Plainsmen Fall in Cabela’s Championship Game
The short-handed Laramie Plainsmen lost in the title game of the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout last Saturday, while the Lady Plainsmen got their only win.
The Laramie boy’s lost to Beatrice, NE 64-47 in the championship game, which ended their four-game winning streak. The Laramie girl’s captured their only victory of the tourney with a 49-38 triumph over Torrington in the seventh place game.
The Beatrice Orangemen built a 10-lead in the first quarter, and Laramie was never able to rally. They finished runner-up in Sidney, NE.
Friday’s semifinal was a thriller down to the wire. Asa Williams’ short jumper at the buzzer gave the Plainsmen a 49-48 victory over Cheyenne South. Laramie played that game and the championship without three starters. Nate Burman is out with an injury, while Frank Crum and Hudda Herrera did not play in the last two game due to a violation of team rules. Those two, plus reserve Brady Epler and Maxx Moore, who is out for the season with an injury, were sent home Friday.
Williams and the Plainsmen battled throughout. A 13-2 second quarter gave LHS a 19-17 lead at the break. They led 34-29 going into the fourth quarter, but needed a defensive 5-second call with 1.3 seconds left and Williams’ shot to roll in at the buzzer to make the title game. Asa finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds in the semifinal victory.
Head coach Travis Brown said,
“It shows a lot when kids are willing to buy-in and give a lot of effort. That was a gutsy, gutsy performance by that group.”
As for the championship, Beatrice jumped all over the short-handed Plainsmen early and never let up. The lead reached 17 in the second quarter, and it was 42-28 at half. Laramie closed within 11 in the second half, but could never get any closer.
Williams had 20 points, while Chad Browning added 13 in defeat. The Plainsmen shot 37 percent in the loss.
Brown said of the Orangemen, “They were a well-coached team and had a lot of experience, and it showed. I think we dug ourselves a hole that first quarter… you can’t get behind too much against a team like that.”
Beatrice (5-5) shot 50 percent from the floor, which included 64 in the first half. They were led by Dillon Buss with 19 points.
Brown was happy they got some sort of championship experience.
“Hopefully learn from it. You know, we had some moments of greatness there, and then we had a lot of moments of scratching your head at times. I don’t think it was because of a lack of effort we lost this game. I just think it was just inexperience, and so I think we learn from it, and we’ll get better.”
Laramie (5-2) will return to action in the Taco John’s Invitational Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They will play Green River at home Thursday, Evanston in Cheyenne on Friday and return home Saturday versus Riverton.
Laramie Lady Plainsmen
A strong third quarter propelled Laramie to an 11-point win on Saturday after a blowout loss on Friday in consolation play.
Cheyenne South jumped all over the Lady Plainsmen last Friday afternoon and beat LHS 50-26. The Bison led 16-4 after the first quarter. It was 32-12 by halftime. Sophomore Delaney Qualls led Laramie with nine points in the loss. They shot only 17 percent from the field.
Laramie head coach Laura Pollard simply said, “That first half was just a mess.” Pollard was alluding to turnovers and the poor shooting.
In Saturday’s action, it was back-and-forth first quarter that featured four lead changes and four ties. It was 13-13 going into the second. That’s when Laramie took the lead for good. They held a 23-19 lead at half. The Lady Plainsmen surged behind seven third quarter points from junior Jennifer Aadland to a 38-24 lead and held off Torrington by 11.
Aadland led the way with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Shyann Bastian added eight points and 11 boards, while Qualls had nine and freshman Kylee Cox contributed a career-best eight. Laramie shot 39 percent in the game and had a 35-19 edge on the glass.
Pollard said,” We really did need that… we had a great third quarter, then the other quarters we kind of went that slippery slope again, but not as severely even though the turnovers were there, but not as severely as the other two games.”
Torrington (2-6) was led by Logan Murphy with 11 points. The Lady Blazers were held to 33 percent shooting.
Laramie (2-5) will return action Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Taco John’s Invitational. They will play Green River, Evanston and Riverton over the three days of the tournament. Thursday and Saturday’s games are at home, while Friday is in Cheyenne.