsourcing Farson 21-13 to seal the 11-point win.
“Farson was fouling us to try and get back in the game, and we knocked down our free throws when we needed them,” Stewart said. “The free throws we missed at the end, we were able to grab the rebounds and get the ball back, so we were able to control the clock that way. It was a big game for us to get back on the winning path.”
Jake Kampman again paced the Rangers with 23 points and nine rebounds, followed by Wyatt Peternal, with 18 points, to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Skyler Rogers rounded out the double-digit scorers with a career-high 14 points.
“Jake Kampman did what he’s been doing all year – getting about 23 points a game, and nine or 10 rebounds,” Stewart said. “Skyler Rogers had a great game, with 14 points, a career high for him. Wyatt Peternal was big for us all weekend, as well – taking care of the ball, getting in there, mixing it up with the big guys, getting some big rebounds.”