Special to the Telegram

HAYS They saved the best game for last in Wednesday's opening round of the Class 1A, Division II state basketball tournament.

The first three quarterfinal winners won by an average margin of nearly 23 points at Gross Memorial Coliseum. But in the nightcap, the No. 5 seed Otis-Bison boys used a second-half spurt and free throws down the stretch to take a 63-51 win over No. 4 seed Greeley County.

Otis-Bison (17-7) advances to Friday's 8:15 p.m. semifinal game against No. 1 seed Hope (21-3), a 43-23 winner over Wheatland-Grinnell.

The game was tied at 31 in the third quarter, when Otis-Bison senior big man Brandon Pechanec picked up his fourth foul. Pechanec left the game with 3:13 left in the quarter. But instead of just keeping it close with their 6-foot-4 center sitting, the Cougars went on a 10-0 run to end the quarter.

Leading the charge was Otis-Bison's backcourt of senior Trevor Keller and junior Dylan Wissman.

After a free throw gave the Cougars a one-point lead, Wissman fed Keller for a baseline 3-pointer and a 35-31 advantage. Keller then stole the ball and was fouled. He made both free throws to make it 37-31. Wissman then scored inside with 36 seconds left in the third, then stole the ball and hit Keller for a fastbreak layup with 11 seconds remaining to give Otis-Bison a 41-31 lead entering the fourth quarter.

"Trevor and Dylan kind of took it over at that point," Otis-Bison coach Alan Clark said.

Wissman scored 13 of his team-high 22 points in the second half, and Keller added 15 of his 20 after the break.

Wissman had nine points in the third, then Keller scored eight in the fourth all at the line.

"Wissman, that was our main issue most of the night," Greeley County coach Troy Haberman said.

The 6-foot Wissman was fearless inside, driving the paint to score.

"Our guys didn't do a good job stopping him in penetrating," Haberman said. "He did a good job pump-faking, got our kids up in the air."

Greeley County got as close as eight points early in the fourth quarter, but no closer. Pechanec scored inside on a pass from Wissman with 6:07 left to give Otis-Bison a 10-point lead. Then a technical foul was whistled on the Jackrabbit bench, and Keller swished both free throws for a 12-point lead.

The first half was close throughout, with Otis-Bison getting a pair of free throws from Wissman with three seconds left for an 11-10 lead after the first quarter. The Cougars took a 20-18 halftime lead on a 15-footer by Keller with one second left in the half.

Junior Cesar Yanez led Greeley County with a double-double, scoring 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, both game highs.

Greeley County ended its season at 18-6.

"Most people wouldn't have given this team much of a chance as the season started," Haberman said. "To make it to state, that's just a testament to how hard they work."


Otis-Bison 11 9 21 22 -- 63

Greeley County 10 8 13 20 51


Dylan Wissman 8-13 6-7 22, Trevor Keller 3-7 12-15 20, Stejskal 0-1 0-2 0, Piper 3-4 2-4 8, Pechanec 4-7 0-1 8, Bartonek 1-1 1-2 3, Urban 0-0 1-2 1, Maier 0-0 1-4 1. Totals 19-33 23-37 63.


Cesar Yanez 10-13 4-4 25, Arthur Govert 5-8 0-0 12, Wineinger 0-1 2-5 2, Schneider 1-7 2-3 4, Smith 1-3 2-4 4, Veleta 1-9 1-2 4. Totals 18-41 11-18 51.

3-point goals Otis 2-7 (Keller 2-4, Wissman 0-1, Stejskal 0-1, Piper 0-1); Greeley 4-13 (Govert 2-3, Wineinger 0-1, Schneider 0-1, Yanez 1-1, Veleta 1-7). Assists Otis 10 (Wissman 3); Greeley 11 (Govert 4). Steals Otis 10 (Keller 4); Greeley 7 (Govert 4). Blocks Otis 3 (Three with 1); Greeley 2 (Yanez, Trejo). Total fouls Otis 13, Greeley 23. Fouled out Wissman, Otis. Rebounds Otis 25 (Piper 8); Greeley 27 (Yanez 11). Turnovers Otis 13, Greeley 17.