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Lander shocks No. 1 Douglas, earns spot in 3-A semifinals

Mar 8, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

CASPER -- Lander Valley High School put on the full throttle from the opening minute Thursday afternoon and upset top-ranked Douglas 57-34 in the first round of the Class 3-A boys state basketball tournament at the Casper Events Center.

The LVHS Tigers entered the state tournament as the No. 4 seed from the 3-A West conference. Douglas won regional title last weekend at Worland High School.

LVHS point guard Jordan Crane paced a balanced attack with 17 points. Casey Winger contributed 13 points. Lucas Watkins scored 12 points.

"It's a big win, because we showed everybody here that we came to play. Once we get to state anything can happen," Winger said. "The seeds really didn't matter."

LVHS led from start to finish.

"We never let down," Winger said. "We got up by 10 points, and we never turned back. We kept pushing it. We all played as a team."

LVHS had to win a game last weekend at the regional tournament over Lyman in order to get into the state tournament.

"We played as good as we did in the last two weeks," LVHS coach Terry Hopkin said. "Our assistant coaches scouted really well. They did a great job."

The assistant LVHS coaches are Roger Hitshew, Dean Schaff and Adam Phillips.

"They got the kids where they needed to be on defense and understanding who their best offensive players are," Hopkin said. "You have to give a lot of credit to those guys sitting next to me."

LVHS plays Star Valley Braves at 7:30 p.m. Friday in one of the Class 3-A boys semifinal games at Casper College.

Cody and Powell completed a Thursday sweep for the 3-A West teams. Cody edged Rawlins 49-46, and Powell beat Newcastle 50-34.

Star Valley ran Wheatland 56-31 in the game after Lander's victory.

Star Valley swept LVHS during the regular season.

The 3-A boys title game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Casper Events Center.

LVHS 57, Douglas 34

Crane opened the first period with two 3-pointers to spark LVHS into a 16-10 lead after the first period.

"It's huge to get the momentum going. Those 3-pointers put us over the top. That is exactly what we need out of Jordan," Winger said. "He performed perfectly for us."

Winger and Watkins recorded pivotal points for LVHS to put the Tigers up 29-21 at the break. LVHS outscored Douglas 17-8 in the third quarter.

"When there was an opening, I went for it," Winger said. "We have to play as a team. There isn't just one of us out here playing for a state championship."

Douglas recorded eight field goals in the loss.

LVHS played a stingy man-to-man defense vs. the Bearcats.

"We manned them up great," Winger said. "We have one of the best defenders in the state in Jess Oldham. We all just helped each other. The added intensity put us over the top."

LVHS 57, Douglas 34

LVHS 16 13 17 11 -- 57

DOUGLAS 10 11 8 5 -- 34

Lander -- Jordan Crane 4 (3) 0-0 17, Nate Linton 1 0-0 2, Jess Oldham 1 -3 2, Hunter Bregar 1 0-1 2, Cooxooeii Black 2 0-0 4, Casey Winger 4 (1) 2-3 13, Alex Hogan 1 0-1 2, Adam Shipley 1 1-2 3, Lucas Watkins 6 0-1 12. Totals 21 (4) 3-12 57.

Douglas -- Dylan Davidson 4 (2) 3-3 17, Tanner Gamble 0 2-2 2, Robert Ricks 0 3-4 3, Greg Vandeventer 3 4-5 10, Logan Barker 1 0-0 2. Totals 8 (2) 12-17 34.

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