A surge in the second half helped the Laramie Plainsmen win their first conference game last Friday night at Cheyenne South, 70-55, over the Bison.

Laramie (7-6, 1-2) took control in the third quarter and out-scored South 17-7 in that period. That turned a 34-33 halftime deficit into a 50-41 lead entering the fourth. In the final frame, the Plainsmen were not threatened, as they scored 20 versus the Bison’s 14 points.

Laramie head coach Travis Brown said the team has many players perform well in their role.

“I thought a number of kids stepped up tonight with some of the adversity we had with Hudda (Herrera) in foul trouble. We went to a 2-3 (zone) in the second half, I thought it kind of changed the momentum a little bit. I thought every kid did a fantastic job of their expectation within that zone.”

Brown added the spark came from something senior Brady Epler said in a team huddle.

“Hey guys, could everyone for a second just be quiet. He goes, do you hear anybody breathing hard? He goes, that’s a problem. We came out there in the second half and I think we just cranked up the intensity, so I was really proud of some leadership we had.”

Will Tyser scored 19 points to lead the way. Christian Mickelson has 17 points and career-best 8 rebounds, while Hudda Herrera added 11 points.

The Plainsmen shot 51 percent in the game. That included 56 percent in the second half. They were 8-15, 53 percent, from beyond the arc. LHS also had a 36-23 advantage in rebounding. Laramie was 14-17, 82 percent, at the free throw line.

Brown admitted another key was, “They moved the ball fantastic. If you’d a told me Connor (Killpack) was going to throw two alley-oops to Will (Tyser), I would’ve lost that bet. Most importantly, we challenged the young men to have fun, and it looked like they started to have some fun in there, and when basketball’s fun, it’s a scary team.”

Cheyenne South (2-11, 0-3) shot just 36 percent for the game. Kaleb Phillips led the Bison with 13 points.

The game was back and forth for the first half, as there were eight lead changes and the game was tied five times. The only lead change of the second half came early in the third quarter, and LHS never trailed after that.

The Plainsmen head to Gillette Friday and Saturday to play the Camels and Thunder Basin Bolts in quadrant cross-over play.

Laramie Lady Plainsmen

Cheyenne South finished the game on a 10-0 run and beat Laramie 38-31 last Friday night in the Capital City.

Laramie (3-10, 0-3) lost its seventh straight game. They played without two starters in senior Jennifer Aadland and sophomore DaiJane Giron.

Head coach Rod Tyson said I saw the girls working hard and playing smart.

“I know we were up with like two minutes left to go, and it’s happened to us so many times this year, we just started turning the ball over and we’re just not tough with it. Then when we had to foul, and they made their free throws.”

The Lady Plainsmen hung around in the first quarter and trailed 10-8. Then, they were out-scored 13-5 in the second and were down 23-13 at halftime.

LHS began the second half with a turnover and then went on defense in a 3-2 zone. Cheyenne South responded by holding the ball for five minutes of the quarter. That’s when Laramie began their comeback.

Utilizing a run and jump trap in the half-court, Laramie held the Bison to two points in the period. A 16-4 run by LHS to end the third and extend into the fourth quarter helped the Lady Plainsmen to a 29-27 lead. Their biggest advantage came at 31-28 after a pair of Kylee Cox free throws.

Tyson said, “A lot of time when teams hold the ball, just let them sit for a while, then they don’t know what they’re supposed to be running, so you can get a few steals right away. I was like, that plays in our favor. If we can just get them to be nice and stiff, and then we just attack, then they have to make decisions quickly.”

Laramie then went cold from the field and add in a few turnovers, Cheyenne South moved back in front at the free throw line. The Bison scored all of their points in the final frame from the charity stripe. They went 13-16 and pulled out a seven-point victory.

Tyson also said about his team, “They were running the offense really well, and Kylee, once she gets going, she can make a lot of those (three’s), and we had the opportunities we just didn’t make ‘em. We ran one of our plays to get her a shot at the top of the key, and it looked good, it was just a little off. That’s okay, the girls are definitely getting better, and I believe that they are able to see that they can play when Jen’s not in the game.”

Cox scored a career-high 17 points. Kayla Vasquez added eight points and six rebounds. Laramie shot 25 percent for the game.

Cheyenne South shot only 31 percent from the floor, but went 19-22, 86 percent, at the foul line. Calysta Martinez led the Bison with 14 points. South also had a 26-21 edge in rebounding.

The Lady Plainsmen are back in action in Gillette Friday and Saturday against the Camels and Thunder Basin Bolts.