CASPER – The Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers suffered an opening loss to Farson-Eden at the state tournament in Casper, dropping to the consolation bracket, where they beat Hanna-Elk Mountain and fell to St. Stephens in the consolation championship.
Farson-Eden 72, LFL 39
The Doggers started the tournament slow, falling behind 11-5 after the first frame. They derailed in the second quarter after being outscored 24-13 to go into the half down 35-18. The Pronghorns cruised to the win after putting up 37 in the second half, while LFL poured in only 21.
Dallen Fleenor was the only Dogger in double-figures, tallying up 10 points, including six from the charity stripe, and logged two rebounds.
Garrett Cooper and Justice Madayag each contributed eight points for the Doggers. Madayag hit one of LFL’s only two three-pointers. Cooper had six rebounds, while Madayag added three. The two combined for two assists and three steals.
Brandon Hill paced the Doggers in boards, with seven. He and Taylor Wagner added four points apiece in the loss.
LFL struggled from the field, shooting 29 percent from the floor and 22 percent from behind the arc. Farson-Eden nailed 48 percent from the field, 25 percent from deep and 81 percent from the charity stripe. From the free-throw line, the Doggers left seven points, shooting 7-of-14.
LFL 50, HEM 47
The loss to the Pronghorns dropped the Doggers to the consolation bracket, where their first game came against Hanna-Elk Mountain.
The Doggers again got off to a slow start, but went on an 8-0 run in the first and tied the game up at 10 at the end of the first quarter. LFL scored the first four points in the second quarter, but let their lead slip and faced a 24-20 deficit at halftime.
“At halftime, coach came in and told us to come in and work our hardest because this could be the seniors’ last time playing,” senior Wagner said. “We have to give all our heart for whatever we want. I think showing it in the second half in what we did.”
The Miners outscored the Doggers by one in the third, putting the advantage at five heading into the final eight minutes of regulation. LFL tied the game at 38 with 5:01 remaining and took a 43-41 lead with 2:20 to go.
Fleenor converted an old-fashioned three-point-play to put the Doggers up 46-44 with 1:21 and Ty Mueller hit two free throws to increase the lead to four with 25.7 seconds remaining. HEM nailed a three-pointer to bring the game to within one with 11.8 seconds remaining.
The Doggers missed the front end of a one-and-one but got the offensive rebound and were fouled, but missed another free throw. The Miners rushed the ball up the floor, but Wagner got his feet set and drew the offensive charge to get the Doggers the ball with 2.9 seconds and seal the win.
“Practice has always taught me to stop ball on those fast breaks and I guess that’s just where it came into play and I’m just glad I could do it because it made the difference,” Wagner said of drawing the late offensive foul.
In the win, Madayag racked up 20 points, nine of which came from behind the arc. He paired his scoring with five rebounds, an assist, a block and two steals. Mueller also scored in double-figures, contributing 14 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor and 6-of-9 shooting from the charity stripe. He added a board, a steal and a block to his stat line.
Outside of Madayag and Mueller, Hill was the next leading scoring, amassing six points to go along with five rebounds and an assist. Cooper led the Doggers on the boards, hauling in six rebounds.
LFL increased their shooting percentage to 49 percent from the floor in the win. Madayag’s three three-pointers were the only drained shots from deep for LFL, where the team shot 30 percent. The Miners shot 39 percent from the floor and 40 percent from behind the arc.
St. Stephens 51, LFL 32
For the third game of the tournament, LFL fell behind early, facing an 11-5 deficit after the first quarter. The Doggers outscored the Eagles in the second quarter, 12-10, to trim the St. Stephens lead to 22-17 at the break. The Doggers went cold in the third quarter, putting up only two points to the Eagles’ 19. LFL put up 13 in the fourth to St. Stephens’ 11, but it was too little too late.
No Dogger scored in double-figures in the consolation championship. Mueller and Mason McFadden each came off the bench and poured in eight points. Mueller had six points from the charity stripe and McFadden shot 50 percent from the field. Mueller paced the Doggers in boards, with 10.
Madayag contributed five points, while Wagner added four. The two combined for 10 boards and five steals. Cooper accounted for seven boards and one of LFL’s only two steals.
Both teams struggled from the field. LFL shot 20 percent from the field and were unable to hit a three-pointer (0-of-11). The Doggers hit only 12-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Eagles shot only 25 percent from the field and 20 percent from behind the arc. St. Stephens racked up the points on their shooting volume, putting up 73 total shots and 35 shots from deep.
The 1-2 performance at the state tournament put the Doggers as runner-ups in the consolation bracket. In the upper bracket, Burlington took the state title, with Little Snake River finishing second and Kaycee taking third. LFL finished the season 16-10.