Feb 17, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorBefore the trip to Star Valley and Jackson began, Lander Tigers coaches and boys basketball players knew they would have to trust their man-to-man defense.
The Tigers never let up on the defensive side of the ball, knocking off Star Valley 48-43 in overtime Friday night in Afton.
Lander kept the same fire going for a 48-44 victory at Jackson in a Saturday afternoon Class 3-A West contest.
"We held two really high-powered offenses," Lander coach Terry Hopkin said. "Our defense is believing in themselves."
Lander is now 10-1 in conference and 16-3 on the season.
"The weather is horrible. Add that to our trip, I think that our kids played great," Hopkin said Saturday from Teton County.
The Tigers now prepare for huge home weekend against Powell and Cody at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.
"We need to take it one game at a time," Hopkin said.
The Tigers entertain Powell on Friday night, Cody on Saturday afternoon.
"We know that Cody is probably the premier team in the state right now," Hopkin said. "Cody is playing as well as anybody right now. We know our hands are full."
Lander, Cody and Powell are the three top teams this year in the Class 3-A West conference. Cody is tied for first with Lander at 10-1.
"It will be an exciting weekend," Hopkin said. "Hopefully, we can put some people in Bob Carey."
Lander 48, Jackson 44
Lander's Hunter Bregar provided crucial offense in the final eight minutes with three 3-pointers. He had five 3-pointers in the game and ended with 17 points.
"Hunter had an outstanding performance," Hopkin said. "He had all kinds of confidence in his game. That is the kind of stuff that we need from him. When they would leave him open, he would drain the 3-pointers."
The score was deadlocked 30-30 after three quarters. Lander outscored Jackson 18-14 in the final period.
Casey Winger scored 13 points for the visiting team. Cooxooeii Black finished in double figures with 11.
Jackson didn't hit a 3-pointer vs. Lander's defense. In the first meeting, Jackson put in eight 3-pointers.
"Jackson played a great game against us," Hopkin said. "It was like Star Valley on the night before."
Lander 48, Star Valley 43 OT
With six seconds left on the clock in the final quarter, Star Valley hit one of two free throws to knot the score at 39-39.
In the overtime, Lander won the game on seven free throws.
"We just executed in overtime, and Jackson turned the ball over a little bit," Hopkin said. "We were able to get the right people at the free throw line."
Winger was 6-6 from the stripe.
"That was the difference in the game," Hopkin said.
Winger led Lander again, scoring 16 points. Black put in 10.
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