LFL boys pick up two wins
LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie boys’ basketball team played three games in four days and went 2-1 during the stretch.
The team’s lone loss was on Friday afternoon in a 59-47 loss to the Pine Bluffs Hornets.
LFL junior Aidan Mattheus gave the Doggers an early 2-0 lead, but it proved to be the only lead of the game for the home team.
“Pine is a really good team,” coach Chris Cook said. “They are seasoned veterans loaded with seniors, state champs. We started doing some stuff we don’t like doing, but we settled in and started playing our game, especially in the second half.”
The Hornets went on to score the next 13 points en route to the 12-point loss.
The Pine Bluff lead reached as many as 25 midway through the third quarter.
With the visiting Hornets still holding on to a 56-33 lead with four minutes to play in the game, foul trouble started to mount for Pine Bluffs, allowing the Doggers to work their way back in to the game.
Over the remainder of the game, the Hornets only scored three more points, while LFL was able to chip away at the deficit, cutting it to 12 by the final horn.
Mattheus led the team with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Cook added 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The next day, the Guernsey Vikings paid the Doggers a visit, and LFL cruised to a 68-25 win.
On Saturday, Cook said the Doggers were able to build off the ending of the Pine Bluffs game.
“We built on that. We kept playing, and we made a few adjustments,” he said. “We didn’t get to practice (Friday) like we wanted to. I just threw it at the boys on the go, and they took it and ran. We shared the ball really well.”
Mattheus scored the game’s first five points as Lingle raced out to a 12-2 lead in the first four and a half minutes of the game.
The Dogger lead continued to grow throughout the game. By halftime, Lingle led 40-9, and by the end the third quarter, the score was 57-30.
With six minutes left in the game, senior Brian McCoid scored his 19th and 20th points of the game, pushing the Dogger lead to 62-23, kicking in the running clock rule for the remainder of the contest.
McCoid led the Doggers with 20 points, to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Mattheus added 14 points, while sophomore Brody Roberts added 10 points, four assists and four steals.
On Monday night, Lingle traveled to Yoder to face the Southeast Cyclones in a rematch of a double overtime thriller earlier in the season.
This time, the Doggers got the best of the Cyclones, 47-38.
Cook said the difference in the game was the Doggers’ defense.
“Honestly, everyone wants to score, but our boys buy into the fact we have to play good defense,” Cook said. “If we play good defense, we’ll have a chance in any game.”
Southeast scored the first four points of the game between free throws from Austin Short and Aydan Desmond and the game’s first field goal by Cole Sauer a minute and a half into the game.
Lingle answered with five straight points to take its first lead of the game.
It was the first of eight lead chances over the remainder of the first quarter.
When the horn sounded on the quarter, the Cyclones led 12-11.
Desmond came out in the second quarter adding four points, pushing the Southeast lead to 16-11 with 4:50 left before halftime.
Unfortunately, it was the last time the Cyclones scored in the half.
A pair of free throws by Roberts started an 10-0 run which spanned into the third quarter.
In the second and third quarters, the Dogger defense limited Southeast to only 10 points.
“That’s all about ball pressure and the boys wanting to play defense,” Cook said. “It was fun to watch. They embrace wanting to play good defense and make it more difficult for the other team.”
By 6:40 left in the third quarter, the Dogger lead was 23-16, forcing Southeast to use another timeout.
It wasn’t until the 5:50 mark when Desmond hit the second of his two free throws when the Cyclones scored again, ending a seven-minute offensive dry spell.
Southeast managed to close the gap to as close as 23-21 with five minutes to play in the third quarter.
Roberts started another Dogger run, pushing the visitor lead to 32-21 with a minute to play in the third, but the Cyclones had one more run in them.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kyler Clark and Cooper Larkin drew Southeast back within two at 32-30, capping off a 9-0 run.
Seconds later, Mattheus converted an old-fashioned 3-point play for LFL ending the run as Lingle started to pull away over the final five and a half minutes of the game.
Brady Cook led the Doggers with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Mattheus added 13 points. Roberts added 10.
Lingle-Fort Laramie concludes its regular season with 2A Southeast Quadrant foes Burns at home on Friday at 7 p.m. and a road trip to Pine Bluffs on Saturday for a 4 p.m. contest.
“We get a quality Burns team coming in on Friday night,” Cook said. “We’ll have to play well to win on Senior Night. Pine is good, defending state champs, and they are someone we are going to have to contend with.”