Laramie Basketball Makes Its Home Debut
For the first time this season the Laramie Plainsmen and Lady Plainsmen will get a chance to play on their home floor.
Tonight, Laramie begins action in the three-day Taco John’s Invitational. The majority of the 108 games on the schedule take place in Cheyenne over the three days of the tournament. LHS benefits with two home dates, today and Saturday.
Laramie will take on Green River in a girl’s-boy’s doubleheader tonight at Laramie High School. The girls’ varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ at 7 p.m.
The top-ranked Plainsmen are coming off a loss in the championship game at last Saturday’s Cabela’s Holiday Shootout. They are 5-2 on the season.
Head coach Travis Brown says, “We’re super-excited to be at home and give an opportunity for some of the people in the city to see what we’ve been working towards.”
Laramie will see the return of starters Frank Crum and Hudda Herrera, plus reserve Brady Epler. They missed the last two games of last weekend’s tournament due to a violation of team rules. Meanwhile, seniors Nate Burman and Henry Yost remain out with injuries.
Brown says their big key is nothing new, but defense.
“We went over that as a team that we’re giving up the second-most points per game and we’re better than that, truthfully. We have the capabilities of being better than that. We’re big. We’re long. We just need a little bit better effort, and a little bit better technique. So, we’re going to keep striving towards our defense, because I believe if we can get that number down in the low 50’s, scoring’s not an issue for us.”
Green River comes in at 6-0 on the season and atop the 4A West Conference. They won 60-49 on Jan. 14 of last year in Laramie. Coach Laurie Ivie’s team returns four starters and 11 letter winners from last season.
The Laramie Lady Plainsmen (2-5) are coming off their second win of the season last Saturday at the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout.
Head coach Laura Pollard also said they’re happy to be home, but she also knows nerves might play a factor.
“I still think we’re going to have to get through the home jitters with a new squad. However, we are at home and just put two long trips in, and also time spent together, so I think they’ve got to be positive about being at home.”
Pollard told KOWB’s David Settle, she would prefer to see some new opponents, referencing that they’ll play Green River again next weekend and have already seen Evanston, who they face tomorrow. The only new opposition will be Riverton on Saturday.
One good note will be the return of senior guards Lexi Pulley and Sekoya Romero, who did not make last week’s trip due to prior engagements.
Pollard said it’s another transition they’ll go through.
“They went to Cabela’s and gained that experience (without the two senior guards) on the court. Now they know where they’re at, and I know where they’re at… We’ve gone over our press and press-breaker because that hurt us on both ends when we were at Cabela’s. We got all those questions straightened out. Again, it’s one of those things, do I have stuff on Green River? Yes I do, but it’s more about what we do still early in the game.”
The Green River girls are off to a 5-2 start. Laramie defeated the Wolves 52-41 on Jan. 14, 2017 in their most recent meeting.