A rare opportunity presented itself this past week, allowing NWC men’s and women’s basketball coaches Jay Collins and Lauren Davis to take the reins as the head coaches of the Wyoming …
A rare opportunity presented itself this past week, allowing NWC men’s and women’s basketball coaches Jay Collins and Lauren Davis to take the reins as the head coaches of the Wyoming All-Stars.
The Wyoming All-Stars took on the Montana All-Stars in an annual event with a home and away series in Sheridan and Billings.
The boys’ series had its 46th year of the annual event, and the girls’ had its 25th year of games, and its 50th overall in the series.
The games feature select seniors from around Wyoming and Montana to play in two All-Star games.
Davis was selected following her first season as a head coach, joining Collins, who finished up his third season as head coach of the Trappers.
“It meant a lot to me to be selected,” Davis said. “It was amazing to be able to coach some of the top talent in Wyoming.”
Collins said the experience of getting to know the kids, and being around them was a fun process.
“The first day, everybody was treading lightly and was trying to feel each other out,” he said. “By the end of Saturday, everybody was joking and laughing like they were best friends for years.”
That process also held true for Davis, who was reminded how much fun the game was and why she coaches.
She said she loves coaching for moments like these — knowing it was the last time that her players would play high school basketball — and she was able to share that moment with them.
Collins said the experience was made even more enjoyable throughout the week, as he and Davis have grown to have a strong bond.
“It was great to be alongside her, get to hang out, support her team and have them support our team,” Collins said.
Going into the first game on Friday, both Wyoming teams were looking for the opportunity to put long losing streaks to an end against Montana in Sheridan.
The girls were up first and held tight in a difficult contest with Montana. Allison Olsen from Douglas had 13 points and Tamryn Blom from Natrona County added 11.
The girls’ team held an eight point lead in the second half but fell short losing 69-59 in the first game.
The boys’ team had a more difficult time on Friday night. Despite hitting 14 3-pointers in the contest, they fell 103-76.
Davis Crilly of Kelly Walsh led the Wyoming team with 22 points in the game.
Heading north for the second half of the series, both teams again were looking to put an end to double-digit losing streaks.
The boys’ team got back into its game with a 17-6 run in the second half but was unable to complete the comeback, as Montana walked away with a 94-77 victory.
Crilly and Harley Davis of Kaycee led Wyoming with 12 points each. Cody Wright from Dubois had 11 points and Kade Preuit of Wheatland had 10.
After that loss, the boys have lost 20 straight contests to Montana, have not won a game since 2011 and trail overall in the series 65-27.
In the girls’ game, Wyoming struggled to regain its footing after Montana went on a 21-5 run in the first half and ran away with a 68-49 victory.
Logan Alvarr of Kelly Walsh led the way with 11 points and Blom added 10.
After that loss, the girls’ team has now lost 12 straight to Montana, not winning a game since 2015 and trailing in the overall series 37-13.
Despite the losses, Collins and Davis were thankful for the opportunity to help coach the seniors in their final high school games.
“Jay and I love Northwest, and we love being able to represent our school in any way we can,” Davis said. “It is a special honor to be selected for the Wyoming All-Star team.”