LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers fell behind early on Saturday against the Pine Bluffs Hornets and were unable to recover, falling 74-22.
“For a while we played pretty well with them, but they pulled away from us,” coach Steve Zimmerman said. “I’ll say it – we were just outmatched.”
Pine Bluffs stormed out to a solid lead, taking a 19-5 advantage after the first eight minutes of action. The Hornets exploded for 29 points in the second quarter, while limiting the Doggers to nine points to take a 48-14 lead into halftime. L-FL added four points in the third quarter, which had a running clock for a portion of the frame, while Pine Bluffs racked up 17 to lead 65-18. At the final horn, the visitors sealed the 74-22 win.
“We didn’t care win or lose or even if they beat us by 20 or 60, we had some things we wanted to put in for regionals and we were able to do that,” Zimmerman said.
Rhett Greenwald tallied seven points to lead L-FL, with three of his points coming from the charity stripe. He also had four rebounds, all of which came off the offensive glass. Cordell Forkner was the only other Dogger with more than one bucket from the floor, tallying four points and three rebounds.
Caeden Riley and Ty Mueller had three points apiece, with Mueller knocking down the team’s only three. The pair had two boards each and Riley added a steal to his stat line. Bailey Powell and Scott Gilchriest had two points each and combined for four rebounds and a block, while Brandon Hill rounded out the scoring with a point and an assist. Hill is still making his comeback from injury.
“You can’t measure the experience,” Zimmerman said of Hill coming back to the floor. “He is able to make adjustments in the game just due to his experience.”
Mason McFadden did not find himself in the scoring category, but he led the Doggers with seven rebounds.
Burns 59, L-FL 52
In another SEWAC matchup, the Doggers fell to Burns on Friday on the road, 59-52. L-FL was down by only a point late in the game, but the Broncs pulled away for the seven-point win.
“There were parts of the game I really thought we improved on,” Zimmerman said. “When we went down 11-12, we really didn’t quit and fought back.”
Mueller was one of three Doggers in double-figures, racking up 14 points on the night, including nine from behind the arc, where he shot 3-of-6. He rounded out his stat line with three boards, two assists and a steal.
Riley knocked down the Doggers’ other three on his way to 12 points, two rebounds and a steal. McFadden notched a double-double on the night with 11 points, 10 rebounds and a block. Forkner kicked in another five points, a board and an assist.
Greenwald and Hill each had four points, while Hayden Hill added another two. The three L-FL boys also combined for 13 rebounds and a block. Brandon Hill was second on the team with six rebounds.
The back-to-back losses drop the Doggers to 2-12 on the year.
“Our record isn’t very shiny, but we are definitely improving,” Zimmerman said. “If we continue with our growth and use our size to our advantage, we will be in good shape.”
They return to action Thursday against rival Southeast at Eastern Wyoming College, starting at 7:30 p.m. On Friday, L-FL hosts Lusk with a 7 p.m. tipoff.
“When we play Southeast, our main thing is we have to handle their physicality better,” Zimmerman said. “The top thing for me is I want to see us stand up and try to become as physical, if not more.”