Star Valley Earns 4th Place Finish at the 4A State Tourney
Star Valley certainly had the talent to make a dent at the 4A state tournament and entered the Big Dance as the #1 seed from the West. The Braves asserted themselves in the opening round with a solid 66-45 win over Cheyenne East. Star Valley shot a whopping 55% from the field in the 2nd half and Tristen Kleeman led the way with 20 points on 7-13 from the floor. Zach Johnson turned in a solid performance with 13 and Kolter Merritt finished with 10.
In the 4A semi-finals, it was a much different story for the Braves as they were defeated by Thunder Basin 48-25. Star Valley shot just 26% from the field and was an uncharacteristic 1-14 from 3 point land. Kleeman was the only Brave in double figures with 10.
Star Valley ended the season with an 81-62 loss to Sheridan to place 4th at the state tournament and the first quarter was entertaining to the max with a combined 41 points. Kleeman went 7-14 from the floor and finished with 21 points. Kolter Merritt and Kortlen Hilton had a dozen each as the Braves wrapped up the year 16-8.
Now Merritt was an all-state pick and averaged 10 points a game. Kleeman made all-conference throwing in 11 per contest and Brant Nelson also made the all-conference list. All three of those guys were seniors so there will be some re-tooling in Afton for the 2021-22 season. But more often than not, Star Valley seems to mold the right pieces in place to be successful. We do have a short video on the Braves in the state tournament so please take a look!
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