SHERIDAN — Late in the fourth quarter of a home game in which the Sheridan High School girls basketball team wasn’t going to win, the Lady Broncs were still diving on the floor for loose balls, running their offense and battling Kelly Walsh.
That’s precisely what head coach Larry Ligocki has pleaded with his team to show — heart, effort and grit for 32 minutes.
“Those are things we’ve been discussing, and the kids are getting better at it,” Ligocki said.
Saturday provided further proof that Sheridan is inching closer and closer to that complete game.
The game against the Lady Trojans — which ended in a 47-29 final score — also showed that the Lady Broncs have improved.
Sheridan has played Kelly Walsh three times this season, and each time Ligocki can see his team becoming more confident in its ability to compete against one of Wyoming’s top teams.
“I do see improvement,” Ligocki said. “When I call a play, all five kids know the play. We don’t always run it right and build the right angels into it. We don’t always get the right screen, but they know the play, so that’s different and better than in previous points of the season.”
The Lady Broncs absorbed an initial 6-0 punch from the Lady Trojans and responded scoring 10 of the last 15 points of the first quarter. Sheridan made a concerted effort to throw the ball inside and earned 10 trips to the free-throw line making eight of the freebies.
Danilynn Schell, who tallied seven first-quarter points, continued to hurt the Lady Broncs. She went on a personal 9-2 run, which gave the Lady Trojans their first double-digit lead at 22-12 with 5:02 left in the first half.
Sheridan simply didn’t have an answer for Schell who showcased her ability to dribble drive and hit from the outside. She finished with a game-high 19 points and helped Kelly Walsh hold a 27-17 lead at the break.
The Lady Broncs’ third quarters against the Lady Trojans this season is what has done them in and it doomed them again Saturday. Sheridan — which only managed two points in the third period in the previous matchup — only logged four points, and that allowed Kelly Walsh to construct a 37-21 advantage.
“I felt like this game really mirrored the game we played last week against them,” Ligocki said. “I feel we can stay close with this team, and we need to do it for a full game. … Those are things we need to iron out. We are not putting a full game together, and when a team is better than you are, you don’t have room for all the unforced errors, and we had a ton of unforced errors.”
Aniston Beard played one of her stronger games of the season. She paced the Lady Broncs with 11 points, while Annie Mitzel added seven.
The Lady Broncs are back in action Friday at Thunder Basin before returning home to host Campbell County Saturday.
Kelly Walsh…11 10 10 10 — 47
Sheridan…….10 7 4 8 — 29
Kelly Walsh — Schell 19; Carruth 10; H. Lloya 5; Struse 4; Bowers 2; Sangler 2; Schumacher 2; B. Lloya 1
Sheridan — Beard 11; Mitzel 7; Ligocki 5; Wilson 2; Moser 2; Johnson 1; Rafferty 1