Lady Plainsmen basketball-Jensen

Laramie High senior Morgann Jensen, center back, sends the ball over the hands of Windsor freshman Kadence Marsh Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, during the last game of the Taco John’s Invitational at the LHS main gym.

LARAMIE — The Laramie High girls basketball team matched up well with the size and speed of Windsor, Colorado in the season home-opener.

But it proved to still be a tall task down the stretch to try to give the visitors their first loss of the season Saturday afternoon while closing out the Taco John’s Invitational at the LHS main gym.

The Lady Plainsmen came up short in a 51-41 loss as the game was much closer than the final score.

“Our girls competed, which is the biggest thing we’ve been focusing on,” first-year Lady Plainsmen coach Terrance Reese said. “Just to compete, play together and play as a team — we were able to do that. In the fourth quarter, things kind of got away from us but at the same time our spirit was still there.

“I talk to our girls all the time about making team remember playing against us, and I feel Windsor will remember coming up to Laramie to play against us.”

Morgann Jensen led the Laramie (5-4) with 12 points as the post player provided half of an inside tandem with Ruby Dorrell for most of the game to try to match the Lady Wizards inside the paint. Dorrell chipped in eight points along with perimeter players Kylin Shipman and Addison Forry each also adding eight points.

“(Windsor) was a little bit smaller, so they were a bit quicker than me and Ruby,” Jensen said. “But we held it really well and were able to get open for our guards to be able to see us for a quick second.

“With Ruby and Teagan Bluemel, I get to play wing more. Having Ruby down there being that tough player for block shots and being a rebounding machine, it’s amazing to watch her.”

The Lady Plainsmen kept pace on the scoreboard with Windsor (9-0), trailing just 14-11 after the first quarter, 28-23 at the half and 32-29 after three periods.

Turnovers and fouls went against the Wizards throughout, keeping the Laramie within striking distance for most of the contest.

The Lady Plainsmen also were efficient at the free-throw line, going 19 of 24 from the line. Laramie was also 8-of-10 in the second quarter to make up for when field goals were hard to come by.

The balanced attack by Windsor — with eight players in the scoring column, led by 11 points from Alexis Backhaus — enabled it to create a cushion in the fourth quarter. The Wizards started with four quick points to begin the final frame for a 36-29 lead.

“I told (our team) to be proud of the effort we put forth and we know can play with any team if we do the little things right — take care of the ball, talk on defense and get good shots out of our offense," Reese said. "It’s just now being able to do it for four quarters.”

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

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