Pine Bluffs boys basketball takes home the 2A state championship

After losing last weekend in the 2A East Regionals to Big Horn, the Hornets won the rematch to bring home their first state championship since 2018.
Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 2:21 AM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Pine Bluffs boys basketball team entered Saturday looking to get “over the hump.” The Hornets were looking to claim their first state championship since 2018 when Head Coach Tyler Kimzey took over the program.

They’d have to knock off the Big Horn Rams, who beat them last weekend in the 2A East Regionals.

Stu Lerwick and the boys were up to the challenge. Lerwick toiled in foul trouble on Friday night in the semifinals against Tongue River, but he brought his best for Saturday’s grand finale.

The junior tallied 10 points and four rebounds in the first half, and Pine Bluffs went into the break with a 19-17 lead.

In the second half, the Hornets broke it open. Ryan Fornstrom notched 12 of his 17 points in the second stanza, and Reed Thompson made some crucial buckets down the stretch to pad the Pine Bluffs lead.

The Hornets will bring home the state championship trophy after a 52-41 victory. Lerwick finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the championship effort.

After the game, Lerwick said the championship feeling “feels great.” “For all the hard work, that we put into it, I know every single one of the guys worked really hard. It feels awesome to win as a team.”

Fornstrom mentioned after Friday’s semifinal victory that the Hornets were trying to get “over the hump” and wanted to win a state title after failing to do so during the past football season. He adorned one of the biggest smiles inside the Ford Wyoming Center after the final buzzer had sounded.

“Last night, before I went to bed, that’s all I could think about was what I would do [after winning the state championship],” said Fornstrom with the first place medal proudly around his neck. “I didn’t want to get overconfident, but it feels great now, and now, I can brag to my brother that I have [a state championship], too.”

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