Doggers continue winning streak

LFL sophomore Anthony Arnusch sets up the Doggers’ offense during the second quarter against Morrill. Arnusch contributed 11 points to LFL’s final tally. Also pictured is junior Kaiden Riggs, right.

MORRILL, Nebraska – Energetic fans supporting both Lingle-Fort Laramie (LFL) High School and Morrill High School packed the gym at Morrill Elementary School to watch the Doggers defeat the Lions, 58-47, and capture their 12th season victory.

A coordinated and tenacious effort by the Dogger offense and defense over the course of the first half placed LFL ahead by a significant 33-18 margin at halftime.

In a physical, point-for-point second half, LFL succeeded in stopping an attempt by Morrill to turn the tables late in the third quarter. The Doggers maintained the fight through a neck-and-neck fourth quarter to post the points needed to prevail over the Lions. 

“It was nice to have a full team again at closer to 100 percent strength,” coach Chris Cook said. “It was a good team win with everyone really contributing both from the bench and on the floor. Our team defense was really solid and it set the tone early. It was a fun atmosphere to play high school basketball on a Tuesday night.”

The Doggers stepped up against a “solid” Morrill varsity squad, gaining important experience as the team begins to look forward to the postseason, Cook added. 

“(Junior) Skyler Thomas had a really nice overall game by guarding well, passing efficiently and knocking down a couple of threes to close the second and fourth quarters,” Cook continued. “(Sophomore) Brady Cook took control inside against two big guys. He was very efficient as he went 10-12 from the floor. (Sophomore) Anthony Arnusch was able to play again after a hand injury and did a great job on both ends of the floor. (Junior) Ned Nelson had a great game passing the ball and finished with six of our team’s 19 assists.”

The Doggers outscored Morrill, 13-8, in a scrappy first quarter before pulling out all the stops in an epic second quarter that saw LFL double the Lions in scoring, 20-10.

Defensive pressure by Nelson early in the second quarter resulted in a turnover. Taking possession, Cook netted a pair of close-range shots.

Junior Elijah Hatch snatched a steal, setting junior Brody Roberts up to toss in a jumper. Cook and Roberts both scored from inside the perimeter, pulling LFL up by 10 points, 23-13.

Junior Cooper Smith entered the fray and found an opening in the Lions’ defense to score. Arnusch and Thomas widened the Dogger’s advantage with an outside shot apiece. 

Nelson gained possession and tossed in a close-range shot, placing LFL ahead by 15 points at halftime, 33-18. 

Morrill rallied in the third quarter to net 20 points to 15 from the Doggers. Cook contributed nine points to LFL’s tally before the third quarter ended and Arnusch sank another 3-pointer.

Despite Morrill’s efforts, the Doggers continued to lead by 10 points, 48-38, as the fourth quarter commenced.

Cook rustled a steal early in the fourth and went on to net a jumper before blocking a shot by the Lions. Roberts tossed in a pair of close-range shots and Arnusch snapped up a steal.

Taking aim, Thomas closed the quarter out with an outside shot. 

Cook led LFL in scoring against Morrill with 22 points, posting a field-goal percentage of 83 percent. Cook also went double-double with 11 rebounds.

Arnusch tallied 11 points for the Doggers and Roberts 10. Nelson and Cook both rustled three steals. The team shared the ball well with nineteen assists, including six apiece by Nelson and Thomas.