A year ago, the Rocky Mountain boys basketball team had state championship hopes but lost in the first round of the state tournament. That was enough motivation for the 2020-21 season as they mowed over the competition and won a state title for the first time since 1998. This program has posted 4 straight 20+ win seasons and had serious talent all over the floor. Taylor Winland is a three-time all-state selection as he averaged 13 points a game. Jess Wambeke is a two-time all-state pick and threw 10 a game while Zach Simmons made all-state and he averaged a dozen points per game. Tyler Banks and Branson Robison were named all-conference so that was a well-rounded team.

In the opening round of the state tournament, the Grizzlies took on Glenrock and won that going away 72-50. Rocky led this game by as many as 34 and had 4 guys in double figures; Wambeke with 16, Winland with 14, while Robison and Banks chipped in 11 each. The Grizz shot 53% from the floor in the first half.

In the 2A semi-finals, took on Pine Bluffs and this game was tight, start to finish with the Grizz prevailing 5045. Winland was 9-11 from the field and poured in 18 points and Wambeke had 12. Rocky used a 14-7 4th quarter surge to advance to the finals.

For all the marbles, it was Rocky Mountain and Big Piney. The Grizzlies fell behind by 6 in the first quarter but rallied to take an 11 point lead in the 3rd quarter. Big Piney answered that rally with one of their own to force overtime but Rocky scored all 11 points of the extra session and won their first state title since 1998 by a 53-42 tally. Zach Simmons had a big game with 15 and Winland contributed 12. The Grizzlies were sharp at the free-throw line, connecting on 11-16.

All five players that received post-season honors were seniors so next year's team will have a different complexion. Take a peek at our short video of the Grizzlies in the state tournament. Enjoy!

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