Coming out of the holiday break, the Cody boys basketball team had yet to win a game after a slate of tough opponents to start the season.
Hot shooting from senior Cody Phillips and sophomore Luke Talich ended the losing streak with a 55-41 win over 3A Lovell on Saturday.
“It was a great way to start 2021 on a positive note with a W,” coach Jacob Kraft said. “I’m excited for our kids. They work hard and it’s nice to get some results.”
Cody (1-4) came out of the gate hot, swinging the ball around and finding open shooters in a starting lineup that had some minor changes. Phillips notched six points in the first as the Broncs raced out to a 12-6 lead in the quarter. The Bulldogs (1-2) mounted a small run of their own, scoring five quick points as time expired in the period and holding Cody to just two points early in the second.
That didn’t last long. Senior Tucker Lynn knocked in a three and fellow senior Canyon Dim hit another on the next possession. Talich, who came into the game off the bench, and Phillips each tallied nine points in the first half to give the Broncos a 30-23 lead at the break. It was the first time the Broncs have led at half this season.
“Having confidence in myself was a big part of being able to score,” Phillips said. “My teammates gave me great passes so I could continue to get good looks for our team.”
In the halftime talk, Kraft told his players to not let up.
“I told them, ‘It’s great that we put a first half together, let’s put a foot on the gas and finish the second,’” Kraft said. “They broke the huddle on that. They wanted to finish the game off right.”
The Broncs expanded their lead in the second half en route to their first victory. Phillips and Talich led the Broncs in scoring, tallying 17 points each. It was both players’ highest totals of the season. Talich used his length inside to great effect and shot an efficient 6-12 from the field.
“Lovell was in a zone almost the entire game, so coach Kraft really emphasized getting the ball to the middle of the floor and playing tough defense,” Talich said. “I think we did a pretty good job at doing that.”
Talich got some extra playing time with the JV squad over the weekend, forcing him to the bench by rule and letting Dim get his first start of the season. It was the most complete game the Broncs have played thus far, with the seven players getting into the scoring column and shooting over 50% from the floor for the first time this season.
“It also feels very good getting our first win, and I’m excited for more to come,” Phillilps said.
The Broncs host 3A Worland on Tuesday. The No. 1-ranked Warriors (6-0) have the second highest-scoring offense in all of Wyoming high school basketball. Tuesday night’s tipoff is at 7 p.m.
Stat of the week: 55
The Broncs’ highest scoring output of the season so far and it was the key to their first victory of the year.