Lady Locos season ends at Divisionals

By 
Jackson Mcmurrey Outlook Staff Writer
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Grace Timm takes the ball down the court on a fast break during the game against Hardin on Friday, Feb. 28 at the First Interstate Auto Arena. Outlook photo by Jackson McMurrey

Grace Timm takes the ball down the court on a fast break during the game against Hardin on Friday, Feb. 28 at the First Interstate Auto Arena. Outlook photo by Jackson McMurrey

After an solid regular season (12-6) and a valiant effort in the Girl’s Eastern A Divisional tournament at MetraPark last week, the Lady Locos fell short of their chance to qualify for the 2020 Class A Girls’ basketball tournament.

It was close, and looked good from the beginning where they defeated Dawson County 55-40 on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The girls started off with unmatched roughness and confidence that struck Glendive’s defense. Sammi Spitzer, of the Lady Locos, got fouled on their first offensive play, a successful layup, then followed it by bucketing two free-throws. Laurel’s student section was twice the size of the Red Devils’ and the proud Locomotive voices gave the team that extra push. The second half of this game was full of well-articulated plays by Laurel, moving the ball back and forth on the court figuring out some formula to victory. Sophia Timm, of Laurel, made a twopointer soon followed by her teammate Gracie Willis who made a three as the clock ticked down to five minutes left in the third quarter. The score was 24-21 in favor of the Locomotives. The game tied up on both sides a couple of times thereon, but the Locos were able to break free with a lead going into the fourth quarter with a score of 35-26. Laurel sank the enemy’s ship with several three-pointer cannonballs in the last quarter. Aspen Cotter made her second of the game from deep, Becky Melcher sunk one, and so did Timm. The rest of the game was played with smiles on the team’s faces as the Locomotive ladies ran themselves to a win for their first of what would be three games over the remainder of the week.

Their next game was on Friday against Hardin, a game nine Semifinal match that was expected to be burdensome. Their last game versus Hardin was in January and Laurel lost by twelve points. Head coach for the Lady Locos, Eddie Cochran, was not intimidated by this though, he was more impressed with how the girls were and still are always able to create a positive outcome out of their most difficult challenges, no matter what happens.

“It’s like it’s just a group of friends going to play a pickup game.” Cochran said from the student section during a boys game the evening before his match against the Bulldogs. His confidence in a positive attitude was clear, and reflected in his upbeat, interactive style of coaching, always communicating with his team from up and down the sideline.

Laurel finished off the game with a determined drive to finish strong, but were eventually toppled by Hardin with a score of 63-33, Laurel in defeat. The tournament continued for Laurel as the ladies played in game 11, a loser-out match, against Livingston on Saturday morning. Winning this game would have sent them to the consolation game and given them a berth in the state tournament. The Lady Locomotives came out unredeemed against Livingston 37-29, a close loss.

Some understandably looking a little bummed, but still holding their heads high, the team was seen rooting on the Locos to State in the boys’ consolation game against Livingston that same afternoon. In the name of basketball, they kept the school pride together as a collective, regardless of their wins or losses. This season, even though they aren’t going to the State championship, the Laurel girls found gains their experiences, remembering that there is always next year for the Lady Locomotives.

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