LARAMIE – The Cheyenne East girls basketball team was able to hit outside shots against Laramie’s zone to build an early lead en route for a 58-51 win Thursday night at Plainsmen Gym .

East opened with an 11-2 run, while the Laramie struggled with early turnovers as the Lady Thunderbirds doubled up the Plainsmen 16-8 by the end of the first quarter.

“We had enough kids step up tonight to get the win,” East coach Eric Westling said. “I was happy with they stepped up at the right times. Laramie played a great game, and hat’s off to them and fortunately we had just enough.”

Laramie started the second quarter at the free-throw line when and East player was not in the official scorebook book. LHS senior Kylee Cox made both free throws, and freshman Addison Forry scored inside to close the gap to 16-12.

East (11-2 overall, 3-0 Class 4A Southeast Quadrant) responded with a 3-pointer from freshman Bradie Schlabs and a bucket from senior Cheyenna Alvarado after an LHS turnover to push lead back to 21-12. East’s full-court press had a lot to do with creating turnovers.

“Our kids grow up understanding our press and what it does, so they tend to get pretty good at it and it something we like to use to force some turnovers,” Westling said.

The Plainsmen (6-9, 0-3) kept within striking distance in the second quarter by converting five two-point field goals and going 7 of 9 at the free-throw line for 17 points in the second period. But East scored 21 in the quarter for a 37-25 lead at the halftime break. The T-Birds made five 3’s compared to none for the Plainsmen.

East sophomore Boden Liljedahl had three of those 3-pointers and 11 of her game-high 16 points in the first half. Senior Emma Jacobsen added 11 points and Alvarado chipped in nine points for the T-Birds.

Laramie couldn’t chip into the lead as each team scored nine points in the third quarter, and East took a 12-point lead at 46-34 into the final quarter.

The Plainsmen closed the gap late by outscoring East 17-12 down the stretch.

Laramie senior Kayla Vasquez scored 11 of her team-high 13 points in the second half and senior DaiJane Giron added seven points as 10 players got into the scoreboard column.

EAST 58, LARAMIE 51

Cheyenne East.......................................................................................... 16 21 9 12 – 58

Laramie........................................................................................................ 8 17 9 17 – 51

Cheyenne East: R. Jacobsen 3, B. Schlabs 4, E. Jacobsen 11, C. Alvarado 9, Jardine 2, Fonseca 5, Liljedahl 16, A. Marshall 6, Walsh 2

Laramie: Adair 4, Meyen 5, Vasquez 13, Giron 7, Forry 6, Cox 4, Dorrell 4, Gardner 2, Shipman 5, Bluemel 1.

David Watson is an assistant editor for WyoSports. He can be reached at dwatson@wyosports.net or 307-755-3327. Follow him on Twitter at @dwatsonsports.

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