For a second straight night, the Laramie Lady Plainsmen came close to pulling off an upset last Friday night, but they fell short to No. 4 Cheyenne Central, 48-46.

Laramie (5-14, 0-5) finished the game on an 11-3 run but still lost to the Indians. The Lady Plainsmen lost two games to a pair of top-four ranked teams by a combined seven points on back-to-back days.

Free throws hurt LHS in the loss. Laramie finished the game 14-25 at the foul line. They were only 6-15 in the second half and 5-11 in the final period.

Head coach Rod Tyson knew that was a difference.

“There were some one-and-one’s that we have to make those in crunch time. Even though we were up on those teams (Natrona and Sheridan), we have to finish those shots, that way we can seal the game (against a team like Central).”

Laramie held a 15-13 lead in a back-and-forth first quarter. They extended to a 23-17 lead in the second, but Cheyenne Central rallied and got within 28-26 by halftime. With star Jennifer Aadland on the bench in foul trouble, the Lady Plainsmen tried to stall by holding the ball in the third. They had a few turnovers, and the Indians capitalized for a 32-31 lead. In the fourth, Central jumped out 45-35, but Laramie came back. Two free throws by Central’s Baylee Delbridge with 17.6 seconds left proved to be the difference.

Tyson added, “We’re playing a lot better. Hopefully getting a little smarter as we keep playing, trying to make good things happen. I thought they did a good job of being patient a couple of times. Jen got in foul trouble, so I told them we were going to hold the ball. We had some bad turnovers when we were trying to hold it. That helped them to get the lead.”

Aadland led LHS with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Laramie shot 50 percent from the field. They were only 2-11, 18 percent, from deep.

Cheyenne Central (16-4, 3-2) was led by Delbridge with 14 points. The Indians shot 38 percent in the game but attempted 10 more shots. They finished 16-26 at the charity stripe.

Aadland admitted the Lady Plainsmen have progressed quite a bit.

“I think we’ve come so far since the beginning of the season because with these kinds of tight games, at the beginning (of the season) we weren’t really executing very well. So we got down 10 in this game, and we fought back, cut the lead. We just need to keep executing, and I think if we just work on those things in practice that we can finish those games better.”

Laramie has their regular season finale and Senior Night game Friday, Feb. 22 versus Cheyenne South at 5:30 p.m.

Laramie Plainsmen

Early foul trouble spelled doom for the Laramie Plainsmen, as they lost their sixth straight game last Friday night. Laramie fell at No. 4 Cheyenne Central 65-48.

Whistled for 14 fouls in the first half, and with three starters on the bench with three fouls, Cheyenne Central took full advantage. Despite a slow start for the Indians, they held an 11-8 lead after the first. A couple of big 3-pointers by Tyler Oppie kept the Plainsmen within striking distance, as they were down 27-16 at halftime.

LHS closed within 10 in the third quarter, but foul trouble slowed the comeback. It was 45-32 after three, and then Central’s Tanner Weinberger knocked down a pair of long three’s that broke it open early in the fourth. The Indians lead reached 20 points on three different occasions before the final margin.

Plainsmen head coach Travis Brown admitted the foul situation was key.

“We definitely went through everybody we had on the bench. The kids battled. They tried to match the physicality. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to do some of the things we were doing.”

Laramie (7-12, 1-4) shot 45 percent in the game. They were 8-20, 40 percent, from the arc. Hudda Herrera had 14 points, while Oppie scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds.

As for the impact on their game plan, Brown added, “Significantly, I mean we were trying to manage minutes, instead of managing the game, in reality. That’s frustrating from a coaching perspective. I think the tough part for us was it made the game so disjointed. The kids were frustrated. There was a lot of anger of things they couldn’t control.”

Cheyenne Central (15-5, 4-1) was led by Lawson Lovering with 23 points. The Indians shot 48 percent from the floor. They made six 3-pointers and also finished 17-26 (65%) at the foul line.

Laramie returns home on Friday, Feb. 22 for their regular season finale and Senior Night game versus Cheyenne South. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.