Loco’s slow down before tourney play

By: 
GARRETT HARR
Outlook staff writer
Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin.  Layne Willis with his golden locks glides through the air for two of 11 points against Glendive last week.
Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin. Layne Willis with his golden locks glides through the air for two of 11 points against Glendive last week.

Laurel didn’t allow the Red Devil’s to reach double digits in one single quarter in last week’s 52-21 slaughter.
The Locomotives, again were able to rest their starting five as the beat down against Glendive started early and went quickly.
The mercy killing was just one of those nights for Laurel. They needed to rest and prepare for tourney play, but they also didn’t want to just give these last few games away at the end of the season.
Some games will be like this and some won’t; it will be entirely up to LHS coach Pat Hansen on how his team finishes the season. He might play his boys through so they don’t lose rhythm or he might rest them so he has a healthy squad for the entire tourney, that will be, for some of players, the last shot at a championship as a Locomotive.
“Was a good conference win against a well coached team,” said Hansen. “Glendive has gotten better and are playing with more discipline on both ends of the court.”
It was business as usual for the rest of the team.
Everyone got a piece; Layne Willis had 11, Dawson Cortese had 13 and Brandon Ewalt, Shay Osbourne and Christian Jones each had six points.

Laurel def. Glendive 52-21
Laurel 13 10 14 15 — 52 
Glendive 7 3 5 6 — 21 
Laurel: Braden Ewalt 6, Shay Osbourne 6, Christian Jones 6, Layne Willis 11, Dawson Cortese 13, Gaje Leischner 4, Chanc Lawrence 5.
Glendive: Wyatt Buxbaum 2, Baxter Baker 3, David Bernasco 4, Ephraim Yohan 2, Lane Walker 2, Stephen Steinbron 8. 

As the Locomotives near the end of the season and enter tourney play it’s hard to measure the importance of what the last wins and losses of the season make of the squad.
What was the difference in this game, a 52-37 loss to the last game, a 52-21 win?
Nothing really.
“Was a weird feeling game,” said LHS coach Pat Hansen. “There wasn’t much energy on our side. We provided Sidney with confidence and they play well with extra confidence. Hats off to them. They played well.”
The Loco’s did lose, but did it really matter?
“We felt like there wasn’t much importance if we won or lost the game,” said Hansen.
He’s right. Like the game before and the games after, nothing matters anymore until tourney play. Until then nothing really matters, Hansen, his coaching staff and his players know who they have to prepare for and what is at stake this year for some of the boys.
“I really like this group of kids,” said Hansen. “I’m interested to see what these boys want from this point on. They have all put in a large amount of time in one way or another.”
The time of reckoning will come for all his players when hard work and hard play pay off.
Pat Hansen has a special fondness for this group, the core of the seniors have been together for quite a long time now and he wants them, just as much as they do, to go out as champions.
“I just hope they reward themselves for their time they have put in and make the most out of every second they have left,” he said. Knowing the end is nigh.
The Locomotives now hold a 11-4 overall record and are 7-2 in conference play. Though the next game is against the Rams the importance of the rivalry game will be up to the players this time, not the fans.
They can try to destroy each other for a brutally close match like last time, one final time before it really matters, or they can push, pull and assess each other’s mechanics and learn as much as they can from each other before tourney play.
No one, but the players will know what emotions tonight’s game will stir up.
They play at Billings Central, tonight, at 7:30 p.m.

Sidney def. Laurel 52-37
Laurel  8 8 13 8 — 37
Sidney  12 11 18 11 — 52
Laurel: Isaiah Renner 3, Christian Jones 12, Layne Willis 10, Dawson Cortese 12.
Sidney: Alec Lovegren 1, Trace Jones 3, Jared Steindeisser 2, Brett Norby 17, Dawson McGlothlin 22, Bridger Larson 7.

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