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Tiger boys claim 3-A third place in victory over Cody

Mar 10, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

CASPER -- Lucas Watkins carried Lander Valley High School into the lead Saturday afternoon in the third-place Class 3-A boys basketball state tournament game vs. Cody at Casper College, and solid free-throw shooting clinched a 41-34 win for the LVHS Tigers in the final game of the season.

LVHS finished 21-35 from the foul line. Casey Winger came up with 12 points, and Watkins scored 11.

"It's great to finish out with a win," Watkins said. "It has been a fun ride with these guys.

"I'm glad that we were able to pull a win out and bring home a trophy."

Watkins was 5-11 in the free throw department. Winger hit two important free throws in the final quarter, while Jordan Crane had a perfect mark of 6-6.

"Our guys stepped up and made the free throws," Watkins said. "Jordan and Casey were able to seal it for us."

Star Valley won a 38-25 decision over LVHS in the semifinals Friday night at Casper College.

LVHS upset No. 1 seed Douglas 57-34 in the first round of the state tournament Thursday afternoon at the Casper Events Center. LVHS led from the start to finish in the tournament opener.

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

LVHS was forced 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 against Douglas," LVHS coach Terry Hopkin said.

LVHS 41, Cody 34

(Saturday)

Down the stretch in the third-place game, LVHS decided to switch to a zone defense.

The game plan controlled Cody. LVHS outscored Cody 22-10 in the final period for the win.

"Cody was getting us a little bit on penetration," Watkins said.

The Tigers also put on a 2-2-1 zone press to confuse Cody's offense.

"It seemed to work for us," Watkins said.

Cody edged LVHS last week in the third-place game at the Class 3-A West regional tournament. The Tigers swept Cody during the regular season.

"Cody is a great time, since we have played them earlier in the year," Watkins said. "Cody always plays great defense. They work the ball around on offense. It was good to get a win."

Star Valley 38, LVHS 25

(Friday)

Star Valley's outside shooting from the 3-point line lifted the Braves into the 3-A championship game.

The No. 2 seed from the west swished four 3-pointers in the first half for an 18-12 lead over the Tigers at halftime.

Austin Valentine had two 3-pointers, Wyatt Shinaver and Trace Haderline finished with one 3-pointer apiece.

Star Valley's defense controlled the Tigers/

LVHS scored just five points in the first period, seven in the second and six in the third.

The Braves clinched the win early in the fourth quarter.

Jess Oldham came off the bench to led the team in scoring at seven points. Winger finished with six.

LVHS 57, Douglas 34

(Thursday)

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

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

Crane paced a balanced attack with 17 points. Winger contributed 13 points. Watkins scored 12 points.

Douglas recorded eight field goals in the loss. LVHS played a man-to-man defense vs. the Douglas 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 0-3 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.

Star Valley 38, LVHS 25

SVHS 6 12 11 9 -- 38

LVHS 5 7 6 7 -- 25

Lander -- Jordan Crane 2 0-0 4, Jess Oldham 2 (1) 0-0 7, Casey Winger 3 0-0 6, Adam Shipley 1 2-4 4, Lucas Watkins 2 0-2 4. Totals 10 (1) 2-10 25.

Star Valley -- Austin Valentine 0 (2) 1-2 7, Kohl Battleson 1 2-2 4, Wyatt Shinaver 3 (1) 4-6 13, Trace Haderlie 1 (2) 0-0 8, DJ Sims 0 1-2 1, Dalton Passey 1 3-4 5. Totals 6 (5) 11-16.

Lander 41, Cody 34

LVHS 3 7 9 22 -- 41

CODY 11 7 6 10 -- 34

Lander -- Jordan Crane 1 6-6 8, Jess Oldham 0 (1) 1-2 4, Cooxooeii Black 1 0-2 2, Alex Hogan 1 2-4 4, Casey Winger 2 8-10 12, Lucas Watkins 3 5-11 11. Totals 8 (1) 22-35 41.

Cody -- Ryan Nieters 0 2-3 2, Dan Dunn 2 (1) 1-2 8, Carter Myers 1 0-0 2, Brandon Hinze 3 2-2 8, Zane Van Orden 0 (2) 1-2 7. Totals 7 (4) 8-15 34.

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