As the small schools played out the state tournament in Casper, the larger schools were spread across Wyoming with regional basketball. Four teams from each regional qualified for next week’s 2018 Wyoming State High School Class 3A/4A Basketball Championships early Saturday and the rest of the day sorted out seeding.
Winning streaks were extended in Class 3A while parity ruled in Class 4A. If these tournaments are any indicator, the next weekend should live up to the moniker of March Madness.
This is a closer look at all four regionals, starting with boys.
Class 4A East: Gillette upset No. 1 Sheridan in the Friday semifinal so the Broncs settled for third. Cheyenne East and Cheyenne Central also qualified for the state tournament out of that regional.
Class 4A West: Natrona County defeated rival Kelly Walsh in the third-place game. It was the Mustangs’ first victory against the Trojans this season. Evanston and Rock Springs clashed in the regional final for the No. 1 seed.
Class 3A East: Over in Douglas it was Newcastle, Worland, Rawlins and Buffalo that all qualified for the state tournament. The championship and third-place games were played late Saturday night.
Class 3A West: Returning champion Riverton qualified with a win on Friday for the opportunity to defend its crown. The Wolverines will be joined in Casper by Fremont County rival Lander, Pinedale and Cody.
Meanwhile on the girls side of action, a few favorites solidified spots.
Class 4A East: Cheyenne Central defeated rival Cheyenne East in the third-place game while Gillette and Thunder Basin once again did battle, this time for the regional title and top seed.
Class 4A West: Kelly Walsh suffered its first conference loss of the season as Evanston won the regional, 53-51. Rock Springs topped Natrona County in the third-place game.
Class 3A East: Douglas continued its march toward an undefeated title while Buffalo, Rawlins and Worland also qualified for next week’s state tournament.
Class 3A West: Lyman, which just a few weeks ago was on path to go undefeated, lost its second game in the regional semifinals. The Eagles still qualified with a tight 46-38 win over rival Mountain View, but there is considerably less steam in the engine. Cody, Powell and Star Valley all also punched tickets out of the regional.
State tournament action begins Thursday with all 3A quarterfinals taking place at the Casper Events Center and all 4A quarterfinals being played at Kelly Walsh High School because the Casper College women’s basketball team hosts the Region IX Tournament at Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gym during that time.