A new season with a new and old head coach and some experience returning should make for an interesting Laramie High School girls’ basketball team.

After five seasons away, Rod Tyson has returned as the head coach. He’s hoping to return some of the consistency to a program that’s made the state tournament just once over the past five years.

Tyson said the girls are starting to get used to him.

“I’m a little tough on the kids sometimes, and I push, and push, and push to help them get better, and it’s taken some adjustment on their part and my part because I probably need to be a little more patient, cause they’re not used to having me since, some of them, eighth grade, that’s a lot of years. I’m still working on it.”

The Lady Plainsmen are coming off a season where they finished 10-15 overall and 5-7 in the 4A East Conference. Laramie finished fourth in league play, but lost in the first round of the regional tournament and did not qualify for state.

The 2018-19 teams returns two starters and eight letter winners from last season. Leading the way will be senior and returning All-State player Jennifer Aadland. She and sophomore Kayla Vasquez are the two returning starters, while seniors Lauren Sylvestre and Audrey Rivers, junior Josie Elder, and sophomores Kylee Cox, DaiJane Giron, and Chloe Yeend all played last season.

Tyson said they’re still trying to figure out who can do what, and where he can put them, what positions they can play. It’s seeing who fits where, and how the chemistry works out.

He knows Aadland is a great starting point.

“We know from summer some of the things she can do. She can shoot it well. She can block shots. She can rebound. That gives you something to start (with). The other pieces, like Kylee and DJ, and some of those girls, Kayla, they played a lot also, and I do a few things differently, so they need to adjust to that, and also I’m trying to figure out what they can do, and what they all can do at the same time. That’s the important part.”

Two of the seniors, Aadland and Sylvestre, joined KOWB’s David Settle to preview the season. They talked about Coach Tyson’s return, what they’re looking forward to, plus some fun things, and just getting ready for the season.

As for getting back into Class 4A for Coach Tyson, he knows how good Cheyenne East, Thunder Basin, Gillette, and some of those teams are, but admits he doesn’t know anything about the other side of the state, but he’ll learn.

Early on Tyson has a few things he’d like to see from his team.

“I want to see how hard they play, how they box out, things like that. The little things we’ve been working on, jump stop, making good passes, and competing. We’ll grow and grow each day, and each day in practice we’ve been getting better, and I need to see that continue in the games, and some of the stuff we’ve been working on in practice, we need to take that into the game, and I’ll be happy with that.”

Laramie opens its season at the Fremont Motors tournament in Casper Thursday through Saturday. The Lady Plainsmen will play Cody Thursday at 1:30 p.m., followed by Rock Springs Friday at 6 p.m., and Green River Saturday at noon.

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