Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

State champion Hornets look to repeat


Members of the Pine Bluffs Hornets basketball team are back row, from left Jaiden Fornstrom, Andrew Fornstrom, Chris Fornstrom, Kyle Steger, Haize Fornstrom, Hunter Thompson, Tucker Norman, Doug Fornstrom, Alex Graves, Heston Fornstrom, Wyatt Fornstrom, Brad Schmidl, and Seth Tangeman. Front row, from left, Colby Lamb, Donte Jacobsen, Brian Steger, Ishmael DePaulitte, Justus Golding, Paul deManigold, Michael Shain, Hunter Jeffres, Josh Herman and Beau Scarborough. Not pictured is Jesse Fornstrom.

The Pine Bluffs Hornets basketball team is coming off an excellent year of grabbing three state titles in basketball, track and football. However, with the start of a new season, the team knows they will need to work hard and focus on this season's opponents if they want to make it back to the state title game in Casper this year.

The team will be lead by three returning starters of Haize Fornstrom, Hunter Thompson and Kyle Steger as well as an impressive 11 returning lettermen. Seniors on the squad include Thompson, Steger, Chris Fornstrom, Hesston Fornstrom, Jaiden Fornstrom, Alex Graves and Paul Demanigold. Other influential players will be junior Wyatt Fornstrom, sophomores Tucker Norman, Hunter Jeffres, and Andrew Fornstrom.

Even with a 27-2 season last year, the team could improve says Head Coach Will Gray. "We are not great shooters, so we have to be efficient in half court setting. We also need to continue to work on our floor spacing on offense and our communication on both ends of the floor."

Gray also said that the team will continue to try and press and push the ball, but to find balance for success, will need to be good in a half court setting.

Gray is impressed with the time the group of kids have been putting in the weight room during the off-season. "The group had a great spring and summer in the gym and weight room."

For the team to be successful this season, they will have to overcome conference rivals Southeast and the Burns Broncs.

"They are very well coached and return several good players," Gray explained. He also mentioned that Glenrock will be a challenge as the team hasn't played the Herders the last few years.

Statewide, the Hornets will be on the lookout for Wind River, Greybull and Wyoming Indian as Gray said, they "all will be good again".

The Hornets boast their work ethic in practicing and working together. "This is a group of kids that comes to work everyday ready to get better. In my opinion, their practice habits are second to none and they understand the importance of practicing at a high level if they want to play at a high level They are a fun group of kids to be around."

This will be Gray's fifth year as head coach for the team. Tyler Kimzey is in his sixth year in assisting with the team and Travis Werner will begin his third year as assistant.

The team will start their season off with a game against Wyoming Indian at 5:30 p.m. today, Dec. 8 during the Burns Winter Classic. The game will be played at the high school gymnasium.

The Hornets will play Moorcroft at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the Burns High School gym and will take on Snake River at 4:30 p.m. in the Burns Elementary gym. Pine Bluffs will face Wind River Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the BHS gym.

The Hornets junior varsity team will also be competing in the Burns Winter Classic this weekend with their first game against Wyoming Indian at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the Burns Elementary gym. They take on the Moorcroft Wolves at 6 p.m. in the elementary school Friday.


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