Plainsmen Put Together Two Key Conference Wins
First was a double overtime thriller. Then, they capped it with an upset of the second-ranked team. It was a big weekend for the Laramie Plainsmen.
Laramie (11-4, 4-1) has a share of first place in the 4A East Conference at the midway point thanks to victories over Cheyenne Central and Cheyenne East. They are tied with the Sheridan Broncs atop the league standings.
Plainsmen head coach Chuck Kern kept it in perspective,
"We're going to enjoy it for a little bit. Then, we've got some work to do. Nobody's ever asked me, at least in my lifetime, who won the first half of a conference season. I told the boys to enjoy it, but we still have work to do. We have to stay hungry, and we have to stay humble."
Last Thursday night, the Plainsmen survived against Central and topped the Indians in double overtime, 61-54.
A three-pointer by Tristan Eickbush with 25 second left forced overtime. Each team scored eight points in the first extra session. Then, a Jake Aadland fade-away baseline jumper gave the Plainsmen the lead for good at the start of the second overtime period. Laramie used clutch free throw shooting and pulled away for the seven-point win.
Aadland scored a career-high 28 points. Eickbush added 14. Laramie shot only 32 percent from the field, but went 26-of-40 at the free throw line.
Friday presented a showdown against the second-ranked Cheyenne East Thunderbirds. Both teams had lost only once in the conference coming in.
Behind a terrific defensive performance, the Plainsmen upset the T-Birds 61-45. LHS held East 16 points under their season average and to only 32 percent shooting from the floor.
Laramie led 22-17 at half and steadily pulled away in the second half. Their biggest lead was 18 points.
Three Plainsmen scored in double figures led by Aadland with 18 points. Andy Pearson added 15 points and eight rebounds, while Josh Wilson chipped in ten off the bench.
The free throw line was key again. LHS went 24-of-29 (83%) and overcame only one made 3-pointer.
Kern added, "I don't really care about records, I care about the kids. These guys have really grown up. They have put themselves in a unique situation, that maybe they've never been in on any team ever. I'm just real excited for them."
Laramie will be back on the court at home Friday when they face the Cheyenne South Bison. Game time is at 5:30 p.m.