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SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Generals ended their season last night as they lost in the third round of the Region IX men’s basketball tournament.
The men faced the host team, Northeastern Junior College of Colorado, in the final four matchup and lost 90-79 in a game that was much closer throughout than the final score suggests.
The Generals came out strong and held the lead throughout the first half. Heading into halftime SC was up 43-38, but head coach Steve Smiley said they should have been up by more than five points.
“We were up by 11 points in the second,” he said, “and then we made some crucial errors toward the end of the quarter to shrink the lead. We had unforced turnovers and easy mistakes that just shouldn’t have happened.”
With 10 minutes left in the game Sheridan relinquished the lead, 56-54, and although they kept it a three-point game until there were only two minutes to go, NJC played a better second half and sank a last minute 3-pointer to seal the win.
“It was a close game and unfortunately we just couldn’t come out with the win,” Smiley said.
Jeff Amazan was top shot of the night scoring 19 points and runner-up Jamir Andrews contributed 13 to the score.
“I’m really proud of my team,” Smiley said. “We had more injuries than anyone else and still won nine games in a row before this. They did a great job of coming together to face adversity toward the end of the season and played really hard.”
Half of the Generals roster are sophomores and Smiley says he is deep in the recruiting process to fill spaces that will open up for next year.
“The future is bright,” he added. “We have some strong freshmen already that were just a joy to coach, so we’re going to have another great year next year.”