The start to the new season was a bumpy one for the Laramie Plainsmen. They won only one of four games at the Strannigan East-West Challenge in Riverton.

New Plainsmen head coach Travis Brown summed up his thoughts on the first weekend by saying,

“We don’t know how to play defense. That’s the first thing we’re going to look at. I’m not worried about the offensive end to be honest with you, that’s chemistry; that’s repetition. Defense is about heart, pride and wanting it a little bit more than the guy next to you. So, I think that’s what we’ve got to start instilling back into these guys.”

Laramie (1-3) dropped their opener to the host team, then won their second game, before they lost their last two.

Last Thursday, the Riverton Wolverines pulled away for a 66-40 victory on their home floor. LHS hung around in the first quarter and trailed 18-10 at the end of the period. Riverton expanded their edge in the second and never looked back. Nate Burman led the Plainsmen with 15 points.

On Friday, Laramie registered their first victory in the Travis Brown era. They beat Jackson 54-41. The Plainsmen set the tone early with 11-0 start. The Broncs rallied within 24-17 by halftime. It was 26-20, when LHS ended the third quarter on a 16-8 spurt. Three Plainsmen scored in double figures. Burman led the way with 18 points, while Asa Williams had 12 and Reid Baty chipped in 10.

Friday night, Laramie started with an early six point lead, but a big run by Evanston led to a 74-60 victory by the Red Devils. The Plainsmen were ahead 12-6, but Evanston responded with a 15-2 run and took the lead for good. Frank Crum and Asa Williams scored 14 points apiece for LHS. Baty and Burman added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Saturday was a match-up against the top-ranked Kelly Walsh Trojans. A slow start combined with turnovers spelled disaster. Laramie got blown out in an 81-49 defeat. Kelly Walsh led 21-9 after the first quarter and 40-16 by halftime. The lead reached 38 points at one time before the Trojans won by 32. Burman led LHS with 19 points and 8 rebounds in the loss.

The Plainsmen will be back in action on Dec. 28 at the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout. They open up against Gothenburg, NE in Sidney. Game time is set for 3:45 p.m.

Brown said he saw a lot of correctible parts.

“We can improve those things, but it only comes with practice. We got a lot of kids that have some pride… we just did not come and leave it all out there on the court. Moving forward, we’re going to work towards learning how to do that.”