TORRINGTON – The Lingle-Fort Laramie girls’ basketball team tried to match Southeast’s physicality with the team’s speed in the opening round of the 1A East Regional Tournament in Torrington last week.
At the end of the day, the plan failed as the Lady Doggers fell 48-26.
“The better team that day won. You have to give credit where credit is due. They had our number, and we couldn’t match the physicality. We tried to counter their physicality with our speed,” L-FL coach Matt Cornelius said. “The girls never quit. They played hard.”
Southeast raced out to a 19-4 lead in the first quarter.
Junior Madison Heilbrun and freshman Natalie Speckner scored the lone points for the Lady Doggers through the opening eight minutes.
L-FL outscored Southeast in the second quarter.
“They got after us pretty early,” Cornelius said. “We won the second quarter, but it was too little too late.”
However, the Lady Cyclones limited the Lady Doggers to only four points in the third quarter, pushing their lead to 43-18.
The teams then played even over the final eight minutes of play.
The loss marked the end of the season for the Lady Doggers in the single elimination regional tournament format this season.
“It really puts a lot of weight on those regular season games,” Cornelius said. “There were a couple we might have been able to sneak in there that might have changed our seeding a little bit, but it doesn’t change the fact, at regionals and state you have to win. Next year we’ll come back at them again and try again.”
Speckner and junior M’Lynn Hill led Lingle with six points each, while sophomore Baylee Skinner had four. Senior Kaylie Rafferty, sophomore Ashlee Hattan and Heilbrun had three points each.
As a team, the Lady Doggers shot 24% (9-of-37) from the floor.
The Lady Dogger’s season came to a close with a 5-13 record.
Rafferty was the lone senior on the 2020-21 season.
“We’ll really miss (Kaylie Rafferty) our senior, her leadership and her positive attitude,” Cornelius said. “After that, everyone is coming back. We went nine, sometimes, 10 deep on the bench, so we have nine to 10 players that will be able to come play varsity minutes next year.”