For the first time in four years the Laramie Lady Plainsmen are going back to the 4A State Basketball tournament in Casper.

Lexi Pulley scored a career-high 24 points to lead Laramie past Cheyenne South, 60-34, in a first round, loser-out, 4A East Regional tournament game Thursday in Gillette. It will mark the first trip to state for the six seniors on Laramie’s roster.

Laramie head coach Laura Pollard said her team performed consistently.

“I think they were confident; knew what they had to do. Had some usual turnovers, our own turnovers in the third quarter. Overall it was a good performance.”

Kade Setright added 11 points, while Jennifer Aadland contributed 7 points and 14 rebounds.

The game was drawn out, as the two teams combined for 52 fouls and 66 free throw attempts.

Aadland said with all the fouls, “It was really tough because I felt like the clock was constantly getting stopped. We just had to keep playing through it because I felt like the game got dragged on.”

Setright hit the only three-pointer of the game for the Lady Plainsmen. That gave LHS a 3-0 lead, and they never trailed. Laramie got out to a quick 15-4 lead after the first quarter. The Bison trimmed it to 19-11 in the second. The Lady Plainsmen scored six of the last seven points in the half and led 25-12 at the break.

Pollard said, “Mixing up our press a little bit, we knew handling the ball wasn’t going to be easy for ‘em.”

Laramie had some turnover issues in the third quarter. Nine turnovers kept South in the game, as the Bison drew within 38-26 after three. The Lady Plainsmen pulled away in the fourth quarter, as they out-scored South 22-8 for the 26-point victory.

Laramie (16-6) shot 36 percent in the game. They out-rebounded the Bison 46-36 and capitalized on their 27 turnovers. The Lady Plainsmen went 25-37, 68 percent, at the charity stripe. That included 19-of-23, 83 percent, in the second half at the line.

Cheyenne South (2-20) was held to 22 percent from the field. They were led by Karli Noble with 13 points and Felizia Sena with 10. The Bison were only 10-29, 34 percent, at the foul line.

The Lady Plainsmen will move on in the 4A East Regional Championship bracket and face No. 2 seed and second-ranked Cheyenne East in the semifinals Friday at 4 p.m.

Pollard added, “Everything from here on out, since we reached our long-term goal, is gravy.”

KOWB (AM 1290) will air the game live starting at 3:15 p.m. David Settle and VerDon Hoopes will call the action.