For the 5th time in the last 6 years the Gillette Camels (22-2) have claimed the 4A East Regional Tournament Championship after they held off a shorthanded Laramie (19-5) squad 60-55 on Saturday at the Castle of Chaos.
The Plainsmen were playing without Sam Hainline, their 2nd leading scorer, but that didn’t keep them from giving the Camels their best test since the opening month of the season. Gillette jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, but Laramie battled back and got the back to tie the game up at 17 and 27 in the 1st half before the Camels ultimately took a 29-27 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the half the Plainsmen played inspired basketball and took their 1st lead of the game at the 2:54 mark of the 3rd quarter and they held a slim 42-20 lead over Gillette heading into the final quarter. That’s when the Camels came alive once again as they went on an 11-0 run to open the quarter and they were able to hold off a furious rally by Laramie despite Tyler Loose, the team’s leading scorer, fouling out with just under 4 minutes to play.
Cody Kelley, for the 18th time this season, led the Camels in scoring as he had a game high 20 points and for the 2nd straight game he connected on 4 long balls and was perfect from the line as he went 6 for 6. Dylan Haddix really stepped up offensively to finish with 17 points, including 10 in the 2nd half when the Camels needed it most. Logan Wasson was the 3rd Camel in double figures with 10 points. Thomas Bush scored all 5 of his points when the Camels were pulling away from Laramie in the 4th quarter. Tanner Sandvick made all four of his free throws in the final quarter to account for his point total while Seth Moerkerke and Michael Cook each had 2 points.
Laramie had 4 players in double figures and they were led by Tyler Looses’s 16 points. Abel Casas finished with 13 while Sam Feldman and Drew Berman each had 12. Dominick Villareal was the only other Plainsmen to score as he had 2 points while battling foul trouble.
With the win that mean that means the Camels will once again be the #1 seed from the East at the 4A State Tournament, which begins on Thursday, March 7th when they take on Rock Springs in the 1st round from Casper College at 9pm. Gillette won the early season meeting with the Tigers back on December 8th 82-60. You can hear every game the Camels play at State on 97.3 KAML Fm and online at ww.network1sports.com/station/kaml
For complete results from the 4A and 3A Regional Tournaments go to www.whsaa.org