BURNS – The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School girls’ basketball team picked up a win in overtime late Friday night against Saratoga, and the victory proved to be the only one of the weekend for the Lady Doggers.
The victory came in the second game of the day the L-FL girls, who came up short 49-42 to Little Snake River in the afternoon.
“We had some first-game jitters, especially with the younger set of girls,” L-FL coach Matt Cornelius said.
In the season-opening loss, Little Snake River looked to put away the Lady Doggers early in the third quarter, taking a 26-14 lead before senior Ashley Riley put a halt on the Lady Rattlers run.
Riley’s bucket with 6:01 left in the third quarter was two of her 12 points in the frame to keep the Lady Doggers in the game.
Lingle kept chipping away at the deficit through the middle stages of the final quarter, and with 3:08 left in the game, Riley connected on a 3-pointer to put the Lady Doggers in front 41-39.
Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived. Little Snake River outscored the L-FL 10-1 over the final three minutes of the game to hand the Lady Doggers a seven-point loss.
“We had a little bit of a turnover issue, and I’m going to attribute that to it being the first game and not really knowing the character our team has yet,” Cornelius said. “We have a lot of girls in new places.”
Riley scored a team-high 25 points, while sophomore Tiah Meyer added six.
Later that night, the Lady Doggers overcame a 25-15 halftime deficit to score a 53-51 overtime win over the Saratoga Panthers.
“It took another half of basketball in the second game against Saratoga to get our feet underneath us,” Cornelius said. “The girls stuck tough and played good defense. They kept battling, and we were able to get it to overtime.”
Lingle came out of the break, outscoring the Lady Panthers 19-9 in the third quarter to tie the game. The game tied at the end of regulation, but it was Riley who connected with two free throws with 1:08 left in the game to score the go-ahead points.
“About a year ago, we were playing at EWC, and Ashley canned two to force an overtime against Southeast,” Cornelius said. “She is our clutch player. Not only did she hit some big free throws at the end at the game, she also handled the ball for us when things were tough.”
In the win, Riley scored 23 points, while freshman Kamryn Rafferty and senior Kelci Sargent added seven points each.
The next day, the Lady Doggers fell to Moorcroft 63-19 in the morning and closed out the tournament with a 55-36 loss to Class 3A Burns Lady Broncs.
Against Moorcroft, Riley led the team with six points, while sophomore McKenzie Vaughn and Rafferty added three each.
Against Burns, freshman Ashley Hattan led the team with eight points, while Sargent and Rafferty tossed in six each.
The Lady Doggers (1-3) host the Dogger Classic Friday and Saturday. L-FL will open the weekend against Hulett (1-2) at 3 p.m. on Friday before facing Encampment (3-1) at 9 a.m. and Kaycee (2-1) at 3 p.m. on Saturday.