New Year, new Locos Laurel Locomotives post two wins

By: 
GARRETT HARR
Outlook staff writer
Pictures courtesy of Gloria Allwin.   Christian Jones glides through the air for an Allen Iverson-esque floater in his team’s 54-49 victory over Miles City.

After a tight hard-fought game through three quarters the Locos were able to pull away with a huge 27-8 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter against Billings Senior and get the win, 67-52.
“We didn’t defend very well in the first half,” said LHS head coach Pat Hansen. His boys gave up 44 points through three quarters and actually entered the final period down by four. They had foul problems in the first half and worked very hard to stay close until they could make a run. Just trying to “weather the storm” said Hansen.
After the half a different team came out of the locker room. The Locos forced the ball wherever they wanted and took control of the tempo of the game and started defending and rebounding. Playing well off the ball and keeping a defensive balance as well as making shots when needed they only allowed Billings Senior to reach double-digits in one quarter after halftime.
The best teams in basketball wait until the end to deliver the final blow. As the Lakers in the Kobe/Shaq era taught a whole new generation, the season doesn’t matter and neither do the first three quarters of games. The only thing that matters is the end, the last quarter and the last games of the year.
Laurel scored 27 points in the final quarter and held their opponent to just eight.
“I’m very proud of the kids, the senior leadership and how well they finished that game,” said Hansen in the understatement of the season. “That game put us in a position to become better as a team moving forward,” he said.
The only two players to reach double-digits in scoring for Billings Senior were Connor Kieckbusch, 14 and Slade Cobb with 10.
Four Locos reached double digits in the game with Christian Jones leading the way with 13. Layne Willis, 12, Dawson Cortese, 10 and Shay Osborne, 12, were huge in the fourth quarter.
The impact that games have on a team’s morale during the season can become life-altering and can lead into or out of the abyss of basketball glory. With the Locomotives letting Billings Senior hang so close through the game just to explode and cut the rope at the very end can only put things right with the world, once again.

Laurel def. Billings Senior 67-52
Laurel 15 14 11 27 — 67
BIllings Senior 15 19 10 8 — 52
Laurel: Isaiah Renner 5, Gaje Leischner 7, Shay Osborne 12, Christian Jones 13, Connor Schwab 4, Layne Willis 12, Dawson Cortese 10, Chanc Lawrence 4.
Billings Senior: Braxton Haws 7, Connor Kieckbusch 14, Nate Dick 12, Nano Stiffarm 4, Triston Whiteman 5, Slade Cobb 10.

From gaining confidence during the last quarter of their win against Billings Senior, there was no way to guess how the Locos would come out in the first quarter against Miles City. They could have come out gunning, overrun with confidence and then slowed in the first half, or they could have come out overrun with confidence and go ice cold in the first half. A little of both took place in their 54-49 win against the Cowboys last Saturday.
Laurel didn’t defend their best through the entire game. Up until the third quarter the team was out worked and had low energy. During the last quarter they gave up 19 and only scored ten.
“We did win the game,” said coach Hansen, “but we provided too many opportunities for Custer County. Credit to them, they played hard and we let our guard down.”
With a few more wins the Locos are starting to find their groove, individually and as a team. Dawson Cortese and Layne Willis are starting to come into their own with 14 and 17 each in the win.
This is the first time the Locos have really had a chance to play against opponents, other than each other. During the winter break and the cancelled games all they had were practices and scrimmages against each other.
“It’s nice to beat on other teams instead of each other in practice,” said Willis.
The Locomotives moved to 3-2 on the season.
They have a chance to put together a run when they face Glendive next on Jan. 13, at home, 7:30 p.m. and Sidney the next day at 2 p.m.

Laurel def. Miles City 54-49
Laurel 15 11 18 10 — 54 
Miles City 12 12 6 19 — 49 
Laurel: Gaje Leischmer 3, Isaiah Renner 4, Shay Osborne 4, Christian Jones 9, Layne Willis 17, Dawson Cortese 14, Chance Lawrence 3. 
Miles City: Brooks Jally 3, Gabe Gandlack 13, Kaden Stradley 7, Zack Deuards 2, S. Ray 2, Kelly Brison 2, Tyler Burk 20.

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
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Wednesday, June 26, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961

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