Natrona Survives A Late Gillette Effort To Win 4A Boys Basketball State Championship [VIDEO]
Video highlights of the Saturday, March 14th, 4A Boys Basketball State Championship Game, between Natrona vs. Gillette, played at the Casper Events Center.
Scroll down to see highlights.
The Mustangs nearly squandered a 10-point 4th quarter lead, but held on to win to beat the defending champs, partially thanks to the fact that the Camels' bench failed to score.
It was Chris LeDoux who said that even cowboys like a little rock 'n roll...and I just want to add that they don't always play on wooden guitars either.
Natrona vs. Gillette in the 4A State Championship game...first quarter...Gillette wearing the purple...and they did not waste much time...Cale Miessler provides the alley...and Trey Larson provides the oop lay-in...that's a good way to start a game...and thus the score is 2-to-nothing.
The defense showed up as well for the Camels...off of the give and go...Larson says...go away! His team spanked the opposition in the first game of this season...and so far maybe history was starting to repeat itself.
The Camels also had some luck on their side...no good on the 3, but Larson was standing in the right spot for the rebound...and he will get the bounce and the drop for 2 more of his 17 points...so far so good...it's 4-zip.
Natrona did not stay down for long...Layne O'Neal is going to put up a running floater and he gets it to go...this was a low scoring quarter...we're half-way through and things are tied at 4.
The score stayed close throughout the first half...which meant action went back and forth...Brandon Koch is in a 1-on-1 situation and he's going to win this encounter...and after the first 8 minutes...everything was even at 7-up.
Second quarter...the defending champs were having a little trouble dealing with the defense...but on this play they realized why go through, what you can shoot over? Eli Voigt thought that was a good idea. The 3 would give his squad a 10-to-7 advantage.
The Mustangs would eventually unleash their big man...that would be Peter Bergman...in spite of his 6'9" size, this guy can maneuver...you will see more from him later...that bucket would this a 10-to-9 contest.
Gillette would stick to what was working...Voigt had success once...and he's going to have success again. That was the difference on the scoreboard for now...it reads 13-to-10 in his team's favor.
...again this was another low scoring quarter...so it will go by quickly...Larson is going to go quickly through the lane and score 2 more...to move the advantage up to 4...it's 15-to-11...but the Camels did not score in the last 3 minutes of the half.
A few free throws here and there would allow NC to hang around, but they knew they needed more then that. Parker Browning gets a good screen...drives the lane and scores...and keep things within striking distance. The score is now 15-to-13.
They also had Bergman on their side and he was a force to be reckoned with...he misses the first try, but he got a second chance and made the most of it...a double-double for the senior...18 points...11 boards...and we now have a 15-all game.
Moving on...the big man did his job...you want him to score 2 points...he'll go get them for you. Good execution on this play, and that would allow Natrona to take a 17-to-15 lead, going into the locker room.
Third quarter...the Mustangs were starting to find their stride...Browning with a quick catch and shoot for 3...He got several lucky bounces on this one, and he knew it...but he was feeling it. Now it's a 20-to-15 game.
Meanwhile the opposition needed to bust themselves out of a drought...it's been 4 and 1/2 minutes...Miessler is going N-B-A range and cans it...his boys needed some kind of spark and he gave it to them...now they only trail 20-to-18.
So far we have shown 4 of the 5 starters for Gillette...here's the 5th one...Andrew Hays is going to tie the game at 20...I specifically mentioned who the starters were, because they did all the scoring...zero points produced by the bench...that would make a difference later.
This is the point where NC started to make their move...Logan Wilson scores quickly off the inbounds...it was his only contribution to this game, but they would take it. 22-to-20 is the score now.
...and unlike the opposition...they were getting bench production...good setup...and Austin Luers would go with the plan...he would help push the advantage up to 4...the scoreboard read 24-to-20.
Points in the paint also made a difference in the final outcome...the Mustangs outscored the Camels 18-6 in that category...thanks some to Bergman, who almost always scored when he was close to the hoop. 26-to-20 is what we have now.
...but it wasn't all him...Natrona found their opportunities...Browning sees a lane...runs through it and lay-in another basket...to help open up some breathing room for his team...they lead 28-to-20.
Gillette needed another spark...and they would get it on this turnover...Larson is going to take off the other way...gets the bucket and the foul...no good on the extra try though...so there's more work to do, down 28-to-22.
The player who turned the ball over was Stevann Brown and he had to make amends for his mistake...squeezing through 2 defenders and getting 2 points is good way to do it...the Mustangs were up 30-to-22, going into the final 8 minutes.
4th quarter...this game is not over, but NC was trying to put it out of reach. They work the ball inside to Bergman and he would cap off a 12-to-2 run...it's a 10-point advantage with the score at 32-to-22.
The Camels needed to get to work, and they had some time...but a whole lot...Larson with another drive...hoop and 1...he would convert this time on the 3 point play...now it's 32-to-25.
The starters had to do the comeback by themselves, because as mentioned, the bench produced zilch...the middle is open...Hays gets in quickly...bucket...foul...the old fashioned 3 point plays were producing some results...now down 35-to-31.
Natrona did not want them to get any closer...they would go to their go-to guy when they needed him and Bergman would give his team-mates what they wanted...that would open up a little breathing room...his squad is still ahead 40-to-31 with 2:30 to go.
Gillette did not quit...all of Miessler's points came from behind the arc...does he have one more in him? Yes he does. A table for 3 please. That would close the gap some...trailing 40-to-36.
The clock has not yet become a factor...and they did not want it to be...Hays drives the base-line and gets another lay-in...the Camels just need to catch a break with a missed free throw or 2...they are down 42-to-38.
They would catch a break though...just not in the way there were expecting...that should've sealed the deal...instead Gillette needs to cash in...Miessler is going to try to do it himself...the senior pulls up for 3...bull-eye! There's new life....a 5 point swing...we have a 45-43 score with about 20 seconds remaining.
They would get the ball back with 8 seconds to go...down 3...Miessler could not get himself into position to shoot...so he had to give it up...Dalton Holst for the tie...short...no good...game over!
That ending was probably a little closer than what Natrona wanted...but it's all good because they beat champs...and now they are the champs.
Final score...46-to-43. The Mustangs now have a basketball trophy to go with their football trophy...as they would finish the season, with a record of 16-and-9.