Mar 10, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorIn two do-or-die girls basketball games at the Class 3-A West regional tournament, the Lander Tigers came up on top to qualify for the state tournament.
Lander secured the spot with a 56-50 win vs. Cody on Saturday morning at Mountain View High School.
Lander had stayed alive Friday with a 45-41 victory over Jackson.
"Our kids played tremendous," Lander coach Spike Robinson said. "They were behind late against Cody. We held our composure. It was just a great game."
Lander concluded the tournament falling to Star Valley 54-46 in the third-place game.
The Tigers lost to Star Valley 47-39 in the opening round f the tournament.
Lander entered the regional tournament as the No. 5 seed.
"Cody has a good size advantage," Robinson said. "We are pretty long, but we can defend a little bit."
Lander now is the No. 4 seed from the West in the double-elimination state tournament starting Thursday at the Casper Events Center.
Lander 56, Cody 50
After a back-and-forth first half, Cody built a little momentum, hitting two straight 3-pointers to go up 41-36 when the third period buzzer sounded.
"We just told them that there was still a lot of time left," Robinson said. "It came down to that we didn't guard the kid that needed to be guarded. We let her (Maddie Montgomery) away from us about five times, and every time she made the shot."
At the start of the final period, Lander's Keeley Garvin registered the first of four straight points, while Montgomery had another 3-pointer for Cody.
Lander's Keesha Rowan drilled a 3-pointer to retake the lead at 43-42.
"Keesha hit the big shot for us in the early fourth quarter that got us back in it," Robinson said.
With five minutes left to play, Garvin, Ashlyn Schamber and Drew DeKing all had four fouls apiece, but Cody couldn't take advantage of the foul situation down the stretch.
"The kids took care of the basketball," Robinson said. "We didn't turn the ball over in the last couple of minutes."
Schamber, Brindi Lock and Garvin all made free throws to seal the victory.
"We got fouled and were able to make a couple of free throws," Robinson said. "They did exactly what we needed to do to win the game."
Garvin topped Lander in the scoring department with 19 points.
"Keeley is our most versatile kid," Robinson said. "She just does a little bit of everything for us. She made some big drives for us at the end to get the game back."
Rowan had 10 points. Schamber and Jones had eight points apiece.
Lander girls 45, Jackson 41
In the first consolation game, the Tigers built a 32-25 cushion in the third quarter on a field goal from Garvin.
Lander extended the lead to 37-27 when Deja Jones scored on a layup.
In the final period, Jackson cut the lead to 38-33.
Jackson made a late charge, pulling to 39-37.
In the final two minutes, DeKing and Garvin made key free throws to extend Lander's season.
Class 3-A West regional tournament
scores from Mountain View
Star Valley 47, Lander 39
Powell 50, Jackson 35
Cody 43, Lyman 41
Mountain View 42, Pinedale 36
Powell 35, Star Valley 23
Mountain View 42, Cody 37
Lander 45, Jackson 41
Lyman 39, Pinedale 35
Lander 56, Cody 50
Star Valley 46, Lyman 39
Star Valley 54, Lander 46
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