A defensive change late in the second quarter helped turn the momentum for Wyoming East.
The Warriors put together a 10-0 run just before halftime and held off Shady Spring, 74-69, on Tuesday night at New Richmond.
The hot-shooting Tigers, led by all-stater Chase Conner, dominated most of the second period and turned a 21-19 deficit into a 40-29 lead.
Conner, who had 21 first half points, was a big reason. He hit three treys in a two-minute span to force East coach Rory Chapman to call time.
“We went to a 1-3-1 (zone), and that seemed to confuse them a little bit and gave us a chance to get back in the game,” Chapman said.
Warriors senior Brett Bowling scored inside to start the East spurt.
Cody Lester made two foul shots, and Bowling scored again off an assist from Josh Tunstalle. Austin Canada, who led East with 29 points, connected on a 10-footer from the lane and later added two foul shots with 27.6 seconds showing to cut it to 40-39.
The Tigers didn’t get a shot off before the halftime buzzer. “When you get down 11, it takes a lot of effort to make that up,” Chapman commented.
It was close throughout the second half.
WEHS scored six points in 13 seconds, a Bowling three-point play and Canada’s trey from the left side, to go up 58-51.
Conner hit a three at the buzzer and another three, his last of the night, to start the fourth. It was 58-57.
The Tigers took their last lead at 61-60.
Bowling knotted it with a foul shot. Three straight Shady turnovers helped East get the upper hand as Canada sank two free throws and Lester scored on a put back.
It was 70-69 when Jordan Meadows drilled the Tigers’ eleventh three of the night with a little over a minute left.
Lester connected inside and Tunstalle scored off a dish from Canada to seal the win.
Canada’s 29 includes three treys in the second half.
“He made the shots when we needed him to make shots,” Chapman remarked.
The coach thought fatigue was probably a factor for his team at times. “Some of our guys played 28 or 29 minutes last night before I felt we had put Summers County away,” he said.
Lester scored 15, and Tunstalle and Bowling had 14 each.
Conner and Jason Buckland (13) paced the Tigers (7-7).
East hosts rival Westside this Friday.
Game notes: Shady Spring remained winless at New Richmond … East is 9-0 when scoring at least 70 points.
Photo: Cody Lester (20) of Wyoming East drives to the basket during Tuesday’s game against Shady Spring at New Richmond.