Entering the state tournament 21-0, the Douglas girls are the odds-on favorite to win the Class 3A championship.

And why shouldn’t they be? The Bearcats have been rolling all season long, and for the better part of the past four years. Douglas won 3A titles in 2018 and 2019 and were in great position to do so again in 2020 before COVID-19 wiped out the state tournament.

Historically, though, Douglas’ odds are only about 50/50.

Since 1990, the last year where full records of all state tournament participants are available, 28 girls teams and 17 boys teams have entered their respective state basketball tournaments undefeated.

Only half the girls teams (14 of 28) and only 29% of the boys teams (five of 17) finished their seasons unbeaten, completing the undefeated gauntlet with three Ws at state.

The girls teams to go undefeated were:

  • 4A: Gillette 1991, 23-0
  • 3A: Douglas 2018, 27-0
  • 3A: Douglas 2005, 26-0
  • 3A: Mountain View 1998, 25-0
  • 3A: Lyman 1995, 23-0
  • 2A: Tongue River 2013, 28-0
  • 2A: Tongue River 2005, 23-0
  • 2A: Big Horn 2001, 26-0
  • 2A: Tongue River 1997, 22-0
  • 2A: Lusk 1991, 22-0
  • 2A: Lusk 1990, 21-0
  • 1A: Snake River 2012, 28-0
  • 1A: Burlington 1998, 24-0
  • 1A: Cokeville 1990, 21-0

The girls teams who came up short in that quest for perfection?

  • 4A: Natrona 2012, 25-1 (lost in championship)
  • 4A: Green River 1996, 23-1 (lost in championship)
  • 4A: Sheridan 1992, 22-1 (lost in semis)
  • 3A: Douglas 2013, 28-1 (lost in championship)
  • 3A: Star Valley 2001, 25-1 (lost in semis)
  • 3A: Mountain View 1997, 23-1 (lost in championship)
  • 2A: Southeast 2015, 24-1 (lost in championship)
  • 2A: Big Horn 2010, 28-1 (lost in championship)
  • 2A: Pine Bluffs 2004, 22-1 (lost in semis)
  • 2A: Tongue River 1996, 24-1 (lost in semis)
  • 2A: Wright 1999, 21-2 (lost in quarters/consolation semis)
  • 2A: Tongue River 1994, 22-1 (lost in championship)
  • 2A: Saratoga 1992, 22-1 (lost in championship)
  • 1A: Guernsey 2006, 26-1 (lost in semis)

In the boys’ ranks, it’s even harder to finish off an undefeated season. In the past 32 years, only five boys teams have finished undefeated:

  • 4A: Gillette 1993, 23-0
  • 4A: Gillette 1991, 23-0
  • 3A: Thermopolis 2004, 25-0
  • 2A: Big Horn 2011, 28-0
  • 1A: Snake River 2012, 28-0

And the others who have come up short?

  • 4A: Gillette 2010, 26-1 (lost in championship)
  • 3A: Star Valley 1993, 23-1 (lost in quarters)
  • 3A: Torrington 1991, 22-2 (lost in quarters/conso final)
  • 2A: Southeast 2010, 26-1 (lost in championship)
  • 2A: Wind River 2008, 29-1 (lost in semis)
  • 2A: Lusk 2001, 22-1 (lost in championship)
  • 2A: Tongue River 1999, 22-1 (lost in semis)
  • 2A: Wyoming Indian 1994, 22-1 (lost in championship)
  • 2A: Upton 1994, 22-1 (lost in quarters)
  • 2A: Pine Bluffs 2017, 26-2 (lost in semis/3rd)
  • 1A: Burlington 2013, 26-1 (lost in semis)
  • 1A: Arvada-Clearmont 2001, 23-1 (lost in semis)

Remember, wyoming-basketball.com has a ton of research available for you to peruse, including every state tournament score since 1918 and the most complete season-by-season records for teams across the state you’ll find anywhere.

–patrick

I’ve long been playing around with the idea of listing regional and district basketball tournament champions on wyoming-basketball.com.

Well, it’s done. Thanks to several solid hours at the computer and a bit of help from “Stat Rat” Jim Craig to fill in a few years I couldn’t, wyoming-basketball.com now has that list of regional and district tournament champions.

Keep in mind the list is for tournament champions, not for regular-season conference champions.

Here are some interesting numbers that came out of this research:

Boys
Most district/regional championships: Cheyenne Central, 36
. Close: Natrona, 30; Campbell County, Rock Springs, 29; Lovell, 22; Star Valley, 20; Burlington, Wyoming Indian, 19; Buffalo, 18; Big Horn, Lusk, Sheridan, Tongue River, 17.
Fewest (active programs only): Cheyenne South, Normative Services, 0. Close: Thunder Basin, 1; Riverside, Wright, 2; Farson, Hulett, Newcastle, Riverton, Rocky Mountain, Saratoga, 3.
Longest active drought (active programs only): Laramie, since 1969. Close: Rock River, since 1970; Glenrock, since 1981; Meeteetse, Riverton, since 1989; Newcastle, since 1990.
Most consecutive: Cheyenne Central, 11, 1955-65.

