LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School girls’ basketball team ended the 2022 portion of the schedule with three wins at the Dogger Classic.
The Lady Doggers knocked off Kaycee, Encampment and Rock River over the two-day tournament.
“I’m happy to see the girls come out and play,” coach Susan Bartel said. “We still struggled a little hitting some shots, but we like we’ve told them, the defense will make up for it – which it did.”
LFL opened the weekend with a 64-24 win over the Kaycee Lady Buckaroos.
Kaycee scored the first points of the game, and they proved to be the only lead of the game for the visitors.
Junior Holly Leiseth scored the next points for Lingle, sparking a 13-0 Lady Dogger run.
LFL slowly pulled away for the remainder. The Lady Doggers held the Lady Buckaroos to only three points in the third quarter.
Lingle’s lead reached 40 in the final minute of the game.
Junior Natalie Speckner led the team with 19 points, six rebounds and five steals. Senior Maddy Saul added seven points, while senior Kamryn Rafferty, freshman Avery Rising, freshman Jordynn Speckner and senior Ashlee Hattan had six each.
The next morning, it took an extra four minutes for the Lady Doggers to knock off the Encampment Lady Tigers, 48-46.
“It’s nice for the girls to push back and win a close one,” Bartel said. “We had shots that weren’t dropping, and they kept hustling and going after rebounds.”
Lingle took an early 9-2 lead and held the lead until the 5:50 mark of the fourth quarter when Encampment took its first lead of the game 31-30.
The teams traded the lead five times over the remainder of the game.
The last lead change came with :17.7 seconds left. the Lady Tigers went 2-for-2 at the free throw line to take a 41-40 advantage.
Ten seconds later, Rafferty went to the line for two free throws, making one of her two attempts to force overtime.
In overtime, Saul took over the extra period, scoring all seven points for the Lady Doggers.
“It’s nice to see her develop from where she was last year,” Bartel said. “She’s really come along. She really pulled through in the clutch for us. She didn’t want to be the player who didn’t do that. She worked really hard in the offseason, and you can see it on the court this year.”
She opened the period with a 3-pointer and capped off the game with a pair of free throws with under a minute to play.
Saul led the team with 16 points, while Natalie Speckner added 10 points, nine rebounds and six steals. Hattan and Rafferty had eight points apiece.
In the final game of the weekend, the Lady Doggers pulled away in the second half for a 54-40 win over the Rock River Longhorns.
Leading 22-19 at half, Lingle opened the third quarter with a 7-3 spurt to slowly pull away for a 14-point victory.
Hattan led the team with 17 points, while freshman Skyla Wunder added 12. Natalie Speckner grabbed a team-high six rebounds, and LFL as a team tallied 23 steals.
“I like where they are sitting,” Bartel said. “We still have some things got to work on. I like how we are putting together different lineups and trying out different things. This is the place to do it. The girls work really good together. I feel really good going into the break. We are going to face some tough competition the first week back.”
Heading into the break, the Lady Doggers are 4-2, and the team heads to Burns and Pine Bluffs on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6-7.
“We’ll play all the teams from the North with the way they have it setup,” Bartel said. “It’ll be nice to see the competition up there and get a feel for the North side of the state.”