SHERIDAN — The sophomores that have played for the Generals the last two years haven’t tasted defeat all that often during their time at Sheridan College. They are a combined 57-7. That’s a .891 winning percentage. Those sophomores’ winning percentage increase to a perfect 1.000 when playing in the friendly confines of the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome. And that’s precisely why the Generals are so confident going into the Region IX tournament, which they’ll host beginning Thursday.
“It’s just home-court advantage,” Sheridan’s Adham Eleeda said. “We shoot here every day, we practice here every day, so we are comfortable here.”
In Region IX contests this season, the Generals are enjoying a 21.3 average scoring margin at home; while on the road, SC owns a 7.3 scoring margin.
At home, Sheridan tallied 89.4 points per game as opposed to an 85.5 point-per-game average on the road.
“Everybody shoots better at home,” Sheridan’s Javary Christmas said.
Oddly enough, when talking about Sheridan’s top three “shooters” — players who have attempted the most 3-pointers this season — only Christmas is shooting better from distance at home in league action than on the road. Christmas connects on 36.6 percent of his 3s at home, and hits 35 percent from deep on the road.
Eleeda drains 28.4 percent of his 3s inside the Golden Dome and 30 percent away from home, and Josh Bagley makes just 30.4 percent of his treys at home while hitting 40.5 percent of his 3-point attempts on the road.
With that being said, both Eleeda and Christmas enjoyed their most efficient 3-point performances of the season in the Generals’ opening-round game against Northwest College Saturday. Eleeda made 8 of 12 from 3-point territory and Christmas connected on five of his eight attempts from distance.
Those numbers are especially important for a player like Eleeda, who is strictly a 3-point specialist — only having made 10 shots inside the arc all conference season.
“I think [the game against Northwest] was huge for Adham, and it’s huge for our team,” Sheridan head coach Matt Hammer said. “We didn’t lose confidence with him, we just didn’t like what he was giving us. He wasn’t making as many 3s as he had been earlier in the year. He’s way too good of a shooter to keep going down that road.”
Hammer, who’s in his fifth year as head man, hasn’t lost at home since Feb. 1, 2017. And for all that success he’s had, Hammer has never hosted a region tournament.
It has been 10 years since the Generals hosted the conference tourney, and having it at home isn’t just advantageous for the team itself. It’s also beneficial to the town of Sheridan and the surrounding area.
“It’s big for the community,” Hammer said. “You got a lot of small business owners — my parents are small business owners — so any time we can give back to the community and help the community in this way, it’s huge.
“… A lot of the old faithful that come out every single night, no matter who we are playing, this is for them.”
Sheridan will battle No. 5-seeded Northeastern Junior College Thursday at 7 p.m. The Generals downed the Plainsmen 71-58 in Sterling, Colorado, Jan. 10. Should Sheridan advance, it would play the winner of a game between No. 2-seeded North Platte Community College and No. 3-seeded Central Wyoming College.
On the other half of the bracket, No. 2-seeded Casper College takes on No. 3-seeded Trinidad State Junior College, while No. 1-seeded Western Nebraska Community College will play No. 4-seeded Eastern Wyoming College.