LINGLE – A 3-pointer by the Rock River Longhorns at the end of the opening quarter was the final points by the visitors until midway through the third quarter as the Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers defeated the Longhorns 50-21 last Friday.
Following the triple, the Doggers trailed 11-6 heading into the second quarter.
“The first part of the game, the boys were just pressing too hard to get things done. They weren’t relaxed and just playing,” L-FL coach Steve Zimmerman said. “They were tense.”
Dogger senior Hunter Hattan answered with a 3-pointer of his own it was the start of 21 straight points by Lingle.
Lingle held Rock River off the scoreboard in the second period. By halftime, the Dogger lead reached 21-11.
“When Rock River got themselves into a little bit of foul trouble, I thought the boys went right after them and took control of the game from that point on,” Zimmerman said.
During that span, Lingle went right after the Longhorn’s 6-foot, 7-inch post, who picked up three fouls in the first half.
“We were trying. It was rough there for a while with not much coming back to us,” Zimmerman said. “Then all of the sudden, the fouls started rolling in.”
It didn’t take long for the Rock River big man to pick up his fourth and find himself right back on the bench in the first minute of the third quarter as Lingle’s lead continued to grow.
L-FL senior Ty Prall pushed the Dogger lead to 16 at 27-11 with 5:37 remaining in the third before Rock River found the bottom of the bucket again.
By the end of the third, the Lingle lead was 24 at 40-16.
Over the final eight minutes, the Doggers outscored Rock River, 10-5.
Senior Cordell Forkner led the Doggers with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Prall added 10 points. Hattan had seven.
L-FL shot 33% (20-for-60) from the floor, and a total of nine Doggers tallied at least one point.
“There were a lot of things we executed better than what we have been throughout the season,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve seen this group grow and improve each week.”
Zimmerman added the win goes a long way in punching the team’s ticket to the 1A East Regional Tournament which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 27 in Torrington.
Saturday’s scheduled road matchup with Hanna-Elk Mountain was canceled and will not be made up.
L-FL (4-11) wraps up the regular season with a home game on Friday against Glenrock (2-14) at 7 p.m. and Saturday on the road at Pine Bluffs (8-8) at 4 p.m.