The Road To A Championship
Written by Chance Bond on March 14, 2023
The Worland Warriors Boy’s Basketball team won the Wyoming 3A State Championship this past Saturday with a 37-35 over the Lyman Eagles.
It was the 2nd State Championship in 3 years for the Warriors having won the Title in 2021.
The Senior Class of Landen Gilmore, Brock Douzenis, Carter Clark, Kade Weber, and Court Gonsalez finished their Worland High School Varsity Basketball career at an amazing 93-10.
That’s winning 90% of the games in 4 years.
In the 10 years since Coach Aaron Able has been the Head Coach the Worland Boys Basketball Program is 189-72, winning 74% of the games.
In that time frame the Warriors have made 5 State Championship appearances winning 3 of them.
This season the Warriors were 23-3 with the 3 losses in the first 4 games of the season starting at 1-3.
The last loss was to Cody on January 5th 53-43.
The Warriors won the West Regional Championship in Mountain View against the same Lyman Eagles 52-42 to get the 1 seed going into the State Championship in Casper.
Worland would have the late game at 9 pm at the Ford Wyoming Center against the 4 seed from the East Regional in the Torrington Trailblazers.
Torrington had a 10-14 record coming into the game and the Warriors would show their might against them.
The Trailblazer’s leading scorer Skyler Sargent 14 points in the game, 10 of those in the 1st half.
Court Gonsalez led the Warriors in scoring with 15 points, followed by Carter Clark and Owen Page each with 12, Brock Dozenis had 11, and Junior Chase Harris ended with 7 points, his highest-scoring Varsity game.
The Warriors would put a running clock on Torrington with 6 minutes left in the game (a running clock starts when a team is up by 40 points)
Worland would win the opener 72-32 and would face the Buffalo Bison in the Semi-Final Round.
Listen to the rebroadcast of the Torrington game below.
The Warriors would see the Buffalo Bison in the Semi just 14 days from the last game of the regular season where the Bison came to Worland.
It was the Warrior’s Senior Night and the 5 Seniors were celebrated, the Warriors would get a 79-72 win over the Bison.
This time the stakes were much higher with a spot in the Wyoming 3A State Championship on the line.
Worland would again be the last game of the night at 9 pm at Natrona County High School.
The Bison were 14-9 in the regular season, 6-0 in their Conference, and had the 2 seed from the East Regional.
Buffalo beat Powell 38-35 in the opening round of the Championship to get to the Semi-Final match-up with the Warriors.
The first half of the game would end in a 30-30 tie with the Warriors leading most of the half.
The Bison’s leading scorer Eli Paterson ended the game with 14 points with Cam Johnson leading the Buffalo scoring with 17.
Brock Douzenis led the Warriors with 16 points with Kade Weber having 12 points.
Worland would get a 55-48 win over Buffalo and a ticket to the State Title game against the Lyman Eagles.
Listen to the rebroadcast of the Buffalo game below.
In the Championship game, the Warriors would face the Lyman Eagles for the second time in a week.
This time at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper for a Title.
The 2 teams played in the West Regional Final in which the Warriors won 52-42.
The Warriors also saw the Eagles back on the 4th of February in a game the Warriors won 68-54 but saw Braylen Bradshaw score 29 points.
Lyman got to the Title game by beating Wheatland 32-17 in the 1st round then Upsetting the East Region number 1 seed Douglas Bearcats 48-47.
The State Championship would be a low-scoring game with each team extending possessions with passing and holding for high-percentage shots.
The game came down to an inbound pass by Lyman with .8 seconds, on their end of the court the Warriors were able to defend and win the Championship.
Lyman’s Bradshaw would score 20 points leading the Eagles.
Worland was led by Carter Clark with 13.
The deciding factor came from Landen Gilmore hitting from 3-point range 3 times and adding 2 more to end the Championship with 11 points.
The Worland Warriors are the 2023 Wyoming 3A Boys Basketball State Championships.
Worland would win the Title, Lyman finishing 2nd, Douglas beat Buffalo to get 3rd and Powell beat Lovell for the Consolation win.
Listen to the rebroadcast of the Title game below.
Championship game photos provided by Brittany Brown.
2022-23 WHSAA State 3A/4A Boys Basketball Championships 3A
Listen to the interview with Coach Able after winning the Championship.