It was a rough return to action for both Laramie High School basketball teams Friday, as both suffered losses to Beatrice, NE in tournament play.

The Laramie Lady Plainsmen tried to rally from another big deficit but fell short to the Lady Orange, 59-49.

The Plainsmen got off to a slow start and were blown out by the Orangemen, 59-33.

Both LHS teams are now 1-3 on the season and will play a consolation or third-place game at the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout Saturday morning.

Laramie Lady Plainsmen

Jennifer Aadland scored a new career-high 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for the Laramie girls to overcome a sluggish second quarter in their 10-point setback.

Head coach Rod Tyson said they didn’t play very well.

“We didn’t play well the first half, for sure. Kids, (I) just can’t get them to do what I need them to do and we’re not aggressive from the beginning. I don’t know if their overthinking or scared to make errors or what, but we’re just not playing hard until the second half, and then they feel like they can play basketball, and they attack.”

Laramie never led in the game, managed only one tie in the first quarter, but still trailed 15-11 after the opening period. The Lady Plainsmen struggled with turnovers and shot only 18 percent in the second quarter, as they were out-scored 20-4. Beatrice led 35-16 at halftime and expanded that lead to 24-points in the third. LHS made a furious rally that started late in the third quarter. They pulled within seven, at 55-48, but couldn’t get any closer and fell by 10.

Laramie shot 43 percent in the game. Aadland scored 23 of her 28 in the second half, which included 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Beatrice (5-3) shot 40 percent from the floor. They were led by Makenzie Hatcliff with 25 points. The Lady Orange were 14-22 at the free throw line. That compared to Laramie, who was just 4-4 at the line.

Tyson added, “We have to continue the effort we had today (Friday, in the second half) at the beginning of the game tomorrow (Saturday)… we can’t spot teams, what they get up, 24 (points), somewhere around there. We can’t spot teams 24, and then Green River we spot ‘em 29 and then fight back. We want to be in the game right away, and we gotta fix that.”

The Lady Plainsmen return to action Saturday at 10 a.m. versus Burns (3-5), from Class 3A.

Laramie Plainsmen

Laramie struggled from the start offensively, as they dug an early hole and were never able to recover.

LHS boys’ head coach Travis Brown said they didn’t do a good job with ball control.

“We put ourselves in tough spots. Fouls definitely hurt. At one point, I think three of the starting five guys had four fouls in the third quarter. We’re struggling to find that consistent guy who is confident with the ball in their hands right now. Hudda’s (Herrera) gonna be special, but we gotta be able to get the ball down there (to him). We’re going to keep working on it.”

Brown did compliment junior point guard Connor Killpack for improved play in the second half.

The Orangemen shot 50 percent from the field compared to 25 percent for the Plainsmen, as Beatrice built a 16-4 lead. It grew to 36-17 by halftime. Turnovers also played a role for the Laramie boys, as it led to points in transition for the Orangemen, and so did foul trouble. Seniors Hudda Herrera and Brady Epler, plus junior Tyler Oppie all dealt with foul difficulty. The second half was played closer, but Beatrice built a 20-plus point lead and worked the clock, as they beat Laramie in Sidney, NE for the second straight year.

The Plainsmen shot 38 percent for the game. Herrera led the way with 10 points and eight rebounds. Oppie added eight points and four rebounds.

Beatrice (3-4) was led by Andrew Mahoney with 15 points. The Orangemen shot 49 percent from the floor.

Brown added, “It looked like a team that hadn’t played in 21 days. We don’t make excuses, we just have to get back to the drawing board, and the good news is it’s an upbeat group that loves working hard. I’m not worried about us, the work effort, now it’s the trust effort.”

Laramie will also play the Burns Broncs (2-6) from Class 3A in boys’ bracket for third-place at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

Brown said, “I’m hoping to see a little more urgency from the get-go. I feel like once we got a little fire under us we were competing and putting them in tough spots versus us playing on our heels. I think if we can come out with some urgency from the get-go, which I think we will, we’ll be alright.”

KOWB (AM 1290) will broadcast both games in the doubleheader Saturday. Coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. David Settle will call the action. You can also listen online or through the KOWB mobile app.

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