Rangers sweep at home against quadrant foes
The Kemmerer High School boys’ basketball team was back on its home floor over the weekend, where it avenged a pair of quadrant losses from earlier in the season, beating Wyoming Indian 79-64 Friday, and St. Stephens 62-51 on Saturday.
“We talked about how we needed to put a complete game together, and I think in both games this weekend, we did a pretty good job of that,” said KHS head coach Matt Stewart. “It wasn’t just us relying on Jake [Kampman] to do everything, although he did have a big game Friday. But we also had a couple of other kids step up and meet the challenge this weekend. It was really good to see the team play together, both offensively and defensively — I thought those were two of our better defensive games. It was a really strong effort from everyone this weekend.”
The Rangers (10-8, 2-3 in 2A SW Quadrant) are home again this weekend, hosting quadrant rival Big Piney (8-10, 3-2 in 2A SW Quadrant) Friday and Shoshoni (8-10, 0-5 in 2A NW Quadrant) Saturday.
“We’re gonna be watching a lot of film on Big Piney — that’s the game that matters the most right now,” Stewart said. “It’s huge for conference standings, and we want to beat them, stay out of tie-breaker situations going into regionals. They’ve got a couple of kids that are right up there with Jake in scoring, so we need to work on our defensive schemes, as well as finishing around the basket. Both games are big, but the Big Piney game is the big one.”
Wyoming Indian 64
Kemmerer’s three-headed monster of Jake Kampman, Wyatt Peternal and Chase Bowen accounted for 71 of the team’s 79 points Friday night, as the Rangers flipped the script on visiting Wyoming Indian (11-9, 4-2 in 2A SW Quadrant), 79-64.
“Against Wyoming Indian, it was good to see a couple of other kids step up for us,” Stewart said. “Wyatt Peternal has been pretty solid for us all year, and I challenged him a bit to defend on their guards, and he stepped up to the challenge. Seeing Chase Bowen step up the way he did offensively — he was getting up and down the floor, running the floor like I asked him to and getting a lot of open layups. It was good to see that out of him.”
The two teams traded baskets for much of the first quarter, with Wyoming Indian holding a slim 20-19 lead after a quarter of play. The Rangers owned the second quarter, however, outscoring the visitors 23-10 to take a 42-30 lead into the break.
Wyoming Indian kept it close in the second half, but were unable to make up the ground lost in the second quarter, as the Rangers cruised to the 15-point win, 79-64.
“It was an all-around team effort — everyone bought in to what we needed to do against Wyoming Indian,” Stewart said. “We handled their press very well — they like to trap pretty heavily, and we stayed out of those situations, so that was good for us. We ran our press break really well, and got the looks we wanted.”
Jake Kampman led all scorers with 29 points — including three shots from behind the arc — and pulling down 14 rebounds for a double-double. Chase Bowen followed with 22 points, to go along with six rebounds and three assists, while Wyatt Peternal finished with 20 points, nine assists and two steals. Skyler Rogers added six points, while Mason Riding rounded out the scoring with two points.
“I think our effort defensively was the difference in the two games,” Stewart said. “We did a lot better job getting out to their shooters, as well as keeping them off the boards — we out-rebounded both teams this weekend by quite a bit, and that was huge for us, taking away those second-chance baskets.”
St. Stephens 51
The Rangers picked up where they left off Saturday afternoon, avenging yet another quadrant loss by beating St. Stephens (4-11, 2-4 in 2A SW Quadrant), 62-51.
Chase Bowen had the hot hand for the Rangers this time around, with 26 points, though Wyatt Peternal and Jake Kampman had their usual stellar games, as well.
“We started the year with a three-headed monster in those guys, and it kind of fell off through the middle of the season,” Stewart explained. “It looks like we’re kind of getting back to that. I told Chase that he’s really good when he gets out and runs the floor, so it was good to see him have that kind of game.”
The Rangers controlled the action from the start, and led 35-25 by halftime. St. Stephens made a bit of a run in the fourth quarter, but were unable to close the gap, as Kemmerer closed out the weekend with a 62-51 win.
“Against St. Stephens, we took care of the ball a lot better — even the way we played against Wyoming Indian, we still ended up with 20 turnovers,” Stewart said. “We got that number down to about 14 Saturday, so that was good to see.”
Joining Bowen in double figures was Peternal with 16 points, and Kampman, who recorded his second double-double of the weekend, netting 12 points and grabbing 17 boards. Skyler Rogers finished with seven points, to go along with six rebounds and two steals.
“Skyler played great for us all weekend, especially on the defensive end,” Stewart said. “He doesn’t score a whole lot for us — he can, but that’s not really what we ask him to do. We ask him to go in there and defend their big guys. He’s a tough, hard-nosed kid, and he’s not afraid to get in there and mix it up with those guys.”
Stewart also got solid play from his bench, who — while they didn't score — made an impact in other aspects of the game.
“Abel Alvarado — we call him our defensive specialist — he came in and gave us some big minutes to give Wyatt a break,” Stewart said. “We put him on their better ball handlers, and just let him go after them. Ethyn Perkins, as well, he gave us some good minutes; so did Gabe Wiswell. That’s kind of what it’s about this time of year — figuring out rotations, and getting some more people some experience in there.”