SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Broncs return home after a tough six-game road trip dating back to mid-December, feeling pretty good about their results.
A 4-2 record through those long road games should be viewed as good progress. Losses came to Kelly Walsh (7-2) last Friday and Vernal, Utah, before Christmas in Green River.
Sheridan’s win at Billings Skyview, their Friday night opponent at SHS, was one of several good early-season road wins. The Broncs overcame foul trouble and held onto what was a 17-point first half lead for the 59-53 victory.
On Saturday they head to Natrona, completing a home-and-away new to the schedule this season that may not be back next year with a shortened Wyoming basketball schedule coming from the WHSAA.
The Broncs held off the Mustangs 69-55 in a comfortable win Dec. 13.
The Broncs have found balanced scoring in their “Big three.” Reed Ritterbusch (19.3 ppg) has come on strong as expected in his senior season, and is supplemented by Judson White (10.1) and Dylan Daniels (12.9).
The trio scores 66 percent of Sheridan’s 4A second-best 63.8 points per game, but a solid bench including good outside shooters like Blake Godwin gives Sheridan balance in its depth.
The Broncs lead 4A in field goal percentage (46 percent) free throws made and attempted as well as 2-point field goals made per game. They’re shooting 73 percent from the charity stripe, also a 4A leader.
Sheridan and Billings Skyview gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Falcons enter Friday night’s contest after a 58-51 win over Billings West on Tuesday.
On Saturday in Casper, Sheridan will play a Natrona team (3-8) that was beaten 80-50 last week by Gillette.
After 11 games, the Broncs begin 4A East Conference play next week with home games against Laramie and Cheyenne South.
A competitive 4A East awaits, with Cheyenne East (11-1) and Gillette (8-2) to contend with.
Through their non-conference schedule, the Broncs have earned wins over five of the six 4A West teams.
Lady Broncs return home in marquee matchup with Natrona
SHERIDAN — The No. 2 Lady Broncs only loss this season was in Casper on Dec. 13 to a complete No. 1 Natrona Lady Mustangs team, 62-51.
A rematch Saturday may be the game of the week.
Fans have a chance to see Stanford-bound Kaylee Johnson, playing in her senior season for the Lady Mustangs, this Saturday in a matchup with Sheridan that could repeat again late in this March’s 4A state tournament.
Outside the Natrona game, Sheridan has won eight games by an average 23.2 points, not allowing one of those opponents within 16 points.
Similar to the Broncs, the girls have beaten every 4A West team besides Natrona, and enter a competitive 4A East next weekend with the long trip to Laramie and Cheyenne South. East leads standings through non-conference play at 10-1, and Gillette is off to a 7-4 start.
It’s no secret Natrona is a formidable opponent, shooting 50 percent from the field through its 8-3 start to the season.
Johnson and senior teammate Gabby Johnson average 18.8 and 11.3 points per game. Additionally, Johnson averages an intimidating 5.3 blocks and just 2.1 fouls per game — the only 4A player getting more than one per contest on average.
She brings down 13.9 rebounds per game.
For Sheridan, sophomore Robbi Ryan and junior Taylor Townsend lead the way at 13.8 and 11.9 ppg respectively, with plenty of others contributing.
The Mustangs beat Gillette last week, 56-30, in their only game against Wyoming competition over their last six after playing two teams each from Billings and California and one from North Dakota. They were 3-3 over the stretch dating back to before Christmas.
In the two teams’ first meeting, Sheridan was outrebounded slightly 25-19, but perhaps felled by a hot-shooting night out of the Mustangs, who put in 68 percent of their shots.
While Natrona led the whole way, they lost the turnover battle 22-11.
The two teams meet at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at SHS.
Other sports on the road: Sheridan High School indoor track begins its season Friday in Gillette; Bronc wrestlers compete at the Phillip Invite in Phillip, S.D.; and the SHS swimmers spend two days in Cheyenne beginning Friday.