EVANSTON — The first meeting between Evanston and Casper Kelly Walsh back on Dec. 8, in the Bill Strannigan Invitational preseason tournament was all Trojans, 69-47. The rematch at Red Devil Gym on Friday, Feb. 1, also resulted in a win for Kelly Walsh, albeit in a more competitive game, which was closer than what the 71-58 final score might indicate.
The Red Devils went toe-to-toe with the third-ranked Trojans, battling to 14-14 tie at the completion of the first quarter, fueled by eight points from senior Lance Evans, who would net 20 points on the night to pace the Red Devils.
Kelly Walsh outscored Evanston 21-15 in the second quarter as Trojan Davion Mcadam, the second leading scorer in Class 4A, hit for nine points to end the half with 11 and give his team a 35-29 advantage at the break. Mcadam, one of the premiere players in the state would end the night with game-high honors, hitting for his average of 23 points.
The Trojans connected on nine of 10 free-throws in quarter number three, scoring 19 points to Evanston’s 10, to lead, 54-39, with three quarters complete. Evanston staged a comeback in the final frame, besting Kelly Walsh by a bucket, 19-17, but could not overcome the scoreboard disparity which took place in the previous eight minutes.
The win vaulted Kelly Walsh to a 10-3 mark on the season and they rose to 11-3 on Saturday, picking up a 64-52 road win in Green River. Two of KW’s losses came against top-ranked Sheridan, and the other was to second-ranked Cheyenne East.
The loss dropped the Red Devils to 6-9 on the season, with the Rock Springs Tigers set to invade Red Devil Gym.
Seth Lloyd converted four from downtown to end with 16, while Garrett Berger nailed two long balls to finish with six points. Brady Hurd finished with five points as did David Baxter off the bench. Dawson Crofts and Mason Ellingford were held relatively in check with three and two points, respectively, and Chris Moeller added one point.
Vs. Rock Springs
The Tigers came into Red Devil Gym struggling somewhat with 3-10 record on the season but Rock Springs appeared determined to right the ship, beginning with Evanston. The game was tied at multiple instances, including 12-12 at the end of the first quarter, 24-24 at the half, 32-32 with three quarters complete and 39-39, with about three minutes remaining in regulation before Evanston began to pull away en route to 53-43 victory.
The Tigers were able to match Evanston’s intensity and size, as the Rock Springs starting lineup goes six-foot-one, six-foot-two, six-foot-three, six-foot-four and six-foot, seven inches in the middle.
Justis Rees and Derek Lionberger, the six-foot, seven-inch presence in the middle, led the Tiger charge with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Evanston was led by Ellingford’s game-high 19 points, which included a first-half slam-dunk that invigorated the hometown crowd. Evans finished with 16, unofficially, capping off a great scoring session for the weekend, while Lloyd chipped in eight and Hurd added five points. Sophomore Braxton Lind contributed a pair of second-quarter deuces to end the night with four points and Moeller converted a free-throw for one point on the night.
The win elevated the Red Devils to a 7-9 mark on the year and, like the Lady Red Devils, will compete against the Broncs in Cody on Friday, Feb. 8, prior to a showdown with the Wolverines in Riverton slated for Saturday, Feb. 9.