Overtime Loss Brings Plainsmen Basketball Season to Conclusion
After forcing an extra four minutes of action, a missed lay-up and a turnover proved costly for the Laramie Plainsmen. They fell in their first round game at the 4A East Regional Basketball Tournament to the host Cheyenne South Bison, 62-59, on Thursday.
The Plainsmen rallied from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to force overtime. Laramie never led in the game, and had an opportunity to take their first lead with 18.4 seconds left in OT. Tye Brown missed a lay-up on the ensuing in-bounds play, South got the rebound, and Monte Alexander knocked down a pair of free throws.
After a timeout by LHS, a pass near mid-court to Drew Burman went off his hands and was stolen by the Bison. South's Robert Dilsaver made one of two free throws, which gave the Plainsmen one last chance with five seconds left.
Laramie got the rebound and pushed into their offensive zone, but Tommy Nachtigal's deep 3-pointer from the right wing as time expired came up short.
Plainsmen head coach Chuck Kern said,
"I thought we were a little soft in the first half. I didn't have the kids ready to play right from the tip-off, and that's on me. They really battled back, especially in the fourth quarter. It was great to see (Drew) Burman come out in the fourth and be that senior leader he's been all year and play brilliant. Tommy (Nachtigal) made some big plays throughout the game, and he had a big bucket there in the fourth, as well. It was great to see the kids battle, and I was real proud of all of them, especially in the second half."
Laramie trailed 31-26 at half and got down 46-35 in the third before they mounted a rally. The Plainsmen out-scored South 16-9 in the final period. Burman scored nine of his 16 points in that quarter.
LHS finally tied it on a pair of Andy Pearson free throws with 1:54 left. After a Dilsaver basket with 32 ticks on the clock put South ahead 55-53, Nachtigal answered and forced OT with a driving basket on the left side of the lane with 8.5 left in regulation.
The Plainsmen had a chance to take their first lead after a timeout with 18.4 left in overtime, but Brown missed the lay-up, and South converted three of four free throws for the victory and a berth to the 4A State Tournament.
Sophomore Jake Aadland came off the bench and scored 17 points to lead Laramie. Burman added eight rebounds to go with his 16 points, and Nachtigal finished with 11 points. Laramie shot 42 percent from the field, but hung tough with a 12-15 effort at the foul line.
South was led by Kyhler Cummings, who poured in 25 points. The Bison shot 53 percent from the floor and won despite shooting 9-18 at the stripe.
The Laramie Plainsmen finished the 2014 season with a 5-19 overall record.