It was raining threes at the Castle of Chaos for the #1 Gillette Camels (21-2) in their 72-33 win over Cheyenne South (10-15) in the East Regional Semifinal on Friday night at the Castle of Chaos.
The Camels opened the game up with 6 3-pointers in the 1st quarter and ended up with 8 for the game, all in the 1st half, to help them advance to the Regional Championship game for the 6th straight season. Cody Kelley made his 1st 4 3-point attempts and finished with a game high 18 points, which gives him 719 points in his career and moves him into the top 10 on the Campbell County High School career scoring list as he passed Sam Handsborough who had 716 points in his stellar career for the Camels. Kelley also moved past Rory Williams into 5th place for most points in a single season with 459 points.
Thomas Bush got a couple of early long balls in the 1st quarter and finished with a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Logan Wasson had a 3-pointer as he and Michael Cook each finished with 9 points. Tanner Sandvick had the other trifecta for Gillette for his only points in the game. Jade Kampfe and Dylan Haddix each had 6 points, Seth Moerkerke and Bryce Lyman both chipped in 4 while Derek Myers had 2 points.
The Camels defense was stellar all night long as they were able to take the Bison out of their offensive game plan, which was so effective the night before in their state clinching win over Sheridan. Gillette helped force South into 31 turnovers and that was with the running clock going into effect at the 2:54 mark of the 3rd quarter. Meanwhile the Camels committed just 17 turnovers.
The Camels' defense also held the Bison without a single player in double figures as Ryan Fawcett came off the bench to score all of his team high 8 points in the 4th quarter. Robert Dilsaver and Kyhler Cummings each had 6 points, Isaiah Simms was held to just 5 points, Mark DeBruyn had 4, Marquez Jefferson 3 and James Marshall scored a point.
The Camels did something they hadn't done all season long as they didn't commit a single foul in the 3rd quarter.
Gillette jumped out to a 20-7 1st quarter lead and then outscored the Bison 24-6 in the 2nd quarter to hold a 44-13 halftime lead and by the end of the 3rd quarter the Camels were up 66-24. Gillette finished 6 of 9 from the free throw line while the Bison were just 5 of 10.
With the win the Camels will now take on Laramie (19-4) in the Regional Title game on Saturday at 2:30pm as the Plainsmen had to come from behind in the 4th quarter to take down Cheyenne Central 63-58 as they closed out the game on a 10-0 run after trailing 58-53 with just over 2 minutes remaining in the game. You can hear the game after the conclusion of the lady Camels title game on 97.3 KAML FM and online at basins radio dot com.
Gillette has won the two previous meetings against the Plainsmen this season. In Laramie, 79-58 and at home, 68-49. The last time Laramie beat the Camels was in a triple OT thriller back on January 20, 2012, 61-58.
In the 3rd place game it'll be Cheyenne South versus Central at 11:30am.
*Thanks to Elsa Bush for helping with the photos at Regionals