The Rustlers played a good game but struggled to take care of the ball in the half court falling to Gillette 73-71.
The Rustlers came out ready to go Saturday afternoon against Gillette taking charge on both ends of the floor and were up 41-34 at half time.
The pronghorns didn't give in and came back with the even more pressure and intensity in the second half. The Rustlers struggled to match their intensity in the third quarter and well into the fourth. The Rustlers found themselves down nine with five minutes to play. The Rustlers found their second wind and turned up the intensity on both ends but ran out of time in the end.
Two players scored in double figures for the Rustlers. Paulani Tarawa lead the way with 28 points and 12 rebounds on 13 for 26 shooting. Alyzae Roberts put up 13 points on four of five from the field in just 12 minutes.
The Rustlers had a tremendous shooting night shooting 45 percent from the field 40 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the free throw line. The Rustlers also dished out 22 assists, with three players handing out four or more.
"We beat them in every statistical category, but had too many turnovers," said head coach Ken Swartz. "We had 23 to their nine and they scored 26 points off our turnovers, you can't turn the ball over that much and expect to win. Lani and Zae both had excellent performances, and really got things done on the offensive end of the floor."
The Rustlers continue Region IX play at Casper College Wednesday at 5:30 pm.
Story by Mika Pinner