LSRV still among state's best

Rattlers Rolling

Little Snake River Valley School (13-2, 3-0 West Conference)

Scoring this season:

• Garrett Grieve 17.2 points per game

• Conner Lee 15.5

• Grayson Lee 9.1

• Manny Quinteros 8.5

• Cole Gourlay 5.6

• Slater Kaisler 3.8

• Tanner Jensen 2.1

• Irving Ortego 2.0

• Keaton Jeannerrett 1.1

• Gabe Danford 0.9

• Tyson Cobb 0.7

The Little Snake River Valley Rattlers once again find themselves among Wyoming’s best in basketball.

The two-time defending state champs figured to have some growing pains this season after losing stars from the past two years. But the Rattlers also brought back a strong core of seniors and since discovering their identity early in the season, have been on a roll.

LSRV has rattled off 10 straight wins to sit at 13-2 on the season, heading into a Friday night game at Cokeville. Learning the style of play that suits this group best has been the key.

That style of play relies on tenacious defense. Snake River uses full-court pressure and man-to-man defense to bother its opponents from baseline to baseline.

Four members of the team (Conner Lee, Manny Quinteros, Grayson Lee, Garrett Grieve) currently sit in the top 10 of the Wyoming 1A Western Conference in steals per game. All four average three or more steals per game, with Conner Lee leading the way at 5.1.

Coach Paul Prestrud said finding the defense was a key to this team’s improvement.

“I think our defense is probably the biggest thing,” Prestrud said. “Our man-to-man has gelled and we can guard five guys. It’s in their DNA to play really good man-to-man defense.”

The Rattlers’ other strength is in their experience. They start five seniors (the Lees, Quinteros, Grieve and Cole Gourlay) who all contribute on both ends of the court.

The team’s biggest weakness is its depth. The starters play the lion’s share of the minutes each game, so foul trouble can cause issues. But Prestrud said the younger players have been delivering better minutes off the bench as the season has worn on.

Snake River still needs to take care of business over the season’s final three weeks before regionals. The Rattlers have two games against Encampment, the fourth-ranked team in the state.

To keep winning, Prestrud just wants his players to remember what got them to this point.

“I think the thing we’ve go to do is remain with who we are,” he said. We have to run and do the things that make up our DNA and style of play. Just trust in the process and preparation.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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