Fort Washakie hoops squads dominatingMar 19, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer
The Eagles youth and junior teams combined for an overall record of 46-2 this season.
It was an unprecedented season for the Fort Washakie Eagles and Lady Eagles.
The boys and girls youth and junior high teams amassed an overall record of 46-2 and won all four divisions in the WRCAA tournaments.
Wyoming Indian has managed this feat a few times, but it was the first time since the creation of the WRCAA that Fort Washakie won every division in basketball in a single season.
The youth boys opened the championship run with a tight win over a talented Shoshoni team at the tournament in Fort Washakie.
Eagles coaches Shannon Stephenson and Marvin Kerwald guided the squad to a 10-1 overall record and avenged their only loss to the Shoshoni Wranglers in the season finale.
The young Eagle boys had a first-round bye before beating Wyoming Indian and then Shoshoni in the tournament.
The junior boys capped a perfect 13-0 season after a tough win over a game St. Stephen's team in the second round at Ethete on the Wyoming Indian Middle School's home floor.
"St. Stephen's put up a dog fight, they came after us," said Fort Washakie head coach George Abeyta. "They were very disciplined."
The Eagles blew out the homestanding Chiefs in the final.
Bennie Roberts was the assistant coach on the unbeaten boys team.
There was much more balance in the youth girls division this season with Shoshoni, Wyoming Indian and Fort Washakie all tying for first place in the conference. Shoshoni beat Wyoming Indian, the Lady Chiefs beat Fort Washakie and the Eagles beat Shoshoni.
A coin flip determined the top seeding and Fort Washakie avenged their only loss of the season in the semifinals over Wyoming Indian prior to winning the title.
Head coach Diane Ferris was assisted by Ila St. Clair and Roberts.
While the other three championships are equally impressive, the junior high girls capped a perfect four- year run from fifth through eighth grade.
The eighth-graders on the Fort Washakie team this year were perfect in conference play throughout upper elementary and junior high competition with a 46-0 record, capped by a 13-0 season this year.
Abeyta was head coach for the team and assisted by Ferris.
The starting five of Jaden Ferris, Keely Washakie, Carly Benally, Kappi Mulherin and Arielle John played well together, along with Christina Moss, who also started several games.
The Eagles played up to 15 different girls in many games and Ryan Bell, Evelyn and Heaven McLeod, Shenoa Sage, Sophie Weed, Teleah C'Bearing and Zariah June all contributed throughout the season.
Fort Washakie averaged 47 points per game and gave up only 16.The one close contest came in a 27-19 overtime win at Wyoming Indian.
"It was a fantastic year," said Abeyta. "Wyoming Indian has done it several times, but we've never run the table and won all four divisions."
The eighth-grade girls travel all over the West in the offseason. Against Wyoming competition, they've lost only two games, both two-point decisions to Green River.
"The St. Stephen's girls have been in the state final last two years," Abeyta said. "We beat them as eighth- graders.That tells you where we could have been if we kept our own kids."
Fort Washakie High School opens this fall and, by state rule, plays two years of JV before varsity competition can begin.