Both Laramie High School basketball teams will be back in action for the first time in 20 days Friday at the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout in Sidney, NE.

Neither Laramie team has played a game since Dec. 8. Both teams lost to Green River that day. The girls fell in Casper, while the boys lost in Riverton.

Both teams enter this weekend’s abbreviated tournament with 1-2 overall records.

The Cabela’s Holiday Shootout was shortened to a two-day, four-team tourney due to weather in Nebraska. That decision was made Wednesday. The schedule changed again Thursday evening, as tournament organizers made the call to give Beatrice, NE more time to get to Sidney.

That means Friday’s games for Laramie vs. Beatrice will now be at 5:30 p.m. for the girls’ game. The boys’ game will follow at 7:15, and both will be played at Sidney High School.

Plainsmen head coach Travis Brown has been looking forward to this weekend.

“It’s a lot of fun. They treat us like a million bucks over there. It’s a great time for us to get away.”

Brown added his squad is eager to play, “By this time, everyone else has about six games underneath their belt. I hope one of these times we’ll be able to not have this three-week break it feels like after the first tournament. At this point, they just want another jersey in front of ‘em, and we’re excited to go to Sidney.”

Lady Plainsmen head coach Rod Tyson will be making his first trip to Nebraska for this tournament.

“I don’t know what to expect, much like our first tournament. I do expect us to play better as a team, as a whole, and that’s what I’m looking for is us to get better each time we play, each tournament we play, each week we play, and hopefully, we’ll do that this time.”

Tyson said it’s about translating what they’ve been working on in practice into these games.

“I want to see how we adjust, and how we play because, in the grand scheme of things, these don’t really count. It’s just teaching me and letting me know what the girls can do. Then, they’re able to show me what they can do. Then it’s my job to piece all that together into a good game plan that we can execute.”

Brown said they’ve come back to practice these past three weeks with more emphasis on offense after they focused solely on defense going into Riverton.

“For the most part (in Riverton), I thought they did a really good job of putting to use what we worked on in practice, and so we knew our offense would be rough. We hadn’t really put a whole lot of time polishing it, and that’s what we’ve been working on.”

Tyson said for the girls it’s been some of the little things he’s been working with them on.

“Like pivoting, good hard passes, not turning the ball over. We worked on conditioning, just being solid with the plays we do know. We only have about 30 percent of our plays in, but they need to know how to do that 30 percent before we can add more. We really focused hard on that.”

Both coaches said defense and rebounding were key pieces they’ve emphasized, as well.

Their first action versus Beatrice will be the first-ever meeting in the girls’ game at 5:30 p.m. Friday. On boys’ side, it’s a rematch of last year’s championship won by Beatrice, 64-47. That game is set for a 7:15 p.m. start.

Brown said, “They’re going to be well-coached, it looks like, but there’s a lot of new bodies. For us, it’s just getting back on the court again. It’s almost like starting a season over again in some ways. You’ve got to get the jitters out again those first few quarters, and hopefully, we’ll settle in pretty quickly.”

KOWB (AM 1290) will broadcast all this weekend’s action live. You can listen on your radio, online or through our mobile app. David Settle will call the games. Coverage Friday starts at 5 p.m.

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