LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School boys’ basketball team cruised to a pair of wins last weekend and even with one weekend of regular season play remaining, the focus for the Doggers has shifted to the postseason.
The Doggers (12-6, 4-0) traveled to Rock River High School (5-11) on Friday night and crushed the opposition. L-FL returned to Goshen County with a 68-29 win, and held on to that momentum to beat Hanna-Elk Mountain High School (10-7) 59-53 on Saturday in Lingle.
According to coach Steve Zimmerman, the Doggers are firing on all cylinders just two games out from the WHSAA 1A East Regional Tournament. L-FL will face non-conference foes Glenrock High School and Pine Bluffs High School next weekend.
“Our biggest thing is to make sure we come out of the next weekend healthy to go into regionals,” Zimmerman said. “We’ve already got the No. 1 seed wrapped up. We’re not a really deep team, we play six kids basically. Staying healthy is going to be the first concern.
“We’re going to start preparing for regionals tomorrow. We’ll play our games against Glenrock and Pine Bluffs, and hopefully we’ll give them some good games and we’ll be competitive, but our focus is going to be on regionals.”
Against Rock River, the Doggers rode junior Caeden Riley’s 30-point, nine rebound performance to earn the lopsided win. Senior Ty Mueller added 16 points, and junior Bailey Powell added 10.
Rock River actually led 18-17 at the end of the first quarter, but the Doggers fired back with a 13-0 run to round out the first half – and it was all L-FL from there. The Doggers outscored the Longhorns 29-7 in the third and took the win.
“Once everything settled down and we got re-focused, we were up 30-16 at halftime and we came out in the second half and we played really good ball,” Zimmerman said. We were able to put them away and got the bench in the game.”
The Miners came out ready to play on Saturday, and actually led the game 29-17 at the intermission. Just like the game against Rock River, the Doggers took over in the third quarter and outscored HEM 27-6 to take the lead, and held on for the win.
“In the first quarter, one of their kids hit six threes against us,” Zimmerman said. “We weren’t prepared for that. But after that, we seemed to be OK. We tried to focus on rebounding both offensively and defensively against them, and we made it clear to them at halftime that’s what needed to be done. That’s when we started taking over the game.”