Broncs enter 4A East homestretchSHERIDAN - The Sheridan Broncs will attempt to ride momentum of a close game in Gillette into the second half of their conference season.
That impetus will have to be found by viewing the positives from a loss, one of those being that the Broncs played the Camels on their turf as close as any team this calendar year.
Gillette (15-2, 5-0 4A East) held off a gritty Sheridan (7-10, 2-3) squad 77-70, and sits one game ahead of the Laramie Plainsmen (14-3, 4-1) in conference play at the halfway point. The Broncs and Laramie will face off at 7:30 p.m. Friday Sheridan.
The Plainsmen beat Sheridan 62-44 Jan. 19. Reed Ritterbusch scored 23 points, but the Plainsmen controlled the game after a 20-6 first quarter. The loss followed a close, 58-56, win over the Cheyenne South Bison the night before that came behind a 24-point, 10-rebound performance from Ritterbusch.
Laramie’s lone conference loss was to Gillette 79-58. The Plainsmen have three players who score at least 13 points per game.
Sheridan sits in the middle of the pack in the 4A East, ahead of Cheyenne South and Central, both 1-4 in conference. The Broncs get a rematch with South (8-10) Saturday afternoon.
After exiting the Christmas break amid the best season in school history, the Bison struggled through the first half of 4A East play.
Khyler Cummings leads the Bison with 14.3 points per game, and is complemented by Isiah Sims’ 10.3 ppg.
Ritterbusch paced the Broncs in Gillette, scoring 27 points and upping his season average to 20.1 ppg.
Dylan Daniels scored 13 and is second with 12.1 ppg. Other Broncs chip in, depending on the night. Twin brothers Trae and Tyler Kaufmann have become dependable bench role players, showing hustle inside on the offensive glass, and Judson White shows promise as a consistent post presence.
For Sheridan, the two games represent the final home games before a season-finale with Gillette Feb. 21. They head to Cheyenne East and Central next weekend.
Lady Broncs trek on final regular season road trip
SHERIDAN – The Lady Broncs have the good fortune of playing their final three regular season games at home.
First, they’ll have to get through a final long road trip this weekend.
Coming off a 10-point loss in Gillette, the Lady Broncs (15-2) will look to get back to their winning ways with games at Laramie and Cheyenne South Friday and Saturday.
In their first meetings with the two teams, Sheridan cruised to two 20-point wins.
Before the loss on the road in Gillette, the Lady Broncs were on a five-game win streak. Their two losses this season (55-45 to Gillette and 37-34 to Natrona in overtime) have come to the No. 1 and No. 3 ranked teams in the state, via WyoPreps weekly poll.
Despite the two losses, the Lady Broncs have yet to allow an opponent more than 60 points in a contest this year. Sheridan surrendered a season high in Gillette, 55, and have only given up 50 points one other time; against South in the two teams’ first meeting.
Gillette’s 55 points was helped by a 22-25 shooting night from the free throw line. Laramie (13-4) beat Cheyenne Central, but is coming off a Saturday 50-40 loss to Cheyenne East entering their Friday night rematch with the Lady Broncs. The Lady Plainsmen’s only other losses this year have come to Gillette and Natrona.
For South, they will look to steal their first conference win of the year Saturday when they host Sheridan. The Lady Broncs pulled away for a 74-50 rout at SHS in their first game – one that could have been closer due to Lady Bronc turnovers.
Robbi Ryan and Hailey Ligocki lead the Lady Broncs at 10.4 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.
Sheridan plays at Laramie at 7:30 Friday night. They play South at 1 p.m. Saturday.