CHEYENNE – A second half slump was too much to overcome for the Laramie High girls basketball team during Saturday’s Class 4A East Regional state play-in game against Cheyenne East.
But East’s season was also teetering in the wrong direction during the first half.
The South No. 3 seed Lady Plainsmen (7-16 overall) were within three points at halftime, but a big run by the South No. 1 seed Lady Thunderbirds helped propel them to a 71-48 victory and secure a trip to Casper for next week’s 4A state tournament.
Jennifer Aadland’s 3-pointer midway through the second quarter tied the game for Laramie at 17-17. Aadland was the difference for Laramie in the first half, leading all scorers with 14 points.
East carried a 28-25 lead into halftime, but momentum rested with Laramie, who won the rebounding battle 21-16.
“They’re (Laramie is) a tough team, but I trust my team,” first-year East coach Eric Westling said. “I didn’t have that feeling at all, just because of who kids are.”
Kayla Vasquez’s 16-foot jumper early in the third quarter inched the Lady Plainsmen within a point at 28-27.
The T-Birds took over from there and leaned on a 21-8 run to close out the third quarter and move ahead 49-35.
“Just their resilience (changed),” Westling said about the difference between the first and second half. “They realized where we were and what we needed to do, and this team isn’t done. They’re going to keep scrapping and fighting and we were going to rebound from (Friday) night and we did that.”
Attempts by the Boomerang to contact Laramie coach Rod Tyson were unsuccessful.