DOUGLAS – The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School boys’ basketball team fell in the 1A East Regional championship game to the Upton Bobcats 55-33 on Saturday afternoon in Douglas.
Prior to that, the Doggers blew out NSI Academy 60-26 before surviving a late-game comeback in the semifinal round to edge Kaycee 58-56.
On Thursday, L-FL cruised to a 34-point win over the NSI Academy Wolves.
The Doggers jumped out to a 19-2 lead after a quarter, pushing it to 31-8 by halftime.
All eight Doggers who saw the floor in the win cracked the scoring column. Senior Caeden Riley led the team with 16 points, while senior Bailey Powell added 14 points and nine rebounds. Junior Cordell Forkner had 10 points.
In the semifinal round on Friday evening, the Doggers looked to once again put away the opposition early.
It took the Doggers only five minutes to build a double-digit lead on the Kaycee Buckaroos.
“I thought our execution in the first might have been the best it was all year,” L-FL coach Steve Zimmerman said.
With a 21-10 lead after eight minutes, L-FL’s lead continued to grow throughout the second quarter.
The Doggers limited Kaycee to only two points.
“We ran a little bit of a hybrid of a diamond and one,” Zimmerman said. “It took them a while to figure it out, and that allowed us to get our lead.”
Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the floor, L-FL continued to knock down shots, taking a 36-12 lead into the locker room.
The momentum began to shift into the Buckaroos favor into the third quarter.
Kaycee scored the first five points of the third quarter.
The Buckaroos outscored the Doggers 16-9 in the frame, and Kaycee carried the momentum into the fourth quarter.
Over the final eight minutes, L-FL scored only two field goals, while going 9-of-16 from the free throw line.
On the other side of the floor, Kaycee knocked down 3-pointer after 3-pointer, slashing into the L-FL lead, with the final triple of game coming in the final seconds to cut the Dogger lead to 58-56.
“Second half, I thought we lost our focus,” Zimmerman said. “They didn’t come in on us. We had them pushed out where we wanted them.”
Forkner led the Doggers with 15 points. Riley and Powell recorded double-doubles. Riley had 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Powell tallied 12 points and 12 boards.
“Bailey Powell played like a man,” Zimmerman said. “All the guys played well, but he stood out time after time.”
In Saturday’s championship game, the Doggers kept things close through a quarter, trailing 12-10.
In the second quarter, Upton started to pull away, outscoring L-FL 15-9 en route to the 22-point victory.
Riley led the Doggers with 18 points, while Forkner had six.
Lingle-Fort Laramie heads to state as the No. 2 seed and faced Farson-Eden on Thursday afternoon. The state tournament wraps up Saturday in Casper.