Herders cement spot at state

Logan Jones jumps over a Lusk defender en route to the net during regional semi-finals Feb. 25. Photo by Chase Vialpando/The Glenrock Independent

Chase Vialpando, chase@glenrockind.com


The final seconds of the East Regional Tournament game tick away.


Five, four, three.


It seems clear Lusk, who leads the Herders 51-50, would triumph and crush the Herd’s hopes of going to state.


Glenrock players on the bench hang their heads and clench their jaws, bracing for the impact of the crushing loss.


But it wasn’t over.


The ball flings toward Lusk’s net and bounces off the backboard.


Enter Adam Bearfield, who leaps into the air like a golden – well, blond – knight. 


The team’s lone senior snatches the ball out of the air. He lands for a literal split second. 


The crowd goes silent, but not for long.


Bearfield launches himself upwards and drops the ball in the net to the sound of the buzzer.


The gym shakes with roars of applause – which could’ve been from the Glenrock ballers alone.


Herders grab each other, their jerseys sticking to each other, both from sweat and tears of joy.


What drove Bearfield in those last crucial seconds? His answer was simple.


“The will to go to state.”


And the 52-51 win Thursday against Lusk cinched Glenrock’s place at state, which has been the main goal of the team all season.


“I couldn’t have written a better script for Adam Bearfield,” head coach Shawn Huxtable said, “our lone senior who’s been a rock for us all year long. It’s awesome for him and this team.”


Glenrock lost to Pine Bluffs 52-41 a couple short hours after their Lusk game, which Huxtable mostly contributes to their efforts against the Tigers.


“That (game) took a lot out of our kids both physically and mentally,” he said.


Saturday, the Herders traveled and fell to Big Horn 65-45.


In the vital game against Lusk Thursday, Huxtable said defense was the key.


“We just wanted to keep pressuring them,” he said, “keep the pressure on them for the full court, make them work. To see if they’d tire out. We knew we could get into foul trouble, and we got two of their starters to foul out.”


Huxtable said his players had great communication and teamwork.


“They all hit some clutch shots,” he said. “It’s not one player, it’s everybody. That was a testament to a team win right there. More so than we’ve had all year.”


Against Big Horn Saturday, the Herders went back and forth with the Hornets in the first half, with big outside shots hit by both teams.


Glenrock was only down by 2 at halftime, but the Hornets hit the Herd with pressure and traps in the third period, racking up points and blocking Glenrock’s shots.


“We played hard, we just didn’t have enough to make a comeback on them,” Huxtable said.


Glenrock will travel to face Rocky Mountain March 5 at 1:30 p.m. It is a state playoff game.


“The atmosphere is positive and upbeat,” Huxtable said. “We know we have a tough task with Rocky Mountain.


“Having played them earlier in the year should help, we know them, kind of how they play.”


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