BIG HORN — It’s undeniable the influence Big Horn High School senior Quinn McCafferty has on the basketball court. Guiding players in and out of positions with seamless movement, all eyes looking to him for the next move. The leadership came to a peak in the second half of the game against Tongue River Saturday when McCafferty swept in to score 14 of his 21 points, or 40% of the team’s points.
The Rams beat the Eagles 51-39.
Tongue River came into Saturday with a solid win against Wright High School Friday night and it showed with solid play throughout the contest.
At halftime, the teams were tied at 26.
Tight calling on multiple blocks for both sides of the court frequently stopped action.
Hustle was evenly matched, as were thoughtless turnovers.
“We played a certain way and it was pretty flat and not a whole lot going on for three quarters,” Big Horn head coach Mike Daley said.
Both teams played evenly and fairly flat up until the final quarter, when after several attempts on both ends to earn the charge, McCafferty came up with a momentum-changing charge after sinking a 3-pointer with 5:45 left in the game.
“Quinn McCafferty’s as good a leader as I’ve ever been around, and there’s points in the game when we need to get a basket or we need to get something done the right way and he seems to be involved in that a lot,” Daley said.
The Rams led 43-34 and didn’t stop moving until fans in the stands starting slow clapping and both teams halted play and started walking off the court with five seconds left on the clock.
One of Tongue River’s point guards, Wyatt Ostler, said shots weren’t falling like they usually do, pushing the team back.
Boxing out also suffered in the second half for the Eagles.
As Ostler brings the ball down the court, he is mentally noting the mismatches of offense to defense and is always “trying to give it to the right guy,” Ostler said.
Unfortunately, by the second half, the right guy wasn’t available and points suffered because of it. In a few weeks the Eagles will host the Rams and those few weeks of practice should improve elements that were lacking Saturday.
Justice Rees scored 12 points for TR, followed by Nick Summers who scored 10. McCafferty scored 21 for Big Horn, followed by James Richards with 10.
Tongue River travels to Greybull Jan. 24 and Big Horn hosts Moorcroft, also on Jan. 24.