After a 19-day lay-off, Laramie split their first day of the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout versus Gering in Sidney, NE Thursday.

The Plainsmen won their third straight game with a hard-fought 62-59 victory over the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, the Lady Plainsmen dropped their tournament opener 50-40 to Gering.

Laramie Plainsmen

Frank Crum scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Plainsmen past the Bulldogs by three.

Head coach Travis Brown said he was proud of his team.

“We had a lot of adversity throughout that game, some of that we created for ourselves, and we just figured out a way to win. That’s what you’ve got to do if you’re going to take those steps towards a state title.”

Gering trimmed Laramie’s lead to one, at 58-57. Senior Chad Browning responded with 25 seconds left. He drove the right baseline and scored over a defender for a 60-57 lead. After a pair of free throws by the Bulldogs with 10 seconds left, Asa Williams got away from full court pressure and was fouled. Williams knocked down both free throws with eight seconds left, and then came through with a steal on a cross-court pass that sealed for LHS.

Crum scored 12 of his 15 in the second half. Hudda Herrera added 17 points and nine boards, while Will Tyser scored 11 points off the bench.

Crum said, “We kept playing fast, but we finally learned to work it inside, as our go-to, because we’re a lot taller than them.”

Laramie (4-1) shot only 29 percent from the floor. That included 4-24 from deep, just 17 percent. They did hold a 45-30 edge on the glass and went 24-31, 77 percent, at the foul line.

Brown also said, “We knew our advantage was in the paint. We just had to make sure we could get them (Crum and Herrera) the ball. That was our goal at halftime was to really establish that, and I thought we did a pretty good job of coming out and doing that.”

Gering (3-5) shot 44 percent from the field and was led by Riley Schilz 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Plainsmen jumped out to a 15-7 lead behind three’s from Tyser and Tyler Oppie in the first quarter. Gering came back and got within four by half, 27-23. LHS never led by more six the entire second half.

Laramie advances on to the semifinals Friday at 3:45 p.m. They will face Cheyenne South, who was a 60-31 winner over Chase County, NE Thursday.

Laramie Lady Plainsmen

The Gering Bulldogs pulled away and beat the Laramie Lady Plainsmen 50-40 Thursday afternoon.

Laramie started fast behind three’s from Delany Qualls, Jennifer Aadland and Kylee Cox, as they led 17-5 in the first quarter. The Lady Plainsmen started 5-9 from deep, but then went 2-15 the rest of the way.

Head coach Laura Pollard said the start was nice, but we weren’t really sure what to expect.

“The adrenaline was there, and you’re hitting shots. You’re moving pretty good, but then you didn’t have to move that well because you’re hitting all your shots. Then all of the sudden, you’ve got to start moving and playing; kind of lost the focus there, especially on the offensive end.”

Gering changed from a zone to man-to-man defense, which provided a big spark. The Bulldogs used a 23-6 run in the first half and took the lead for good. Gering went from down 12, to a 28-23 lead. Laramie closed within 30-28 at halftime.

The Lady Plainsmen tied it once on a Lauren Sylvestre free throw in the third, but never took the lead back. Gering steadily pulled away in the fourth for the 10-point victory.

Laramie (1-4) shot just 27 percent for the game. They were 7-24, 29 percent, from beyond the arc. They did out-rebound the Bulldogs 38-28. Aadland led the way with 15 points, all in the first half, and 9 rebounds. Qualls, Cox and Shyann Bastian added six points apiece. LHS also finished with 26 turnovers.

Bastian said, “We haven’t had a lot of experience. We’re without Lexi (Pulley) and Sekoya (Romero), and due to that, we have a lot of young players out there, and I don’t think they played young, but they got a little nervous when they came back, and we fell behind.”

Bastian admitted they’ve still got more to learn. As for Pulley and Romero, they didn’t make the trip to Sidney due to prior engagements.

Gering (4-4) shot 37 percent from the field. Makenzie Dunkel had 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Paige Lopez added 14 points and seven rebounds.

The Lady Plainsmen fall into the consolation portion of the bracket and will face Cheyenne South at 2 p.m. Friday. The Bison lost to Chase County, NE 51-42.

Pollard added, “I don’t really care for that (match-up). I’d rather play other teams. At the same time, we’ve got a new ball club, basically, so they need to see what they’re going to see (in conference play).”

KOWB will again broadcast both games live. Coverage will start at 1:30 p.m.