TORRINGTON – Intensity on the defensive end of the floor by Southeast helped propel the Cyclones to a 54-26 win over the Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers on Saturday at Eastern Wyoming College.
Southeast forced 25 turnovers, while committing only six of their own. The Cyclones also had eight steals in the contest.
“We were planning on going to a full-court press to force them to dribble,” Southeast senior Sterling Werner said. “We were hoping to cause some turnovers and get some easy buckets. That was the biggest key was our turnovers were lower than theirs.”
Neither team could gain a huge advantage in the first quarter, with the Cyclones holding a 10-7 lead after the first frame. Southeast opened the second frame on a 9-0 run on their way to outscoring L-FL 18-6 in the quarter to take a 26-13 lead into intermission.
Southeast stifled the Dogger offense in the third quarter, allowing only four points while scoring 13 of its own. To close out the game, the Cyclones outscored the Doggers 13-9.
Southeast’s Kaden Malm paced the Cyclones in scoring with 16 points, including 6-of-12 shooting two three-pointers. He rounded out his stat line with two boards and a steal.
Fellow seniors Brady Fullmer and Werner joined Malm in double-figures, with Fullmer accounting for 11 points and Werner chipping in 10. Fullmer had a team-high eight boards, along with two assists and three steals, while Werner accounted for four boards, an assist and three steals.
Hayden Anderson accounted for seven points and four boards, along with team-highs in assists, with three, and steals, with four.
Seventeen Cyclones took the floor in the win. On top of the top-four scorers for Southeast, an additional five players scored over L-FL. Sawyer Anderson, Brant Fullmer, Cade Herring, Tim Becker and Reese Robertson all had two points apiece. Those five also kicked in six rebounds and two steals. Bodie Herring and Colby Dyer combined for four rebounds and two assists.
“That was a problem last year is we played six, maybe seven people, and we got tired. If somebody had a bad game, we couldn’t make up for it,” Werner said. “Now we play, 8-10 man rotations sometimes and it’s really nice because we get a break and if one of us is struggling, we can count on someone else to step up.”
Ty Mueller led the Doggers in scoring with 16 points, including nine of those from behind the arc. He rounded out his stat line with five boards.
“Ty’s playing out of position and we are asking him to do too much. We need other guys to step up to help alleviate his pressure,” Zimmerman said and he noted Scott Gilchriest and Cordell Forkner both helped in that aspect.
Caeden Riley was second in scoring with three points after knocking down a shot from deep and he added three boards in the loss.
Mason McFadden paced L-FL in rebounds with eight, including four on the offensive end of the floor, while adding two points. Forkner and Gilchriest each had two points, while Bailey Powell kicked in a point. The trio combined for four rebounds and two steals that both came from Gilchriest.
Rhett Greenwald added four rebounds, with Dagan Davis and Hayden Hill adding a board apiece.
“We got a lot of kids in to play and that experience really helped,” Zimmerman said. “We were just a little outmanned. There is no other way to say it than we were just a little outmanned.”
The Doggers outrebounded Southeast 30-28, but L-FL shot 25 percent from the floor (9-of-36), while Southeast put up 65 shots, knocking down 22 of them (33 percent). The Doggers had a better percentage from behind the arc (28 percent) compared to the Cyclones (17 percent).
The Cyclones improved to 3-8 on the season, with their entire conference schedule remaining. Southeast hits the road Friday to compete against Lusk, with a 7 p.m. tipoff. On Tuesday, the Cyclones host Burns with the varsity game slated for 6 p.m.
“Against Lingle, it’s always a big rivalry and the intensity was great tonight,” Werner said. “I think it’s a big momentum booster. I think this is going to give everybody a lot of confidence. Moving forward, I think this win is something we can look forward to as changing our season.”
Lusk 61, L-FL 40
On Friday before taking on county-rival Southeast, the Doggers hit the road to compete against Lusk, falling 61-40.
“Up in Lusk, we dominated the first half, but the press got to us in the second half and the score was not as close as the game actually was,” Zimmerman said. “Our half-court offense was great for 2-3 quarters, but then we got in a frenzied pace.”
Mueller was again the leading scorer for L-FL with 12 points. He shot 57 percent from inside the arc and rounded out his stat sheet with two boards, a team-high three assists and two steals.
Riley chipped in nine points in the loss, all of which came from behind the arc, where he shot 3-of-6. He finished the night with six rebounds, two assists and a steal. McFadden was not far behind in the scoring department, pouring in eight points on perfect shooting (4-for-4), which he paired with six rebounds.
Forkner kicked in six points, including three from deep, three rebounds, an assist and a steal, while Hayden Hill and Gilchriest rounded out the scoring, combining for five points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Rhett Greenwald tallied five rebounds, an assist and two steals, while Dagan Davis added a board and Bailey Powell kicked in a block.
The Doggers now sit at 2-8 on the year. They hit the road Thursday to compete against Guernsey-Sunrise with a 7 p.m. start, followed by a road game against Morrill, Neb. on Tuesday at 7 p.m.