Plainsmen Topple Hornets; Lady Plainsmen Lose Another Close Game
Hot shooting and three players in double figures carried the Laramie Plainsmen past Class 2A No. 1 ranked Pine Bluffs Hornets 83-69 Saturday in Laramie.
The Plainsmen shot 59 percent in the game, which included 74 percent in the second half. LHS also knocked down 12-21 from 3-point range for 57 percent.
Hudda Herrera led the way with 24 points and seven rebounds. Tyler Oppie added a career-high 17 points, including four triples and five boards. Christian Mickelson chipped in 16 points.
The game was tight for three quarters. There were eight lead changes, and it was tied seven different times. It was 18-15 Pine Bluffs after the first. Laramie came back and tied it at 33-33 at halftime. Both teams scored 20 in the third and it was still tied at 53-53. The Plainsmen pulled away behind Herrera and Oppie in the final frame.
Oppie knocked down a pair of three’s and scored 11 in the fourth quarter. Herrera added 12 points and four rebounds in the last eight minutes. LHS outscored the Hornets 30-16 in the last eight minutes.
Laramie head coach Travis Brown said they had an emphasis on offense.
“Making sure that you’re willing to make the extra pass and create for the guy next to you, and good things will open and usually karma comes back your way. I thought they did a really good job there. Willing to make the extra pass, and truthfully, we play a little bit better without having to think about.”
The Plainsmen held Pine Bluffs to 38 percent shooting, and just 6-23 from deep, 26 percent.
Brown added, “They like three’s, and we tried to take that strength away from them a little bit, and try and make them beat us inside. Now, with that said, they’re good inside, too. I was really proud of the guys. That team can compete with a lot of teams, even though they’re 2A. They’re nothing to be slacking on.”
Pine Bluffs (7-1) lost only their eighth total game in the last four-plus seasons. They were led by Tucker Norman with 26 points and 15 rebounds.
Laramie improved to 4-4 after a 2-1 weekend in the Taco John’s Invitational. The Plainsmen host Class 3A Rawlins Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Laramie Lady Plainsmen
A second straight close game saw the Laramie Lady Plainsmen struggle down the stretch, but this time the struggles were more extended. Laramie fell to Class 2A No. 2 Pine Bluffs, 44-38.
The Lady Plainsmen got off to a good start. They led 15-10 after the first and their lead grew to 23-14 early in the second.
From that point on, LHS was out-scored 30-15 in defeat. They shot only 26 percent for the game. Laramie was only 2-20, 10 percent, in the second half. Turnovers also played a large role in the loss.
Head coach Rod Tyson said it was similar to Friday night’s loss to Kelly Walsh.
“At the end of the game, just like last night (Friday), I said be smart and tough with the ball. We have turnovers, turnovers, people forget to screen, people forget what play we’re running, it’s like, we’re just not used to being in those situations to try to find ways to win, and to execute. We’ll just have to do more and more of that. It’s not like they weren’t working hard, the girls were working hard today, but some of the turnovers, we didn’t have to have.”
Pine Bluffs (7-1) was led by Kammie Ragsdale with 17 points. They shot 44 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Lady Plainsmen 39-30.
The Hornets pulled within 28-24 by halftime. They held LHS to five points in both the third and fourth quarters.
Tyson wasn’t surprised they were tight in a close game yet again but would like to think they’ve learned a little from the loss the day before.
“It’s definitely frustrating because I believe that’s two games we could’ve won, for sure, back-to-back games, but nothing you can do about that game now. Hopefully, we learn from it and get better.”
Laramie was led by Jennifer Aadland with 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Lady Plainsmen are now 3-5 this season. They went 1-2 in the Taco John’s Invitational. LHS will host Class 3A Rawlins Outlaws Friday at 7 p.m.