Big Wins for Both the Plainsmen and Lady Plainsmen
Saturday turned out to big day, as Laramie High School swept Riverton at home in their final games of the Taco John’s Invitational.
The Plainsmen pulled out their only victory of the three-day tournament with a 69-64 win in overtime over 3A’s third-ranked and defending state champion Wolverines. The Lady Plainsmen finished 2-1 in the tourney with a 52-38 victory over Riverton.
Laramie rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter, had a chance to win it in regulation, but pulled away in overtime for the five-point victory. It helped the Plainsmen snap a three-game skid.
Laramie head coach Travis Brown said we beat a really good team.
“I think anybody on a nightly basis can be competitive, and I was most proud of the kids bought into our game plan. I’d say 95 percent of that game, which was important and made us successful.”
Asa Williams scored 25 points, while Frank Crum finished with 18 and Chad Browning added 11.
After three early lead changes, Laramie held a 15-13 edge after the first quarter. The Plainsmen turned up their intensity on defense and held Riverton to eight points in the second, as the LHS lead expanded to 28-21 at half.
The third quarter went back-and-forth. There were seven lead changes and three ties in that period alone. Riverton battled back and took a 42-38 lead. The Wolverines jumped out 49-42 in the fourth before Laramie came back.
Williams scored 13 straight points in the quarter, as the Plainsmen tied it at 51-51.
Brown said Asa had to sit down for a little bit.
“Just to see what the angles were, and when he got back in there, he took advantage of it. I thought he did well. Truthfully, I thought what got Asa going was his defense. He had a great steal when he came in there, took a charge; when he brings his defensive intensity, we’re another team.”
Laramie regained the lead and had a chance to win it in regulation, but missed a late free throw. Riverton’s Treyton Paxton made a 35-foot shot just before the buzzer that forced overtime.
Laramie (6-4) jumped out early in OT thanks to a three-point play by Crum. Williams added a basket and two free throws, while Tyler Oppie also made a pair from the line. The Plainsmen held on 69-64.
The game featured 13 lead changes and was tied nine times. Laramie never gave up the lead in OT.
The Plainsmen shot 43 percent from the field. They went 23-28, 82 percent, at the free throw line. They out-rebounded the Wolverines 32-28.
Brown also noted their shot selection.
“A season low on 3-pointers taken and our best field goal percentage from there (beyond the arc), so that’s a plus. That’s what we were hoping for, and that’s probably, almost a season-high for free throw attempts. Looks like we shot 82 percent as a team, that’s fantastic.”
Riverton (6-4) was led by Ridge McCoy with 26 points. Paxton added 24. They shot 45 percent in the game, but only 25 percent from the arc. The Wolverines were shooting 42 as a team coming in.
Next up for Laramie, they head back on the road to conclude non-conference play. The Plainsmen are at Rock Springs next Friday at 7:30 p.m. Then they will play at Green River Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Laramie Lady Plainsmen
The trio of seniors Lexi Pulley and Shyann Bastian, along with junior Jennifer Aadland led the Lady Plainsmen to a comfortable 14-point win over the Wolverines at Laramie High School Saturday afternoon.
Laramie head coach Laura Pollard said it was picture perfect for what had to happen.
“Shyann getting on the offensive boards. She’s been coming along doing that. Players adapting to our plan, as taking care of the ball in the first quarter was a big plus.”
The Lady Plainsmen had no turnovers in the first eight minutes of action.
Riverton scored the first basket of the game, but a jumper by Bastian tied it, and once Laramie took a 4-2 lead, they never trailed again.
Laramie (4-6) built an early nine-point advantage. The lead was pushed to 13 by halftime. Riverton never got closer than 11 the rest of the game, as the Lady Plainsmen led by as much as 19 points.
Pollard said, “I thought the defense was excellent in the first half… overall defense was good. We didn’t talk as well, but at least they were moving together.”
Aadland led Laramie with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Pulley scored 16, while Bastian had 11 points and 14 rebounds. LHS shot 37 percent from the floor. They also dominated the glass with a 48-30 edge. Laramie had only 12 turnovers in the game.
Pollard added, “We changed our press breaker. Jen was always taking the ball out-of-bounds, and we felt that’s where some of our turnovers were coming, so having Lexi taking it out and being the swing, cause she’s the ball-handler, and I thought she handled it well.”
Riverton (1-9) shot 28 percent for the game. They were led by Naya Shime with 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Lady Plainsmen conclude non-conference action next Friday and Saturday on the road. They play at Rock Springs at 6 p.m. Friday followed by a 1 p.m. game Saturday at Green River.