SHERIDAN — The Sheridan girls reaffirmed their No. 1 ranking with a hard-fought win Friday night.
While they trailed for nearly the entire first half, SHS (14-1, 3-0 4A East) came out on top of a physical battle with No. 3-ranked Cheyenne East, 59-47, to stay unbeaten in 4A East conference play.
The win came against the team that knocked them out of the running for last year’s state title in the 4A semis, and it was the second-straight year two talented teams put on a good show in front of Sheridan’s crowd, and the second year the Lady Broncs came out on top.
“It was a tough game,” head coach Jessica Pickett said. “They have a great team, they’re tough, it was very physical, we’re a little beat up already, but I was proud of the girls for coming in with so much heart and finishing the job tonight.”
Sheridan trailed 12-7 after one, and didn’t draw even until there were 17 seconds left in the first half when Alison Geary hit two free throws in the bonus.
Teams went into the half even at 24, and Robbi Ryan caught fire early in the third, reeling off five-straight, to give the Lady Broncs a short-held lead.
The momentum swung back and forth, but tough play inside by the Lady Broncs as a whole, bench-deep, eventually turned the tide.
“Molly Ligocki kind of lit a fire with those offensive boards in the third quarter and the fourth quarter and Emily and Megan hits some 3s,” Pickett said. “Everybody stepped up when we needed to.”
Teams were tied at 40 going into the final quarter. With four minutes left, Ryan knocked away a ball from East senior Rachel Erickson on a missed SHS free throw. Taylor Townsend recovered and scored to take the lead 49-47. Ryan finished two slashing drives in transition to put the Lady Broncs further ahead, and they closed the game with free throws.
Ryan finished with 20 points, Townsend had 12 and Myers had 10.
“We had heart and we hit our free throws, and we finished it,” Pickett said.
Sheridan hosts Cheyenne Central today at 1 p.m. at the high school, looking to come out strong after an intense Friday night win.
“We’re going to try,” Pickett said.