Girls
Most: Tongue River, 23. Close:
Douglas, 22; Burlington, Campbell County 19; Kaycee, 18; Cokeville, 17; Southeast, 16; Star Valley, Wyoming Indian, 15; Mountain View, 14; Lusk, 13.
Fewest (active programs only): Cheyenne South, Cody, Glenrock, Thunder Basin 0. Close: Meeteetse, Moorcroft, Riverside, Rocky Mountain, St. Stephens, Sundance, 1.
Longest active drought (active programs only): Ten Sleep, since 1976. Close: Meeteetse, since 1977; Moorcroft, since 1980; Newcastle, since 1981; Hanna, since 1982; Kemmerer, Rock River, since 1985.
Most consecutive: Lusk, 12, 1989-2000.

Click here to see the full list of district and regional basketball champions in Wyoming since 1932.

–patrick

Wyoming-basketball.com, sister site to wyoming-football.com, now has every all-state basketball team dating back to 1932.

Both boys and girls all-state or all-tournament teams are listed in full. More than 5,500 entries are included. The listings also include players who were two-time, three-time or four-time all-state.

“Stat Rat” Jim Craig helped research several all-state teams, including all teams prior to 1953. Jeremiah Johnke of the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle also helped find teams. Thanks!

–patrick

I’m watching the Midwest basketball teams with special interest this season — and not just because I’m an MHS alumnus.

So far this season, the Midwest teams are a combined 1-33 — 1-15 for the girls and 0-18 for the boys. Right now, the only thing keeping the Midwest teams from being officially 0-fer is the girls’ forfeit victory against Guernsey back in December, a victory that was retroactively added within the last couple weeks for reasons beyond me.

That one forfeit victory could keep the Midwest teams from joining a short list — when both the boys and girls basketball teams from the same school go winless in the same year.

The only verified instance I can find of both the boys and girls basketball teams from the same school going winless in the same season happened 21 years ago, in 1999.

That year, Hulett’s boys and girls basketball teams both went 0-15.

(If that game total seems low to you, it is. Back in the day, Crook County schools played fewer than the maximum allowed by the WHSAA due to budget restrictions.)

Hulett’s struggles in 1999 were a combination of two factors — a classification change and a dip in momentum for both programs.

The Hulett boys notched a state title game appearance in 1995, and the Red Devils also had state qualifications at 1A in 1996 and 1997, but the move to 2A was tough to handle. In 1998, the 2A Red Devils only had two victories, both against 1A Midwest. (And, yes, I played for Midwest that season.) The following year, the Red Devils had that winless 0-15 campaign, and after moving back to 1A in 2000, Hulett finished 1-15.

The Hulett girls, meanwhile, had only been to the state tournament once before they moved to 2A in 1998. They also struggled moving up a class, finishing 1-16 in 1998 before their 0-15 season in 1999.

The troubles didn’t last.

In 2002, the Red Devil girls took home their first state basketball trophy with a 1A consolation championship, and they finished third at state in 2003. And in 2005, the Red Devil boys played in the 1A state championship game.

So, Midwest, take heart.

+++

Is Hulett alone?

Maybe. But I don’t have all the data I need to know for sure.

I’ve found five four other instances of teams finishing with winless seasons where I don’t know the record of the opposite gender at the same school, but I know the opposite gender didn’t qualify for state. Those are Greybull in 1980 (boys 0-18, girls unknown), Greybull in 1984 (boys winless, girls unknown), Green River in 1980 (girls 0-20, boys unknown) and Medicine Bow in 1980 (boys 0-17, girls unknown).

By the way, this is also an opportunity to let you know that I could use your help in tracking down records to plug into wyoming-basketball.com’s annual season records lists. If you know any information that’s missing from these lists, email me at pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

+++

Postscript: You want to know the other one, too, don’t you? Where both the boys and girls teams went unbeaten in the same season? That list is double the length of the winless list: Mountain View, 1977, and Snake River, 2012. And it’s not being added to in 2020.

–patrick

Post updated 7:44 a.m. Feb. 21 to remove a pairing of teams from the list of possible double 0-fers.

A new season recap — the 1942-43 Wyoming high school basketball season — has been added to the Season Recaps area of wyoming-basketball.com. “Stat Rat” Jim Craig’s research on this year is full of interesting pieces of information from one of the most difficult years of basketball in the state. Check it out!

–patrick

Ever since Natrona’s old gym was brought down, I’ve wondered what the oldest gym in the state is now. I’m also curious to officially pin down the largest (and smallest) gym in the state.

So I restarted a project: finding the ages and capacities of each gym in the state. Here’s what I have so far. If you know any missing info, leave a comment here or email pschmiedt@yahoo.com.

–patrick

Sister site wyoming-basketball.com has added a new area to its site: season recaps. Some of the season recaps that were previously posted on this blog have been moved to this area of that site. See the info below for all the details.

–patrick

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