Natrona Sweeps Kelly Walsh at Oil City Basketball Tourney
There were more than a few tournaments to start the basketball season over the weekend, one of them was the Oil City Tip-Off featuring Kelly Walsh, Natrona, Cheyenne East, Cheyenne Central, Green River, and Evanston.
On Saturday in a battle of the Casper schools, Natrona defeated Kelly Walsh 59-50. NC has a new coach this year in Kurt Patik who will try and turn things around after the Mustangs went 12-17 a year ago. In fact, it was a really good start for Natrona who also beat Evanston 44-31 and Green River 62-45. The Mustangs have a couple of all-conference players returning this season in Colton Rogers and Isaac Patik. There are just 3 seniors on this year's squad.
The Kelly Walsh boys have just 3 seniors as well with Jayden Nicholls, Conner Degel, and Landon Pepple. 6-4 freshman Isaak Mamot is an intriguing player so development is the name of the game for this team. The Trojans went 0-3 in the Oil City Tournament with a 9-point loss to Natrona, a 71-61 defeat to Cheyenne East, and a 64-56 loss to Cheyenne Central. A year ago, KW went 22-6.
On the girls' side, Natrona defeated cross-town rival, Kelly Walsh, on Saturday 61-32. the Fillies return an all-state player in Megan Hagar and she is a superlative all-around athlete. This group also has 3 returning seniors but an experienced junior class that will need to contribute big time. The Fillies will need contributions from just about everybody. In the 2021-22 season, NC finished 18-10.
The Kelly Walsh girls have a new coach in former player Kayla Gilliam. The Trojans went 0-3 to start the year with a loss to Natrona, a 49-28 defeat to Cheyenne East, and a 45-32 loss to Cheyenne Central. This team has 8 seniors and a host of college volleyball signees. Sydney Eskew is a very good perimeter shooter and the team certainly has enough size to compete. A year ago, the Trojans wrapped up the season 11-13.
Be sure and check out a few pics of Saturday's Casper match-up in our gallery below, compliments of Shannon Dutcher. Enjoy!