Both the Braves and Lady Braves had to settle for a weekend split to open up 4A West Conference play. The Braves fell 56-49 to visiting Natrona on Friday. The two-time defending champs clamped down on the Crimson & Gold offense in the fourth quarter as Star Valley was nursing a one-point lead after three periods of play. Kyle Vinich led the way with 13 points while Andrew Martin patrolled the middle with 11 points of his own. The Braves were led by Tyson Woodford’s 11 points while Josh Hunsaker, Ridge Hillyard and Clint Rich all chipped in nine points apiece.
The boys bounced back on Saturday against visiting Riverton who like their Wolverine namesake displayed a high level of tenacity. Star Valley was able to build a modest six-point lead after three quarters and pulled away for a 67-50 victory by hitting 15 of 18 free throws in the second half. The Braves had four different players in double-figures against the Wolverines, led by 13 from sophomore Wyatt Shinaver. Hunsaker finished with 12 while Woodford and Rich scored 11 points each.
As for the Lady Braves, they had an outing to forget against the Natrona Filles as they were routed 61-21 on Friday night. The gals in gold rebounded for a solid 46-29 win over Riverton in Fremont County on Saturday afternoon.
The basketball teams will be on the road this Friday in Evanston.
The Braves wrestlers finished in eighth place at the Tiger-Grizz Tournament over the weekend after a spirited 56-27 dual victory over American Falls. Mitch Heap led the way with a second place finish at 103 pounds while Kole Wines finished third at 189.
The grapplers will have a trio of conference duals this week as they battle Green River in the Wolf’s Den on Wednesday. The Braves host rival Natrona on Friday night with Riverton coming to town on Saturday afternoon.