TORRINGTON – After jumping out to a 9-2 first quarter lead, the Southeast Lady Cyclones had to fend off a late charge by Lingle-Fort Laramie in a 47-38 overtime win Thursday evening.
Lady Dogger junior Ashley Riley gave her team a seven-point advantage late in the first quarter, and it proved to be the largest lead of the night for L-FL.
Over the course of the second quarter, the Lady Cyclones chipped away at the deficit.
Southeast senior Hailey Anderson tied the game with less than three minutes to play before halftime and on the ensuing possession, Lady Cyclone senior Kaci Schmick gave Southeast its first lead of the night at 16-14.
“I tried to make some adjustments and wanted the ball from a high to low look, and we got it,” Southeast coach Jennifer Scheer said. “When we didn’t have that, we had the weak side. There for a couple possessions we used the high to low look and found the girl’s weak side. It was successful.”
It was a lead which the Lady Cyclones wouldn’t surrendered for the rest of the evening.
The Lady Doggers tied the game at 24 apiece to end the third quarter courtesy of a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Riley.
Foul trouble late in the game forced L-FL coach Matt Cornelius’ team out of its typical man-to-man defense, but he felt his team handled the switch to the zone well.
“It forced us into the zone a lot more than I wanted to play, but some girls made some big plays in that zone,” Cornelius said. “Although it did take us out of our primary defense, I feel our girls did step up when the going was tough.”
Southeast senior Kaylee Wilson put the Lady Cyclones in front 26-24 in the early moments of the fourth as the Lady Cyclones pushed their lead to as many as five in the final minute of the game.
However, Riley tied the game once again, this time at 37, with two seconds remaining with a pair of free throws, ultimately forcing overtime.
“Ashley hit some clutch free throws there at the end with just a few seconds left, down two,” Cornelius said. “She nails both to force overtime, in the first place, and we had some girls step up on the defensive side.”
In the extra period, Schmick hit the only field goal of overtime, while the rest of the points came in the form of free throws.
The Lady Cyclones went 8-of-14 from the charity stripe in the overtime period, while L-FL went 1-of-4.
“When it counted, they made them,” Scheer said.
Anderson led Southeast in scoring with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Anderson added 11 points and seven rebounds. Riley led the Lady Doggers with 16 points, while Kaelyn Riley tossed in seven.
The next day, both teams were back in action on the road.
The Lady Doggers traveled to Lusk to face Niobrara County, falling 46-36.
L-FL kept things close through the first quarter of play, but the Lady Tigers pulled away to take a 25-10 lead into the locker room at the half.
“Our conditioning is tip-top right now. Yes, it was an overtime game last night, but I don’t think it contributed to tonight,” Cornelius said. “It was just Lusk got off to a real hot start.”
The Lady Doggers came out of the break and scored the first four points of the second half and eventually closed the gap to 29-28 early in the fourth quarter.
“Not many teams can do that against Lusk on their home court. It says a lot about the girls’ character after last night’s loss. They could have easily gone away and been a run away.”
Over the final six and a half minutes of the game, Niobrara County outscored L-FL 17-8 to pull away for the win.
Meanwhile, Southeast traveled to Moorcroft on Friday, defeating the Lady Wolves 53-41.
The Lady Cyclones jumped out to a 12-5 lead, while the teams matched either other score for score in the middle two quarters. In the fourth, Southeast outscored Moorcoft 12-7 to pull away for the 12-point victory.
Junior Morgan Ekwall led the Lady Cyclones with 11 points, while Anderson and Schmitt added 10 each.