The game was close and hard fought, but the HEM Miners lost to the Encampment Tigers 59 to 58 in overtime on Friday, March 4th. The loss put the Miners out of the running for placement at the 1A State championship games. The HEM team had previously lost to Burlington on Thursday. The boys’ basketball team had not made the trip to State since 2008. Clif Jones, head coach of the Miners, had this to say about the state games and the season:
“We had a very good season qualifying for, and competing in, the state tournament. We played Burlington in the first round. They would go on to win their third state title in a row Saturday night. We did not play as well as we would have liked but competed hard and had a great experience playing in the Event Center. On Friday we played a very good Encampment team, a team that we lost to twice during the season and by 20 points in the last meeting. We came up short, losing in overtime by one point, but we played what was possibly our best game of the season. I am so proud of the guys for playing with such passion and energy. We may have come up short, but I thought our effort level was incredible. This group of seniors have made their mark on the program. They have raised the bar and expectations for our future teams. Now it is up to our Juniors and young kids to continue what they have started.”
Wyatt Phillips, the Miners’ point guard, was named to the 1A All-State selection. These are the players that members of the Wyoming Coaches Association voted the best players in the state. Phillips was joined by his teammates, Jarrett Neimark, Brandon Scott, and Jake Sutter on the 1A Southeast All-Conference list. For the Lady Miners, Haley Clark made the 1A All-State selection. Clark and Darby Bowen are on the Southeast All-Conference list.