Lady Doggers clinch second at regionals

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BURNS – The Lingle-Fort Laramie (LFL) Lady Doggers punched their ticket to the state tournament with a second-place finish at the 2A East Regional Tournament hosted by Burns from February 22-24.

The action opened with the Lady Doggers defeating Wright, 46-31, in the first round to advance to the semifinals where LFL squared off against Pine Bluffs.

Pulling out all the stops against the Lady Hornets, the Lady Doggers crushed Pine Bluffs, 50-32.

“The Lingle girls fought through the first two rounds of regionals winning both those games by 15 points or more,” coach Susan Bartel said. “We attacked the boards well all weekend with 41 and 39 rebounds, respectively, in the first two games.”

In the championship game, LFL faced off against the Tongue River Lady Eagles. 

Following a tight battle through the first half, Tongue River led by a single point, 21-20, at halftime. Tongue River pulled ahead in the third, and despite a battle by the Lady Doggers to close the gap, the Lady Eagles prevailed by two possessions, 45-40.

“Tongue River presented a challenge for us with a tough defense and several offensive threats,” Bartel said. “They are a tenacious team and it was a battle. We were neck-and-neck, ending the first half down by one. My girls had a lull in scoring in the third quarter and allowed Tongue River to get up by 10 points. LFL fought back, outscoring Tongue River in the fourth quarter, 18-14, but weren’t able to get ahead. We look forward to seeing them again at state.”

The state tournament kicks off with LFL hitting the court against Wind River at Casper College on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Wright

LFL controlled the scoreboard through both the first and second quarters to establish a 32-17 lead at halftime. The Lady Doggers won a physical third quarter, 10-6, placing LFL ahead of Wright, 42-23, as the fourth quarter commenced.

LFL’s second string stepped up in the fourth quarter to finish off the job.

Sophomores Jordynn Speckner and Skyla Wunder both led LFL in scoring against Wright with 12 points apiece. Junior Brenly Shipp and senior Natalie Speckner each contributed seven points with – senior Holly Leiseth adding six and freshman Charlotte Speckner draining a close-range shot.

On the boards, Shipp pulled down nine rebounds with both Natalie Speckner and Leiseth tallying eight. On defense, Natalie Speckner made seven steals.

Pine Bluffs

A gritty LFL defense held Pine Bluffs to two points in the first quarter while the Lady Dogger offense netted 12. Pine Bluffs rallied in the second quarter to top LFL in scoring, 12-11, although the Lady Doggers maintained the lead, 23-14, at halftime.

LFL widened its advantage in the third quarter, posting 12 points to nine by the Lady Hornets. An explosive fourth quarter that saw the Lady Doggers outmaneuver Pine Bluffs, 15-9, sealed the deal for LFL.

Natalie Speckner went double-double against Pine Bluffs with 17 points and 14 rebounds. 

Wunder tossed in 15 points, Jordynn Speckner 11 and Shipp six. Wunder contributed seven rebounds and Jordynn Speckner six.

A scrappy LFL defense came up with 21 steals, led by Wunder with nine, Leiseth six and Natalie Speckner five.

Tongue River

Tongue River led by a single point, 13-12, at the end of the first quarter. 

Undaunted, LFL controlled the scoreboard for most of the second quarter. A 3-pointer by Natalie Speckner placed the Lady Doggers up, 15-13, with 5:15 remaining in the first half.

Tongue River briefly recapture the lead, 16-15, before Charlotte Speckner responded with a jumper. Defensive pressure by Jordynn Speckner and Charlotte Speckner resulted in a pair of turnovers and Wunder netted an outside shot, widening LFL’s lead to two possessions, 20-16.

Tongue River responded with a five-point run to regain the initiative, 21-20, at halftime.

Tongue River pulled ahead in the third quarter, topping LFL in scoring, 10-2. The Lady Doggers battled back in the fourth quarter, netting 18 points to 14 from Tongue River, although LFL ultimately came up short in closing the gap.

Wunder led LFL in scoring against Tongue River with 15 points. Natalie Speckner totaled 14 points and posted nine rebounds.

Jordynn Speckner tossed in five points, pulled down seven rebounds and made four steals.