After three weeks away, the Laramie High School basketball teams get back to action with a road trip to Gillette for two games.

Neither LHS team has played since losses to 3A Douglas at home on Jan. 16.

The Laramie girls are 5-3 on the season. They will play top-ranked Thunder Basin (10-1) on Friday at 6 p.m. That’s followed by a game at Campbell County (4-6) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Head coach Nick Darling said we’re all very excited about being back together.

“It did come with some unfortunate news. Morgann Jensen will be out for some time with an injury. That’s a big hit to us, but this whole crew is pretty resilient, we’ve got a lot of talent, so it’s kind of the next man up mentality. We’re real excited to get back in the gym.”

Darling knows it’s not easy to come back to what they’ll face this weekend, but it’s just one of those years that you have to deal with things as they come.

“All we can do is deal with ourselves and kind of repairing ourselves, getting back to being the team we want to be, and so that’s kind of what we’re focusing on. We definitely understand (how tough our opponents are), and we’ve watched a lot of film on Thunder Basin and Campbell County, so we’ll be prepared for what they’re going to throw at us.”

Darling added that with only a couple of days to get ready they are trying to get their chemistry back.

“I’m trying to get them to understand that if they make mistakes, it’s alright, we’ll learn from them and move on, and try to not make the same mistake a couple of times. We’ll all get better together. (If we can) just keep cheering each other on, I think we’ll be alright.

The last time the Plainsmen were on the floor, they suffered their first and only loss of the season. They enter this weekend with a 7-1 record. LHS will play a pair of top-five ranked foes.

Friday night, Laramie is at No. 2 Thunder Basin (8-3). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. That is followed by a game at No. 5 Campbell County (6-4) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Head coach Jim Shaffer admits it will be interesting to see how it looks after two weeks off.

“We’re just trying to get back into getting kids doing the things that we do. A little bit of just trying to play and get going with some five-on-five because we’ve got to play so quickly, but at this point, all we can do is worry about our stuff and be concerned about what we do, and really not worry about what Thunder Basin or Campbell County’s going to do.”

Shaffer also knows it’s not an ideal position to be in, having to play these two teams after the type of hiatus as they’ve had.

“It’s the situation we have, and all we can do is try to do our best.”

For Laramie, this will start a stretch where they will play 10 games over a three-week time frame, which is about the same number of practices before the regular season concludes.

Shaffer added, “We’ve got about 10 practices during that time but six of them are the day before games, so it doesn’t let us get into a situation where we’re going to be able to worry about what other people are doing. Again, it’s a situation where we’ve got to do the things that we do as Laramie basketball and get better at what we do, and just try to get ourselves in a situation where, in three weeks, we can win one basketball game to get to the state tournament.”

KOWB will broadcast all four varsity games live. David Settle will call the action from Gillette. Coverage for the doubleheader at Thunder Basin will start at 5:30 p.m. The broadcast for the twin bill at Campbell County will begin at 12:30 p.m. You can listen on the radio (AM 1290), through the KOWB app, online, and even through smart speakers.

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