LHS boys curtains close

By 
GARRETT HARR
Outlook staff writer
Photo courtesy of Gloria Allwin.  Casey Cole and the Laurel Locomotives finished first in their conference (7-3) with an overall record of 11-6 and will start Divisionals tonight at the Billings Metra Park arena at 6:30 p.m.

San Antonio Spurs N.B.A. head coach Greg Popovich has a myriad of very unique qualities that have defined not only his character, but his decades of success in the postseason. As with other great coaches when the seeding is finished and the season isn’t over, why risk the injury and play your stars, when it could potentially injure them?
LHS coach Pat Hansen, unfortunately had the Billings Central Rams on the schedule, Laurel’s biggest rival who were still bitter and upset about the last game; a Christian Jones buzzer beater and Loco’s win.
Laurel lost the game 46-43 last week against the Rams. It was everything is was supposed to be. It was close, nail-biting, down to the buzzer playoffesque basketball. Exactly what you would expect from the two behemoths.
The Locos could have taken the game, but a few free throws here and a three pointer there and that was it.
Except it didn’t matter. Just don’t tell the kids that. Every single one of them played like it was the last game of their high school career. They played their hearts out.
They didn’t have too, but they did.
The next game against Billings Senior didn’t really matter in their conference either.
Laurel already took first in their conference with a 7-3 record and after a double-overtime loss to Billings Senior in the last game of the season they finished 11-6.
It’s hard to tell the players that the games outcome shouldn’t really matter, because what really matters is how they play in the tournament. It didn’t matter: the thrills and chills of the last game of the season had all the emotion and heartbreak of the last game.
Christian Jones dropped 20 in his last game in the Locomotives gym and the rest of the click left everything out on the court for the fans, the coaches and for themselves.
The good news is the Locomotives finished first in the Eastern A conference. The other good news is they can and have beaten the best of the best this season. All that is left is the ending, the most important and only thing that will likely matter when all is said and done. Will they win the championship?
Tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Billings, Metra Park the click play the first game in the Divisional Tournament.
With the entire city behind them the team is ready, waiting to see what comes next and what a wonderful last hurrah the future holds.

Billings Central def. Laurel 46-43
No stats available

Billings Senior def.,
Laurel 64-59, 2OT
Senior 7 13 9 16 7 12 — 64
Laurel 6 13 9 17 7 7 — 59
Billings Senior: Braxton Haws 20, Connor Kieckbusch 12, Nate Dick 16, Ben LaBeau 6, Slade Cobb 3, Brooks Zimmer 4, Sam Evenson 1.
Laurel: Casey Cole 9, Shay Osborne 5, Christian Jones 20, Layne Willis 10, Dawson Cortese 15.

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