Doggers overwhelm Crawford, fall to NCHS

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LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie (LFL) Doggers rallied from a tough conference loss against Niobrara County High School (NCHS), 82-67, on Friday to rout Crawford, Nebraska, by a commanding 76-27 margin on Saturday, clinching an undefeated home record (11-0).

Sophomore Brady Cook posted seven blocks against NCHS and four on Saturday to break a 41-year-old LFL High School record for season blocks originally set by Ken Newhouse during the 1982-1983 season. Over the course of the 2023-2024 season to date, Cook totaled  61 blocks. Newhouse tallied 59 blocks in 1982-1983.

LFL currently leads the 2A state classification for field-goal percentage with the Doggers shooting at 50.25 percent from the floor – positive momentum for the team as it gears up for the postseason.

“In both games this weekend, the guys shot the ball very well,” coach Chris Cook said. “We are proud of how they share the ball and how they look to make the extra pass to get a better shot for a teammate. The guys are looking to really dial in on some skills before regionals. There are going to be some really good teams there that we are going to have to compete with to gain a berth to state. I believe the guys will be up for the challenge.”

NCHS

The neck-and-neck first and second quarters between LFL and NCHS set the tone for a close game between two talented teams that found NCHS ahead, 36-32, at halftime.

Sophomore Anthony Arnusch led the Doggers in scoring over the first half with 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter.

LFL tied the game at 24 points in the second quarter when junior Elijah Hatch scored on a fastbreak. The Doggers captured the lead, 32-21, after junior Ned Nelson went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line.

An 8-point scoring run by NCHS in the third quarter placed the Tigers up, 56-47, as the fourth quarter commenced.

Both teams pulled out the stops in the final eight minutes of regulation with LFL scoring 20 points and NCHS tallying 26. Junior Brody Roberts led LFL’s battle to close the gap in the fourth quarter with 11 points. Cook netted four points and junior Skyler Thomas converted an and-1.

Roberts posted 22 points against the Tigers and Cook and Arnusch both contributed 13 points.

Crawford

LFL dominated the first half against Crawford. A gritty Dogger offense netted an impressive 43 points by halftime while a tenacious LFL defense held Crawford to 12.

Cook tallied 16 points in the first half with Roberts contributing 14. Nelson tossed in a pair of outside shots.

LFL maintained its momentum in the third quarter, upping Crawford in scoring, 18-9. A pair of free throws from Cook set the running clock into motion with LFL up, 59-19.

LFL’s second string entered the fray in the fourth quarter, including a jumper by freshman Tyler Smith and a deep 3-pointer from freshman Mason Unverzagt. Hatch topped of scoring with a four-point run.

“The boys were very focused and came out ready to play,” coach Cook said. “Brady (Cook) had a fantastic game with 28 points on 11 for 12 field goals, 6-for-6 free throws, 14 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. Brody Roberts had another really efficient game with 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting, six rebounds and four assists.”

Nelson came close to a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. 

Arnusch played a “superb game defensively” against Crawford, coach Cook said, “completely disrupting what their best guard wanted to do” and “passing the ball beautifully” on offense with 10 assists.

“Skyler Thomas did a great job passing as well as he finished with five assists,” Cook added.