After a slow start the Laramie Lady Plainsmen rolled to their fifth straight win to start the season thanks to a 56-24 victory Wednesday over Gothenburg, NE.

It also marked Laramie’s fifth straight win at the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout in Sidney, NE.

Laramie (5-0) went on a 16-2 run in the first half that gave them the lead for good. The Lady Plainsmen trailed 4-2 early, but fought back for a 9-6 lead at the quarter break. The surge continued into the second quarter, as LHS built a 24-11 edge by half. Gothenburg closed within 27-17 in the third quarter before Laramie rattled off a 15-3 spurt that ended the period. The Lady Plainsmen pulled away in the fourth.

“Our defense was relentless. It was even better than back in Riverton,” said Laramie head coach Laura Pollard.

Lexi Pulley led the way with 17 points and four rebounds. That included a couple of key 3-pointers in the first half. The 11 other players all scored, but no one had more than five points.

Pollard added, “She (Lexi) was the trigger. Once she stepped up and started to score that kind of sparked us.”

Both teams shot 37 percent from the field, but Laramie took 35 more shots than the Swedes. LHS also forced 36 Gothenburg turnovers.

The Lady Plainsmen advanced to the semifinals Thursday against the Sidney Lady Raiders. Laramie defeated Sidney in last year’s semis, 59-42. This game starts at 5:30 p.m.

Laramie Plainsmen

Despite being short-handed without two starters, the Laramie Plainsmen battled for three quarters, but fell short to the Gothenburg, NE Swedes 56-43 in their first game at the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout.

Laramie (1-4) dropped its third straight game, as a veteran Gothenburg squad pulled away in the fourth quarter.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team that was out there competing,” said Plainsmen head coach Travis Brown. “That was a group of young kids that I saw mature in front of my face to be honest with you.”

Down 7-2 early, LHS went on a 7-0 spurt capped by Isaiah Martinez’s three-pointer. It gave the Plainsmen a 9-7 edge after the first quarter. Seven straight points by the Swedes put them in front, 14-9. It was tied, 18-18, when Gothenburg used a 7-0 run and took a 25-18 lead at halftime. Both teams scored 13 in the third, and it was 38-31 Swedes going into the final period. The Swedes pulled away with free throws and some lay-ups off their press breaker.

Brown added, “We’ve still got some mental things that bit us a little bit in the end; some lapses on the transition defense and little bit of their press; but I think that’s expected when you’ve got a bunch of sophomores out there, at times, competing.”

The Plainsmen were led by Frank Crum with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Reid Baty added nine points. LHS shot 37 percent from the floor.

Gothenburg shot 41 percent from the field and went 23-of-34 at the foul line. That was 21 more attempts than LHS.

Laramie dropped into the consolation side of the bracket. The Plainsmen will face the Torrington Trailblazers in their next game Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

Both games will be broadcast on KOWB (AM 1290). David Settle and VerDon Hoopes will be on the call.