LARAMIE – The No. 1 -ranked Cheyenne East girls used a 21-1 run in the first half to pull away from Laramie in the Class 4A Southeast Quadrant opener for both teams Wednesday at Plainsmen Gym.
The offensive firepower from senior Ky Buell from the outside and classmate Madison Blaney on the inside carried the Lady Thunderbirds (12-1 overall, 1-0 Southeast) to a 69-38 win against the Lady Plainsmen.
Buell, who leads Class 4A in scoring at 22.5 points per game, had a game-high 22 points with 19 of those in the first half. Blaney chipped in 18 with 12 of those also in the first half.
“Those two kind of have that chemistry all year long and we run our stuff through them, and they find others,” East coach Eric Westling said. “They benefit from one another and our kids benefit from them. It’s a great collaboration of teamwork we’ve got.”
But it took a little bit for Buell and Blaney to heat up as Laramie (3-8, 0-1) kept it close with East for the first quarter and a half. The Lady Plainsmen benefited from a buzzer-beater from senior Rhaelle Curry as East took a 15-12 lead into the second quarter.
Junior Kylee Cox led Laramie with 12 points. She cashed in a 3-pointer early in the second period to pull the Plainsmen to within three points at 22-19. Then Blaney scored eight inside points and Buell added nine more from beyond the 3-point arc as part of the big run for separation.
During that span, veteran Laramie coach Rod Tyson received a double technical and was ejected from the game. Longtime assistant coach Doug Roehrkasse said he believes this was the first time Tyson was ever tossed from a game at the varsity level.
“The first thing that dawned on me was that I was like, ‘Hey, it’s is my turn to take over,’” Rohrkasse said.
“The nice thing about it is that Rod and I have coached together for a lot of years and known each other for a lot of years. The kids know what to do and it was a matter of having them continue to do it.”
East outscored Laramie 28-8 in the pivotal second quarter and took a 43-20 lead into the halftime break. The T-Birds later outscored the Plainsmen 26-18 in the second half.
“We are always looking for things to improve on and we saw a lot of those, as well,” Westling said. “I really liked our ball movement and selflessness, but we have areas to improve on defense.”
Junior Emma Jacobson also scored in double figures for East with a balanced four points in each of the final three quarters for 12 total.
Laramie sophomore Morgann Jensen chipped in 10 points with eight of those in the second half.
“We actually played with them for that quarter and half, and we brought that up with them after the game so they could believe in themselves,” Roehrkasse said. “They need to have the confidence, and then be able to sustain it.
“We always tell our kids that it doesn’t matter if we are up by 20 or down by 20 – play hard. We saw some missed rotations on defense and had some turnovers, but those are things we can fix. We are always striving to get better. We had our preseason, this is the conference season and we are striving for the postseason.”
EAST 69, LARAMIE 38
Cheyenne East...... 15 28 15 11 – 69
Laramie...... 12 8 9 9 – 38
Cheyenne East: E. Jacobson 12, Alvarado 1, Lopez 3, Blaney 18, Buell 22, Liledajhl 6, Castle 3, Walsh 4 .
Laramie: Adair 3, Wulff 1, Vasquez 4, Jensen 10, Yeend 4, Curry 4, Cox 12.
Cheyenne East 67
LARAMIE – A battle of top-5 teams was in store Wednesday when Class 4A Southeast Quadrant play began at Plainsmen Gym.
From early on No. 2-ranked Cheyenne East’s offensive firepower was too much for a shorthanded No. 5 Laramie in 67-44 Thunderbirds' win.
The Plainsmen were without two senior starters with Noah Valdez and Janson Adair out of the lineup because of injuries. East (10-4 overall, 1-0 Southeast ran the floor and scored with ease for a 16-0 run early in the game as the T-Birds opened with a 21-7 lead after the opening quarter.
East senior Xavier McCord had a game-high 21 points, with 18 of those coming from inside the paint. Twin brother Demetrius McCord added 14 points on the strength of three 3-pointers – all in the first half. Senior Chance Aumiller added 12 points on balanced scoring throughout.
The T-Birds extended the lead to 22 points at 41-19 at the halftime break.
Laramie had 11 players get into the scoring column, but none in double figures.
Junior Christian Mickelson led the Plainsmen with nine points, freshman Mahlon Morris added seven and five points each were from juniors Garrett Dodd and freshman Jaedyn Brown. Morris and Brown were inserted in the starting lineup for Laramie.
EAST 67, LARAMIE44
Cheyenne East...... 21 20 15 11 – 67
Laramie...... 7 12 12 13 – 44
Cheyenne East: X. McCord 21, Rayl 8, Aumiller 12, Micheli 3, Pope 3, D. McCord 14, Buell 2, Clark 5
Laramie: Mickelson 9, Morris 7, Dodd 5, Brown 5, Bleak 2, Oppie 2, Enzi 6, Kern 3, Vigen 2, Devine 2, Marinez 1