There was burning going on in the Wyoming East gymnasium on Friday night.
That’s because Westside was on fire.
The Class AA No. 6 Renegades hit six threes in a 31-point third quarter and went on to nip No. 7 East, 77-75, in front of a huge crowd at New Richmond.
Justin Cogar hit the game-winning foul shots with 2.4 seconds left to play.
“Coach really got on to us at halftime,” said WHS guard Corey Bowles, who scored 20 points. “He got us fired up.”
East led throughout the first half and was still up, 38-33, when the long range bombing started.
Sophomore Justin Kenneda hit back to back treys to put the Renegades in front, and Bowles added another to stretch the margin to 42-38.
Kenneda third three in a two-minute span gave WHS a 49-42 edge.
East got within one at 52-51, but an 8-2 run capped by another three from Bowles made it 60-53.
Westside took a 60-56 lead into the final quarter.
The Renegades went up by seven for the last time, 68-61, on a Matt Harless put back and foul shot with 4:30 to play.
East clawed back and got within 69-68 when Christian Hedinger scored inside with 2:41 to go.
The Warriors (12-5) tied on Austin Canada’s three from the corner with 1:50 to go.
That turned out to be the last field goal of the game.
Bowles hit two free throws to put the Renegades up, and Canada tied it at the line.
Levi Lambert, who led Westside with 21 points, gave his team the lead again.
Josh Tunstalle made a foul shot to cut it to one, and Canada tied on a free throw ith 10.9 seconds left.
After a time out, Bowles got to the ball to Cogar, who was fouled and went to the line for the winning foul shots.
“They usually look to me to create something, but the defense came out on me, so I dumped it inside to Justin,” stated Bowles.
The Warriors were hurt by missed free throws (seven in the fourth quarter) and rebounding.
“that was something we focused on, to hold our own in rebounding,” said East coach Rory Chapman. “They got a lot of second and third chance opportunities.”
East had the advantage in the first half, jumping out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter.
Westside got within 24-23 in the second stanza. A Brett Bowling three-point play and a Canada trey pushed it to 30-24.
It was 34-29 at the break.
“We made some adjustments (at the half),” Lambert commented. “And we started hitting our shots.”
It was Westside’s first win at New Richmond since 2007 and almost certainly locked up the top seed in the sectional in three weeks.
“This team has overcome a lot of adversity,” Westside coach Nick Cook remarked. “We’re playing well when we need to.”
Harless had nine points and several rebounds off the bench for the winners. Kenneda and Cogar also had nine.
Canada paced WEHS with 21, and Bowling scored 18. Tunstalle scored 17, and Cody Lester had 14.
“We played hard, but we didn’t always play smart,” Chapman said. Game note: This is the third time that each school has won on the other’s home court. It also happened in 2005 and 2007.
Photo: Corey Bowles (right) of Westside is guarded by Josh Tunstalle of Wyoming East during Friday’s game at New Richmond.