Both Laramie High School basketball teams are seeking their first win in conference play as they host Cheyenne Central on Friday night.

Laramie lost its conference opener on Wednesday to Cheyenne East. The girls fell to the top-ranked Thunderbirds, 49-38. The boys lost to No. 3 East, 60-44.

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Laramie Lady Plainsmen

LHS struggled at the start versus No. 1 Cheyenne East. They trailed 11-0 but didn’t panic and rallied for a 20-18 lead by halftime. The Thunderbirds began the second half the same way as the first, with an 11-0 run, and took the lead back for good.

Morgann Jensen had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Laramie. Janey Adair added nine points.

Head coach Terrance Reese said they’re just a good team.

“They were able to exploit our rotations on defense with some quick passes. I think (Jordan) Jones went on a mini-run by herself. It just changed things for us, and we weren’t able to recover.”

Laramie will host Cheyenne Central tonight at 6 p.m. The Indians beat Cheyenne South 55-28 on Wednesday night. They are 3-9 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

Reese added, “Cheyenne Central, they don’t care (about how we did), they’re coming in here trying to get themselves a win, so we need to come out and protect our home court. Once we can figure out how to get some easier shots for ourselves, we’ll be just fine.”

Reese added that it’s about preparing to win in March and that’s what they’re building for now with all this experience.

Laramie Plainsmen

The Plainsmen trailed 15-3 early in the game but fought back with an 18-2 run. That put LHS up 21-17 in the second quarter. A banked-in, half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Cheyenne East a 29-27 lead at the break. Turnovers spelled disaster for Laramie in the second half, as the Thunderbirds pulled away for a 16-point win.

Trey Enzi had 14 points to pace the Plainsmen. Mason Branch added six points and five rebounds, both career-highs off the bench.

Head coach Jim Shaffer agreed that turnovers were the difference in the game.

“Not only do we turn it over and can’t score, but we turn it over and put them in transition situations. Then, our inability to guard baseline out-of-Lbounds plays really hurt us, as well, in the third quarter. We’ve got to place more importance on taking care of the basketball, individually, each guy, and collectively, as a team. When you don’t get shot attempts and you turn the basketball over that many times, it’s hard to win a basketball game.”

LHS takes on No. 5 Cheyenne Central at 7:30 on Friday night. The Indians are coming off a 63-60 loss to Cheyenne South on Wednesday night. They enter this game at 6-6 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.

Shaffer said what they do revolves around Nathanial Talich.

“He takes 38 percent of their shots and is averaging 27 points per game out of their 60. He’s scoring almost half of them (their points). We’ve got to do a great job with him, and one guy can’t do that… We’re going to have to have a great team concept in guarding him.”

Shaffer feels that if they can slow Talich down and do a good job on the other guys, it’s a winnable game.

KOWB Radio will have live coverage of both games tonight. The broadcast with David Settle starts at 5:30 p.m. You can listen on the radio (AM 1290), through the KOWB app, online, or through smart speakers.

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