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CASPER (AP) — The annual Wyoming-South Dakota all-star basketball series will provide Gillette College basketball coaches Will Rider and Shawn Neary an added bonus, outside of coaching some of the top basketball players in the state.
Both Rider, the Pronghorns women’s coach, and Neary, the Pronghorns men’s coach, will get a chance to work with multiple incoming recruits. The Wyoming all-star teams feature two players each that will join the Pronghorns this fall.
But while Rider admitted there’s always a benefit to the early time with incoming recruits, the style and relaxed approach to the all-star games really doesn’t leave time for instruction in future philosophies. Besides, it’s really a chance for former opponents to come together and simply have fun.
“That’s the fun part about all-star games,” Rider said.
Wyoming and South Dakota will take to the court on Friday at Spearfish for the 22nd year.
The Wyoming girls will look to continue their dominance, after sweeping the series last year to take a 27-12 lead overall. The girls are highlighted by Wyoming recruit Hailey Ligocki, but boast a wealth of court experience. She’ll be joined by SHS teammate Mali Wright, bound for Newman University in Kansas.
Every player on Wyoming’s roster earned All-Conference honors at least twice during her career.
The Wyoming squad also features future Pronghorns Kallee Wilson (Rocky Mountain) and McCorra Ford (Gillette). Ford is joined by former teammates Sierra Toms (Sheridan College bound) and Dani Williams. Casper College recruits Kassidy Scott (Douglas) and Shanda Post (Lander) are two more scoring options for the Wyoming team.
Rider said he’s excited about the roster flexibility and added he’ll try to keep the former high school teammates together in rotations.
“We’ve got any number of combinations we can go with,” he said.
If the Wyoming boys all-stars hope to break the 21-all series tie, they’ll have to do so with a short bench. Just eight players are on the roster, while South Dakota will field a full team of 12 players. The Wyoming boys are highlighted by Gillette College recruits Logan Burningham (Ten Sleep) and Dylan Haddix (Gillette). Burningham was a four-time all-state selection during his playing days with the Pioneers and helped lead Ten Sleep to the Class 1A state title game this past season. Haddix is joined by former Gillette teammate Logan Wasson, and the Riverton duo of Xavier Webb and Seth Quayle — who helped lead the Wolverines to the Class 4A state title game — add another inside-out presence.
Friday’s games, girls followed by boys, are at Spearfish, S.D.; Saturday’s games are at Gillette.