The seventh-grade basketball finished off its undefeated season by claiming the 2012 conference championship.

The Cougars never allowed more than 32 points in a game all season and defeated Powell and Greybull for the conference crown on Dec. 8 in Thermopolis.

That defense held the final two opponents to 37 combined points, while the Cougars scored 80 points of their own.

“Our defense won,” coach Pat Nieters said.

Nieters credits the strong defense to the great hustle his team showed in the conference tournament.

Powell shot 28 percent during the 44-26 Cody victory in the first game and Greybull shot 22 percent in the Cougars’ 36-11 victory.

Nieters said he was a little nervous heading into the conference tournament undefeated, but the extra hustle helped take opponents away from their game plan against the Cougars.

Cody had 19 steals against Powell and created more than 20 turnovers against Greybull.

“It was nice to see the kids come together as a team,” Nieters said.

Keegan Brown led the team with 17 points against Powell, and three players scored five or more points against Greybull in a balanced effort.

The dominant play in the final game of the year allowed everyone on the team to play one more time.

“It makes it more of a team effort,” Nieters said.

The team’s closest game of the year was a 26-24 victory against Riverton at a tournament in November. Only one other opponent lost by less than 10 points in 17 games.

The Cougars averaged more than 34 points a game while holding their opponents to 18 points a game.

The duo of Keegan and Cooper Brown led the team in scoring with each averaging more than six points a game. Cooper also averaged more than seven rebounds a game and pulled down nine in Cody’s last victory against Powell.

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