Loose Carries Plainsmen Past Central, While LHS Girls Fall
Behind a career-high 31 points from Tyler Loose, the Laramie Plainsmen battled back and topped Cheyenne Central for a third time this season with a 63-58 victory Friday night in the semifinals of the 4A East Regional Tournament in Gillette. LHS ended the game with a 10-0 run to complete their comeback. They will play for the regional title against the home-standing Camels Saturday afternoon.
Loose, who has scored 74 points in 3 games against Central this season, said, “I kinda get a little fired up, but they gave me pretty good looks. They sag off my teammates, which really helps, and my teammates get me the ball when I’m going.”
Laramie (19-4) trailed 58-53, but held the Indians to no field goals in the last four minutes of action. Abel Casas nailed a key 3-pointer, Loose dished to Dominick Villarreal for a key lay-in and despite a sluggish performance, the Plainsmen found a way down the stretch to pull out the 5-point win.
LHS head coach Chuck Kern said, “We’re a senior-laden team, and the seniors stepped up when we needed it. Tyler was a big part of that, of course, as you would expect. Abel, Sam Hainline and Dominick really sealed the deal for us.”
Loose was 11-13 from the field, with his only misses from 3-point range, where he was 0-2. He was 9-15 from the foul line and added 5 rebounds to lead Laramie. Hainline was the only other Plainsmen in double figures with 11 points. LHS shot an incredible 23-35 (66%) from the field, was 4-13 (31%) from deep and 13-21 (62%) at the line. They out-rebounded the Indians 17-13.
Central (10-12) was led by Brady Cates with 21 points. Josh Fearing added 13. They shot 55 percent from the field, but had five critical turnovers in the fourth quarter.
In regards to how they pulled it out, Kern said, “I don’t know. I hope we don’t see Central anymore. They’re really figuring us out. Coach Doug Moratzka really had his guys ready to play. I thought they executed a very physical game plan and executed it perfectly.”
Laramie advances to face Gillette in the 4A East Regional Championship game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Plainsmen went 0-2 against the Camels in the regular season.
Broadcast coverage of the game will be tape delayed, due to a conflict with Wyoming Cowgirl basketball on KOWB. You can listen to Laramie Plainsmen basketball on KOWB starting at 7 p.m. David Settle and VerDon Hoopes will call the action.
It was a very difficult night for the Laramie Lady Plainsmen, as they struggled in all facets of the game and were blown out by #1 Sheridan, 65-27, in their regional semifinal.
Laramie (15-9) trailed 16-10 after the first quarter, but failed to record another field goal until 2 minutes into the third quarter. They trailed 31-13 at half, and the Lady Broncs continued to pour it on in the 38-point beat-down.
Lady Plainsmen head coach Rod Tyson said, “We just got taken out to the woodshed and spanked us. That’s it. They shot the ball real well. We shot horribly. We couldn’t make lay-ups. We couldn’t throw it in the ocean.”
Sheridan (21-2) shot 50 percent from the field and held the Lady Plainsmen to 21 percent. The Lady Broncs also out-rebounded LHS 34-20. They had three players in double figures, led by Hailey Ligocki with 12.
Katie Kuhn topped Laramie with 16 points.
The Lady Plainsmen will face Cheyenne East for 3rd place at the 4A East Regional Tournament in Gillette. Game time is at 10 a.m. You can listen to Laramie girls basketball on KOWB. Coverage will begin at 9:15 a.m.