The Plainsmen are Headed Back to State
Reid Baty made the go-ahead lay-up with nine seconds left, as the Laramie Plainsmen beat Sheridan 52-50 Thursday night at the 4A East Regional Tournament in Cheyenne.
With the victory, the Plainsmen qualify for the next week’s state tournament in Casper. It will be their first trip in three years.
Head coach Ryan Puckett said it’s amazing.
“These guys have stayed the course the whole season. It came down to this game, like we talked about, and they came out and they did it. They earned this one.”
Laramie (8-14) battled back from a four-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Jake Aadland made three key plays. He knocked down a three-pointer that tied the game at 48 midway through the quarter. Down two, Aadland drove the right side for a lay-up with 35 seconds left. That tied it at 50. After a defensive stop, Aadland lost his defender in back-court and threw ahead to a wide open Baty for the game-winning lay-up.
Each team then turned it over in the last 8.5 seconds. Andrew Garcia made a steal with 7.2 left. After two timeouts by the Plainsmen, Laramie turned it over with four second remaining.
Sheridan (7-15) had one last shot, but Zach Campbell’s three-pointer at the buzzer was no good.
Aadland said, “We just grinded it out. Andrew Garcia came up big at the end; Reid Baty with his lay-up; I mean, everyone pitched in in this effort. It was a really good team win.”
Aadland scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Plainsmen. That included 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. Baty finished with eight points. Matt Moran added seven points and five rebounds. Laramie shot 44 percent from the field. They were 7-for-12, 58 percent, from deep.
The Broncs were led by Blake Godwin with 25 points. They shot 40 percent, but went only 4-of-19, 21 percent, beyond the arc.
Puckett added, “We’ve just been waiting for this game… I don’t know if the pressure was really on them. They knew this is what we wanted, and they went and took it.”
The Plainsmen advance to face Gillette in the 4A East Regional Tournament semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Friday from Storey Gym in Cheyenne.