TORRINGTON – Lingle-Fort Laramie saw their season come to an end in the opening round of the 1A East Regional Tournament last Thursday in a 61-23 loss to the cross-county rival Southeast Cyclones.
“Every kind of unfortunate event that could take place, it just seemed to hit us,” L-FL coach Steve Zimmerman said. “We never really developed any continuity. As we got closer to the tournament, the weather jumped in and got us. On the week that we really thought we could build some momentum, we ended up losing momentum because we couldn’t play the games. We never recovered.”
That was apparent from the first possession of the ballgame.
Southeast raced out to a 16-4 lead after the first quarter of play.
“When we went into the tournament, our perimeter play had improved over the last few weeks to where we could do a pretty good job against Southeast,” Zimmerman said. “I was concerned about our interior post play and when we got the game started, what was really apparent to me was the team we were able to put on the floor wasn’t as healthy as it should be. Everything from flu, colds to COVID, you name it. We didn’t match their size. We didn’t match their speed. We were battling being tired. It was a snowball effect.”
The Cyclones extended the lead to 31-13 at halftime.
“We didn’t start off well, and we could never quit stumbling,” Zimmerman said. “I feel bad for the seniors. We had three returning players. One of the things we pride ourselves on is we are always able to make it to state and compete. Unfortunately, this year that didn’t happen.”
In fact, the nine points scored by Lingle in the second quarter was the most they scored in any quarter.
“Southeast is a very good team. I feel if we could have achieved any other positioning, we probably would have had a good chance to make it to state,” Zimmerman said. “We didn’t take care of business and win a game here and there, so we had to take the seeding that we had.”
Over the final two quarters, Southeast continued to roll, outscoring the Doggers 30-10.
Senior Ty Prall led the Doggers with seven points and five rebounds. Freshman Myles Wilson added four points, while sophomore Corey Duchneaux and senior Hunter Hattan had three apiece.
As a team, L-FL shot 24% (8-of-33) from the floor, while allowing Southeast to shoot 42% (25-of-60).
The Doggers ended the season with a 4-14 record.
“The real essence of the season was to have a season,” Zimmerman said. “One where the kids were able to play, enjoy the sport and compete. In that sense, it was a success. Kudos to the school districts and the WHSAA for making it happen.”