Worland Slips Past Mountain View to Win 3A Boys Basketball Title
A strong fourth quarter propelled Worland past Mountain View, 55-49, to help the Warriors win the Class 3A boys basketball state championship Thursday night in Casper.
Seniors Mack Page and Rudy Sanford combined for 38 points, as Worland rallied for their second 3A crown in the last six seasons. It’s the fourth title in school history.
Sanford’s three-point play with 1:15 left put the Warriors back in front. Worland converted five free throws in the final 29 seconds that clinched the title. Worland finished with an overall record of 20-3 on the season.
It was a close game throughout, as neither team led by more than six points. There were 10 lead changes and the game was tied nine times in the first half.
Mountain View held a 12-9 lead after the first quarter. Worland battled back in front by halftime, 27-25.
A pair of triples by the Buffalos’ Luke Branson to start the second half put them in front, 31-28. It was 37-36 Mountain View at the end of the third. The Buffalos had their biggest lead of four points, at 47-41, midway through the final frame. The Warriors came back and tied it at 47 with 2:14 remaining. That set the stage for Sanford’s key basket that put them in front for good.
Worland shot 35.6 percent for the game. Page had 23 points and six rebounds, while Sanford finished with 15 points. The Warriors had just seven turnovers in the game.
Mountain View was paced by Branson’s game-high 25 points. He was 10-17 from the field and made three 3-pointers. The Buffalos shot 45 percent from the floor and enjoyed a 35-25 rebounding margin. Mountain View did have 21 turnovers that led to 20 points for Worland.
The Warriors lose their two key seniors in Page and Sanford but will return nine players off their state championship roster for next year.
Mountain View loses seven seniors of the runner-up squad, including Branson. Only Connor Micheli will return out of the Buffalos’ top eight.