LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie boys dealt with a little bit of hangover from Friday’s 43-36 loss to Crawford before exploding for a 19-0 run in the second quarter en route to a 64-43 win over Guernsey to salvage a weekend split.
On Friday, the Doggers jumped out an early 9-3 lead midway through the first quarter, but in the second quarter, Crawford limited LFL to only five points.
The Rams’ lead reached eight by the end of the third quarter, but Lingle had one more late push, cutting the deficit to 37-33 with 1:51 left in the game.
Unfortunately for the Doggers, Crawford scored the next six points, and a 3-pointer by freshman Elijah Hatch with six seconds remaining in the game was all Lingle’s offense could muster down the stretch.
Sophomore Aidan Mattheus led the team with a double-double including 14 points and 15 rebounds. Sophomore Nolan Spears and Kaiden Riggs added six points each.
As a team, the Doggers were 9-of-46 shooting for 20%.
The shooting woes continued in the early stages the next day against Guernsey.
The Vikings raced out to a 22-10 lead midway through the second quarter before Lingle charged back.
“The first quarter was a carryover from (Friday) night. We couldn’t throw it in the ocean. We missed so many easy shots,” LFL coach Steve Zimmerman said. “It started that way again (Saturday), and they got down and started pressing a little bit to make something.”
With 2:56 left before halftime, junior Owen Schilreff ended a three-minute dry spell for the Doggers. It sparked a 19-0 run, spanning into the middle stages of the third quarter.
“We kept preaching to them, we have to get back on defense, challenge them and absolutely get right into them,” Zimmerman said.
LFL turned to a suffocating press, putting the Vikings back on their heels.
“That got us some easy steals. It got us some fast break opportunities,” Zimmerman said. “One thing about this group of guys, offensively in transition, once they get rolling, it comes in waves.”
That’s what happened to Guernsey for the remainder of the evening.
“We had stretches where they had no answer for us,” Zimmerman said. “They’d settle down and then the next wave would come at them.”
Freshman Brody Roberts led the Doggers with 13 points, while Mattheus, Hatch and freshman Kaiden Riggs added 11 apiece. Mattheus also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
“Our turnovers, at the guard play, is lower than most years,” Zimmerman said. “Our wings have cleaned up their game pretty much. Our post play isn’t as physical yet.”
The Doggers now turn their attention to Southeast and Niobrara County. The cross-county rivals played Thursday evening in Yoder, and LFL returns home to face the Tigers on Friday evening at 7 p.m.
“They are two games we have legit shots at winning,” Zimmerman said. “If we show up aggressively, we have a really good opportunity.”