LINGLE – After a slow start by both teams Friday against Crawford, Neb., the Lingle-Fort Laramie Lady Doggers snagged a 42-21 win, followed by a 52-48 win over Guernsey-Sunrise on Saturday.
In the first eight minutes of action, the Lady Doggers scored four points, while blanking the Lady Rams to go into the second quarter up four. With three minutes left on the clock before halftime, L-FL held an 8-0 lead and then both teams used the final three minutes of the half to pour in some points, with L-FL holding a 15-4 lead at the break.
“Before break, it was more organization, but after Christmas I challenged the girls defensively,” coach Matt Cornelius said. “Their change of pace on defense was really encouraging.”
Returning to the floor, the Lady Doggers racked up 10 points in the third quarter, with Crawford pouring in eight. To close out the game, L-FL amassed 17 points in the fourth to the Lady Rams’ nine.
Savannah Mirich was the top scorer for the Lady Doggers with 11 points on the night on 5-of-10 shooting. She also had two rebounds, an assist and two steals. Jade Cooper was also in double-figures against Crawford, tallying 10 points, including three from behind the arc, while rounding out her stat line with six rebounds, a steal and a team-high four assists.
Matching Cooper on the boards, Kaelynn Riley made her season debut and had six, with three of her rebounds coming on the offensive end of the floor. Riley notched eight points, an assist and two steals in the win.
“We’re still coming together as our roles. We have some girls coming in after injury and sickness, but the new tools we have can really make an impact,” Cornelius said.
Shelby Heilbrun kicked in seven points, while pacing the Lady Doggers with nine rebounds and two steals.
Ashley Riley, Kelcie Sargent and Jessy White contributed two points apiece. Riley finished her stat line with three assists and a team-high five steals, while Sargent and White combined for five boards, an assist and two steals. Torey Bever kicked in another two rebounds.
The Lady Doggers shot 44 percent from the field, compared to Crawford’s 14 percent shooting percentage.
L-FL 44, Guernsey-Sunrise 40
The Lady Doggers secured an early lead over the Lady Vikings, taking a 12-2 advantage at the end of the first frame. Guernsey-Sunrise cut that L-FL lead heading into the break, with the score sitting at 19-14 in favor of the Lady Doggers. The home team built onto their lead by outscoring the Lady Vikings 7-4 in the third. Both teams exploded in the fourth quarter, with Guernsey-Sunrise outscoring the Lady Doggers 22-18, but it wasn’t enough.
Cooper was the top scorer for the Lady Doggers, amassing 15 points, with nine coming from three-point land and another four from the charity stripe. She filled her stat sheet with four boards, three steals and a team-high four assists. Mirich again joined Cooper as the only Lady Doggers in double-figures, pouring in 13 points, which she paired with three steals and a team-high nine rebounds.
“Savannah has played exceptionally lately and I’m excited to see her continue to improve,” Cornelius said.
Sargent and Riley each kicked in four points, while combining for four boards four assists and eight steals. The two tied for the team-lead with four steals apiece. Heilbrun, who had eight boards, an assist and a steal, and Riley, who had four boards and an assist, finished with three points apiece. Bever rounded out the scoring with two points and two rebounds.
The Lady Doggers now hold a 4-4 record and have won four of their last five games. Their next test is on the road Friday against Lusk with a 5:30 p.m. start. On Saturday, the Lady Doggers head to Eastern Wyoming College to play county-rival Southeast at 6 p.m.
“This weekend is a really tough weekend. If we are lucky enough to make it to state, we will see tough teams from the west,” Cornelius said. “It’ll be good for us to see these good teams.”
“It goes without saying that with Southeast and Lingle games, it doesn’t matter records or rankings, that all goes out the window,” he added. “We are excited to get out there and play a good game.”