Lander finishes the season 21-6

It’s not the finish the Lander Lady Tigers wanted after winning their opening state tournament game Thursday over Newcastle. Friday they dropped a three-point decision to Douglas moving them into the third-place game Saturday morning at Casper College.

Lander’s season came to an end 44-40 to the Buffalo Lady Bison, a game short of a trophy in a hard fought contest.

Third-place games are the most difficult to play in a state tournament. Often teams lose focus after dropping from the hunt for a state title with a semi-final loss the night before, but this one was different, both teams played physical defense, battled on the boards, and worked their offenses for one final time.

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Lander jumped to a 7-0 lead after a Demi Stauffenberg 3-pointer three minutes into the game, but Buffalo answered with a pair of close range jump shots by Tess Rule, and the Lady Bison took the lead on an 8-0 run to finish the first period.

A Taline Tendore trey cut into a brief Buffalo lead, followed by a Ryan Bell back cut to the basket, and whirling drive down the lane by Whitney Hansen that tied the game at 15.

Buffalo led 17-15 at the half.

The two teams traded baskets down the stretch, with Stauffenberg hitting another 3-pointer to tie the contest a final time at 32.

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Buffalo has a talented player in 5-9 Grace Peterson and she took over the game in the final period with follow shots, close range jumpers, and finished a perfect six-for-six from the line.

Peterson was the difference in the final minutes and she led all scorers with 18 points.

Tendore and Hansen paced Lander with 10 each.

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The Lady Tigers lose three talented players to graduation in Bell, Hansen, and Stauffenberg but return a talented crew next season.

Lander finished the year 21-6 overall.

Lander  7 8 4 21 – 40

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Buffalo  8 9 9 18 – 44

Lander – Taline Tendore 2 (1) 3-6 10, Demi Stauffenberg 1 (2) 0-0 8, Ryan Bell 1 4-4 6, Whtiney Hansen 4 2-2 10, Megan Winfield 2 2-3 6. Totals 10 (3) 11-15 40

Buffalo – Kendall Tietjen 2-2 2, Tess Rules 3 0-0 6, Lexi Rule 1 0-1 2, Gracie Finkle 1 3-6 5, Kamry Davis 1 0-0 2, Cassidy Bessler 4-8 4, Grace Peterson 6 6-6 18, Danica Boyce 2 1-2 5. Totals 14 16-25 44

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