SHERIDAN — Both games will feature a No. 1 team for Friday night’s Sheridan-Gillette rivalry doubleheader.
The Lady Broncs cemented their No. 1 ranking with yet another good weekend of basketball, taking down No. 4 East and Central last week.
And while Sheridan’s boys fell at East, the No. 3 Broncs (15-1, 4-0) held their No. 3 ranking and have more than enough to give No. 1 Gillette (12-5, 4-0) problems in front of an SHS crowd.
Sheridan’s girls have emerged as a favorite for this year’s 4A state title, having beaten every top five team besides Gillette. The Lady Camels were 1-2 against Sheridan in 2012, but still managed a state title after Sheridan fell to Cheyenne East in the state semis. This year, the Lady Broncs and their new coach have displayed unselfish play and balanced scoring to rise at least that far again this March.
The Lady Camels have three losses since Christmas; they were held in a 56-30 result against Natrona, also falling to Rapid City Stevens and a team from California.
For the Broncs, their depth and athleticism could give them a shot at upending the always-talented Gillette basketball program after a tough year in the rivalry series last season for Sheridan. A 2-0 run for the Campbell County squad included a competitive away game from the Broncs, but a rather disappointing showing at home to close their regular season when the Camels pulled away early.
Back in 2012, Sheridan swept Gillette home and away.
The Camels have played 10 games in the new year, dropping only two games — first to Orem, Utah, and then Rapid City Stevens.
Gillette has yet to lose a game to Wyoming competition.
Sheridan’s 64-62 loss to East on Friday came due to a slow start and a late T-Birds 3, but they got back on track Saturday at Central, despite the 44-33 low-scoring contest — typical to the Indians slow-down offensive tactics.
The Camels, as per usual, shoot a lot of 3s. They put up 28.9 attempts from behind the arc per game, making 10 of those for a 36 percent average.
Sheridan, however, has allowed the lowest field goal percentage defending the 3 this year, with teams making just 25 percent of shots from deep against them.
The Camels are led by last year’s Gatorade Player of the Year Cody Kelly (24.1 ppg, 7.7 assists and 2.9 steals) while Sheridan brings the one-two punch of Reed Ritterbusch (20.8 ppg, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists) and Dylan Daniels (12.7 ppg, 5.5 assists).
For Sheridan’s girls, Robbi Ryan leads the way with 14.3 ppg, coming off two 20-point efforts in the wins over East and Central last weekend. Gillette is paced by Julia Seamans (12.2 ppg, 3.5 assists). The girls game is scheduled to tipoff at 5:30 p.m., while the Camels and Broncs have a start time of 7:30 p.m.
The two teams will meet again for their respective final games of the regular season, on Fri., Feb. 28 in Gillette.