CASPER – The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School girls’ basketball team went 0-2 at the Class 1A Wyoming State Basketball Championships in Casper over the weekend.
On Friday, the Lady Doggers drew top seed and eventual state champion, Cokeville.
“We put a pretty high premium on winning that last game at regionals, but we didn’t have anything left in the tank after beating Hanna-Elk Mountain punching our ticket,” L-FL coach Matt Cornelius said. “It led us to having a tough entry seed against Cokeville.”
L-FL senior Ashley Riley looked to get her team going in the right direction early with a pair of 3-pointers.
With the Lady Doggers leading 6-0 in the first minute and a half into the game, but the rest of the game belonged to the Lady Panthers.
Cokeville scored the next 24 of 25 points en route to a 65-22 win over L-FL.
“We have some kids who were making their first trip to the Events Center floor, and in the kids’ minds, it was hard to understand how it is to play on that Events Center floor,” Cornelius said. “That night, we just didn’t have it which could have possibly been the same night Cokeville played the best game of their season.”
Trailing 24-7 at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Doggers saw the Lady Panther lead grow to 38-10 at the half.
Coming out of the locker room, the Cokeville lead only grew from there.
By the early moments of the fourth quarter, the Lady Panther lead reached 40, kicking in the running clock rule for the remainder of the game.
Riley led the Lady Doggers with 10 points, while freshman Kamryn Rafferty added five.
L-FL shot 20% to Cokeville’s 54.9%.
The loss dropped the Lady Doggers to the consolation side of the bracket.
Lingle-Fort Laramie saw its season come to end with a 46-36 loss to the Saratoga Lady Panthers on Friday morning.
Saratoga held an 8-5 lead after a quarter. The Lady Panther lead remained at three into the third quarter and they slowly pulled away in the second half.
“On Friday morning against Saratoga, we just didn’t have our shots fall like we hoped,” Cornelius said. “We left it all out on the floor, and it didn’t shake out.”
Saratoga outscored the Lady Doggers 31-24 over the final 16 minutes, including scoring 22 in the final quarter.
The Lady Panther lead reached as many as 11 in the final moments of the game.
Riley led the Lady Doggers with 16 points and six rebounds, while sophomore M’Lynn Hill, senior Kelcie Sargent and sophomore Tiah Meyer added four points each.
The Lady Doggers closed out the season with a 12-15 record.
“All-in-all, it was a great season,” Cornelius said. “We made the state tournament which is great for the younger kids to see that kind of atmosphere. Hopefully it’ll set a strong foundation for years to come.”
It also marked the end of three Lady Doggers’ careers – Riley, Sargent and Jessy White.
“We ended the season proud of our efforts. I’m proud of the girls. It just didn’t work out our way this year, and we are excited about next season,” Cornelius said. “We are sad to see the seniors go. We are going to really miss those three seniors.”