Our Miners and Lady Miners basketball teams and teams from Rock River, Arvada-Clearmont, Glendo, Meeteetse, Snake River, and Midwest played their hearts out on December 12, 13, and 14 at the Little Six Basketball Tournament, hosted by H.E.M. High School. Russ Wiggam, H.E.M. athletic director, extended a thank you to the parents, organizations, and staff for all of the help and food supplies that went into making the Little Six Tournament a big success. He said, “Without the assistance from all, it wouldn’t have run so smoothly.” The H.E.M. P.T.O., F.F.A., F.C.C.L.A. clubs served food on Friday and Saturday, which not only made money for their organizations, but provided the visiting teams an opportunity to buy a hot meal in this town that is seriously lacking in restaurants. Parents of team members also stocked a hospitality room where the coaches, referees, scorekeepers, and bus drivers could eat for free.
Food was not the only successful endeavor at this tournament, however. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams racked up a few W’s in this non-conference event that took place on the second weekend of the basketball season. The boys beat Midwest 44-42 and Clearmont/Arvada 54-29 and lost a close one to Meeteetse 43-46. Last year at this same tournament, the boys did not have any wins against the same opponents. The girls topped Midwest 58-44 and Meeteetse 37-33, losing only to Clearmont/Arvada in a game that was a battle to the end at 51 to 54. Last year, the girls did not manage a win against the same teams.
On the previous weekend at the Carbon County Invitational Tournament, the girls beat Dubois 53-29 but went under to Wright 32-51 and Saratoga 28-36. Both Wright and Saratoga are 2A teams and, if you remember last year’s scores against these teams, you would not think these scores were too terrible. The boys did not have a win at the Carbon County Tournament. Their scores were 50 to 52 against Wright, 42 to 52 in the Dubois game, and 34 to 56 versus Saratoga.
Boys’ head coach, Clif Jones, said, “I think the boys are definitely ahead of where we were last year at this time. Now we just have to continue to work hard in practice and focus on carrying that over into games.” The numbers support Jones’s statement; the Miners have two wins and four losses two weeks into the season. Last year they went the whole season with only one win. Jackie Jones, girls’ head coach also felt that her girls were off to a good start with a 3-3 record after the two tournaments. She added, “The effort and Miner Tough attitude were apparent in each game the girls have played. Goal setting remains an important part of our early success, and we are determined to get better at every practice and every game. Our weekly Miner Tough awards are proving to be quite motivating to the athletes.” The Lady Miner coaches awarded Haley Clark the Miner-Tough award after the first tournament, and Maggie Johnson received the honor for her efforts at the Little Six Tourney.
The Miners head to the Shoshoni tournament on December 20 and 21 where they will play Shoshoni, Upton, and Dubois. The Lady Miners are hoping to continue their dominance of Dubois, whom they beat 53 to 29 at the Carbon County Invitational Tournament. The boys are planning a different outcome than the 42 to 52 loss when they met Dubois at the same tourney. The boys will face some stiff competition in Upton, who ended up at the top of the 1A Northeast division last year with an 8-1 record, and in Shoshoni, a 2A school. As for the girls, Upton ended up 3rd in state last year, so the Lady Miners will have to be on their game.
For those who can’t make it up to Shoshoni, there will be plenty of hometown basketball to come after Christmas. The Miners and Lady Miners play Rock River at home and Guernsey at home on January 10 and 11. The first two conference games will be against Farson and Cokeville on January 17 and 18. It is shaping up to be a fun season for the teams and the fans alike. Go Miners!!!!!!!