Plainsmen Beat East, But Fall to Central
The final weekend of the regular season ended with a split for the Laramie Plainsmen. Their two games were both decided by three points.
Sophomore Hudda Herrera scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Plainsmen to an upset on the road of Cheyenne East, 55-52, Friday night in Cheyenne.
LHS head coach Travis Brown said Hudda made a name for himself tonight.
“Truthfully he has the capability of doing that on a nightly basis. We’ve been focusing this season a little bit more on how to establish the post with him because he’s been more of a wing player throughout his earlier years. It’s nice to see him put a full game together.”
Laramie rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second quarter and pulled out their second conference victory. The game featured seven lead changes and was tied three times in the fourth quarter alone.
Brown added, “I think what it showed is we’ve had a lot of games like this, to be honest. Like I told the kids, those games earlier in the season are going to make you better for when it matters, and this is when we want it to matter.”
Asa Williams’ three-point play gave the Plainsmen a 53-52 lead late. Cheyenne East’s Erik Oliver was called for a charge foul with 3.4 seconds left. He was whistled for a technical foul shortly after. Laramie’s Chad Browning knocked down both free throws for the final margin. After a miss by LHS at the foul line, the Thunderbirds’ last second heave was no good.
Herrera went 8-of-13 from the field. He was 4-5 from beyond the arc after coming in a 1-9 on the season. Herrera added seven rebounds.
Hudda said of his night, “I was feeling my shot in warm-ups, so I started shooting during the game. After I felt it clicking then it was just pretty much flowing with my shot.”
Frank Crum also scored 11 points and grabbed 7 boards. As a team Laramie shot 44 percent for the game and held East to 36 percent in the victory.
The magic didn’t hold through the Plainsmen’s finale on senior day, as LHS lost to Cheyenne Central 62-59 Saturday morning.
A 12-4 spurt in the fourth quarter carried the Indians to the win. The Plainsmen made a furious rally, but it fell short.
Brown said, “I told the kids I just wanted to send a message this week to Central, so they knew it wasn’t going to be a push-over this coming week. I think both teams just wanted to get a little mental edge, and I think what we showed is it could be anybody’s game next week.”
Nate Burman scored a career-high 24 points, while Herrera added 10 points. Laramie shot 45 percent for the game, while Central was held to 42 percent. The Indians went 18-25, 72 percent, from the foul line. By contrast, the Plainsmen were only 9-17, 53 percent.
Before the game, LHS honored their two seniors, Diego Giron and Isaiah Martinez.
Laramie finished the regular season at 5-16 overall and 2-8 in the 4A East Conference. The Plainsmen will be the sixth seed at the regional tournament. LHS will play Central Thursday in Gillette at 8:30 p.m.