SHERIDAN — The Sheridan High School Boys basketball team trailed 57-54 to Thunder Basin High School with 13 seconds left in the game.
Junior Sam Lecholat drew a foul on a 3-point shot and headed to the free-throw line with 4.5 seconds left in the game. Lecholat sank all three shots and sent the game to overtime.
Sheridan outscored the Thunder Basin Bolts 13-5 in overtime to win 70-62. Lecholat led the Broncs with 30 points in the game.
The Broncs trailed 54-45 with 2:44 left in the game. Three-pointers by senior Sam Rickett, junior Carter Dubberley and Lecholat pulled the Broncs within three, allowing Lecholat to tie the game.
Thunder Basin was 8-16 from the free-throw line in the game and was 3-6 in the final minutes. The Broncs were able to hit free-throws during critical moments of the game.
Sheridan was 13-22 from the line. Senior Gus Wright ended with 15 points but was 0-5 from the line.
Wright said he missed his free throws tonight but luckily Lecholat does not miss many of his.
Lecholat was 8-9 from the charity stripe, with all nine attempts coming in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Sheridan never led in the second half. The Broncs entered halftime down 31-27 and saw the deficit grow to nine within the first three minutes of the third quarter.
Head coach Jeff Martini said the team did not defend well and was out of sync to start the fourth quarter. But Sheridan got back on track and kept fighting to tie the game in the final seconds.
“It is totally grit; It is passion,” Lecholat said. “There are several teams that are down six and will just quit on us, like Thunder Basin did in overtime. It just takes grit and passion; there is nothing greater when you have a team that has both of that.”
Wright said the Broncs knew the game was not over until the final buzzer. The team has worked on playing from behind in practice and, spurred on by its home crowd, was ready to fight back at the end of the game.
Wright said the Broncs felt like they had the momentum going into overtime. Sheridan kept pushing and held strong when Thunder Basin tried to make a comeback of their own.
Martinis said the Broncs needed the win to avoid losing three games in a row. The win helps with the morale and confidence of the team.
Wright said it was a big win, but Sheridan needs to be focused heading into its game against Campbell County.
The Broncs improved to 7-4 on the season.
Lady Broncs lose big
The Lady Broncs lost against the Thunder Basin girls 68-39 in the first game of the night.
The Lady Broncs found themselves down early, trailing 17-4 in the first quarter and 38-14 at halftime. Sheridan played more competitively in the second half, where it outscored the Lady Bolts 35-30.
Head coach Larry Ligocki said the team played hard the entire game.
Thunder Basin capitalized on mistakes by the Lady Broncs to score easy points. Ligocki said a lot of those mistakes were Sheridan’s own fault.
Ligocki said he and the coaching staff felt like the Lady Broncs handled the pressure from the press Thunder Basin was applying, but the turnovers came when Sheridan tried to set up its offense. The press sped the Lady Broncs up and that led to the turnovers in the half-court.
The team needs to relax and not make silly mistakes after they break the press, Ligocki said. The Lady Broncs could not keep up with the offensive pace the Lady Bolts set.
Sheridan changed their offense int he second half, switching from a five-out offense and placing its two seniors — Katie Ligocki and Mollie Morris— in the post. Larry Ligocki said it worked initially, but Thunder Basin made adjustments that stopped the offense.
Sheridan has a quick turnaround, facing Campbell County High School Jan. 25.
Ligocki said the team was optimistic following the post-game talk. He reminded the team that basketball is a game where they might be struggling but the next game could be the time the Lady Broncs hit their stride or they could catch Campbell County on a bad night. The team needs to be ready to play every day.
The Lady Broncs are now 2-9 on the season.