Mar 2, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterCASPER -- At the Class 1-A/2-A state basketball tournament, the St. Stephen's boys capped an unprecedented West regional sweep of East teams late Thursday night at the Casper Events Center.
The fourth-seeded Eagles beat the top eastern seed Lingle Ft. Laramie 64-56 to advance to a 9 p.m. Friday rematch with Northwest Conference rival Burlington at Casper College. Burlington beat the Eagles twice during the regular season.
The Class 1-A sweep continued in Class 2-A as well, with Wyoming Indian, Wind River, Lovell and Greybull all knocking off eastern opponents.
On the girls side only Shoshoni's nine-point loss to Tongue River kept the West sweep from being complete.
"I've never seen 15 of 16 wins by one region," Wyoming High School Activities Association director Ron Laird said.
St. Stephen's started the final opening round game a bit off balance. The Eagles passed long and couldn't find the open man in the early going, but their defense was on from the opening tip.
Lingle won the East 2-A regional, but its collective outside shooting was atrocious on the contest as shot after shot sailed wide, flew out of bounds, or clanked on the back side of the rim for easy rebounds by the Eagles.
Lingle post Anthony Hill carried the Doggers in the early going, picking up 19 points by the half on short jump shots or on spinning post moves.
The Eagles gradually broke through their offensive hesitancy and took their first lead at 10-9 with 2:20 left on Lorenzo Roman follow shot.
Lakota Oldman hit a shot off the glass with six seconds left in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 12-9 lead at the break.
A trey from Cameron Cook tied the game at 16 with 5:16 remaining in the half, but the Eagles jumped ahead on an 8-0 run. Roman hit a follow shot, Oldman converted a steal into a coast-to-coast layup, followed by a put back and Andrew Bearing hit a short jumper prompting a Dogger timeout with a 24-16 deficit.
Lingle closed to four after the timeout on baskets by Hill and Cameron Cook, but a trey by Steven Monroe regained the momentum for St. Stephen's, which held a 31-25 lead at the half.
Hill scored the opening basket of the third, but the Doggers stopped going inside and settled instead for a litany of errant long-range shots. The margin fluctuated between five and eight points throughout the third with the Eagles on top.
Freshman guard Johnnie Whiteman hit a 3-pointer, and Oldman and Roman took care of the ball inside. Lingle hit a rare 3-pointer with 2:26 left in the period on a baseline shot from Preston Hill, but its offense came primarily on putbacks off missed outside shots.
Oldman and Littleshield took care of the game for the Eagles in the final period. St. Stephen's held a brief 10-point lead with 51 seconds remaining on an Oldman score but held a comfortable seven- to nine-point lead in a very long final period.
ST. STEPHEN'S 12 19 11 22 -- 64
LINGLE FT. LARAMIE 9 16 12 19 -- 56
St. Stephen's - Johnnie Whiteman (1) 1-4 4, Cole Littleshield 5 2-3 12, Lakota Oldman 10 3-5 23, Andrew Bearing 4 0-1 8, Steven Monroe (1) 0-0 3, Lorenzo Roman 6 2-4 14. Totals 25 (2) 8-17 64.
Lingle Ft. Laramie -- Cameron Cook 2 (3) 2-9 12, Anthony Hill 8 6-8 22, Preston Hunt 1 (1) 0-0 5, Barry Greenwald 2 0-2 4, Garrett Meyer 2 2-5 6; Totals 15 (4) 14-24.
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