Laramie girls survive late surge from Thunder Basin

Feb. 3—The Laramie High girls basketball team avoided a late comeback to hold onto a 57-50 win over Thunder Basin in a home conference game Friday night at LHS.

The Plainsmen led by as many as 14 points in the first half, but the Bolts proved unwilling to go away down the stretch. Laramie needed a complete team effort to put Thunder Basin away after the Bolts narrowed LHS' lead to one late in the fourth quarter.

"We were able to implement our game plan," LHS coach Terrance Reese said. "We were able to execute against pressure and apply pressure on defense. More importantly, we didn't turn the ball over as much as we have, and we were able to rebound."

Added junior Carson Milam: "Our game plan was to move the ball. Sometimes, we struggle with that and getting to a good set. We want to value every possession and realize we need to take care of possessions on defense, too."

The Bolts (7-9 overall, 1-2 Class 4A Northeast Quadrant) put the pressure on No. 5-ranked Laramie from the opening whistle, as the two teams traded the lead five times in the first eight minutes of play. Senior Addie Forry made two contested shots while fouled in the first quarter, giving LHS enough of a surge to leave the opening period with a two-point lead.

"We handled pressure well today," Milam said. "It takes a little for us to get adjusted, but our adjustments kept us in the game."

Senior Kylin Shipman led the Plainsmen on an 11-0 run, scoring nine points in the process during the second quarter. LHS would need the breathing room, as Thunder Basin closed the first half on a 5-0 run.

Senior center Bella Yates left the game in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury, but LHS was able to put together another 5-0 run in her absence. The Bolts responded by sinking a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers.

"Above any individual performances, I felt we played as a team," Reese said. "We had multiple girls with offensive rebounds and a strong group effort from our ladies."

Milam took control of the game over the first three minutes of the final frame, scoring on three consecutive possessions for a personal 6-0 run to force a Thunder Basin timeout.

The resilience of the Bolts continued to show as they fought back to a one-point deficit, forcing Reese to take a late timeout. After a quick regrouping, Milam and Forry split attempts from the free-throw line to create some modest breathing room.

"They started taking away our first look," Reese said. "Thunder Basin is a really good team and are tough to deal with. We played hard and competed and earned a deserving victory tonight."

The LHS defense closed out the game by not allowing a Thunder Basin bucket over the final two minutes of play. Forry led the Plainsmen with 21 points, followed by Shipman with 13 and Milam with 12.

Thunder basin was led by Kamble Cox with 13 points and Allie Rodgers with 11. No other Bolts scored in double digits.

The Plainsmen will close out the weekend with another tough matchup with No. 3 Campbell County (11-2, 2-1). LHS (10-4, 2-1) will host the Camels at 1 p.m. Saturday.

"We can take something away from every game in an attempt to get better," Milam said. "My teammates know that, and we'll either win or learn against Campbell County."

LARAMIE 57, THUNDER BASIN 50

Thunder Basin...... 12 8 14 16 — 50

Laramie...... 14 15 12 17 — 57

Thunder Basin: Cox 13, McGrath 4, Kendrick 2, Rouse 4, Westbrook 6, Rodgers 11, B. Ketchum 3, A. Ketchum 2.

Laramie: Shipman 13, Yates 5, Moore 6, Forry 21, Reese 1, Martinez 1, Milam 12.

Austin Edmonds covers Laramie High, University of Wyoming and community athletics for WyoSports. He can be reached at aedmonds@wyosports.net. Follow him on X at @_austinedmonds.