SHERIDAN — With only a few days to prepare for the Wyoming-Montana All-Star game, head coach Ryan Davis knew the challenges of getting his Wyoming team prepared prior to tip off. Only seven hours to gel and find an identity proved quite the difficult task and it showed.
Montana eased past Wyoming 61-37 Friday night at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome in the 43rd annual Wyoming-Montana All-Star game.
“We didn’t move the ball, and a lot of tonight was self-inflicted more than anything else,” Davis said. “It’s tough when you only get a couple days with them and I think our offense, as opposed to their offense, was predicated on moving and cutting and getting people open. We didn’t do that very well.”
Wyoming only connected on 28.6 percent of its field goal attempts and only made one 3-pointer all night. Wyoming compounded its struggles on offense with 28 turnovers.
Scoring droughts also crippled Wyoming. After taking a brief 5-2 lead, Wyoming endured a 6 minute and 39 second scoring lull followed by a 3:34 scoreless stretch.
Finally, a 3:52 scoring drought to start the second half pretty much sealed Wyoming’s fate.
“We missed some bunnies really early and then when we were tired you can’t expect those kind of shots when you’re really tired to go in so you’ve got to scrap,” Davis said. “Just missed opportunities offensively for us.”
Emmery Wagstaff led Wyoming, coming off the bench to score 10 points which went alongside six rebounds. Maddy Vinich added six points while Maddie Hieb chipped in five.
Kylie Frohlich paced Montana with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Wyoming took its first and only lead of the night at 5-2 on a 3-pointer from Vinich with 7:48 to play in the opening quarter. Wyoming remained stuck at that point total until just nine seconds were left in the quarter. Montana didn’t light the world on the fire either, scoring just eight points to take a 10-7 edge into the second frame.
Montana seized its first double-digit lead midway through the second stanza and Wyoming responded, tallying back-to-back buckets for the first time to pull back within 20-14. Montana carried a 25-17 advantage into the halftime locker room.
Montana came out and hit Wyoming with knock-out punch, pouring in 12 of the first 14 points of the second half. Montana ballooned its lead to 20 points at 41-21 with 3:35 to play in the third quarter and kept their distance the rest of the way.
The 2018 Wyoming-Montana All-Star series will conclude in Billings Saturday and Davis expects him team to come out ready.
“I said this is really your last hurrah for high school, so let’s give it everything we got,” Davis said.