Girls create bond during 2018 season


Senior Alli Puuri executes a jump shot against Campbell County. (Photo courtesy Ashley Cooper)

The Sheridan Lady Broncs varsity basketball team played their first game of the season on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyo. Since then, the girls have greatly improved not only on their gameplay but also their team chemistry. Even though some of the games have been tough, the Lady Broncs are still keeping a positive outlook on the season. This year, the team is primarily focused on bonding with the rest of their team as well as with a new varsity head coach Larry Ligocki.

Part of what makes the Lady Broncs such a well-balanced team is the chemistry and the friendship between the players. “We’re all super tight,” said senior Alli Puuri. “Part of that is because we’ve been playing together since fifth grade. We can easily pick up on each other’s emotions.” Puuri said the team is mainly focusing on their regional conference right now. Only six out of the seven teams in the region can compete, and the varsity team needs to rank in the top four in the region in order to go to state.

Senior Riley Rafferty does not seem to be worried, despite some of the losses the team has had this season. “The season has been lots of fun,” Rafferty said. “There’s been a couple of tough games, but I think we can make the cut.” Rafferty explained that the team does not focus on the larger picture, but instead they focus on each week and each game. She said preparing for each game is exhausting, but very rewarding.

Junior Jordan Christensen has been on the girls varsity team since her freshman year. As a result, she has seen outstanding players come and go. “The freshman have big spots to fill; I think they’re ready for it,” Christensen said. She also mentioned the influential leadership of the seniors. “They don’t seem older than us. They’re our friends, not just ‘the seniors.’”

The JV and varsity girls are incredibly close, and it definitely shows. “We’re all friends on and off the court,” said Christensen. Christensen also said that the team is getting better and better every week, since they learn their opponent’s offense and how to play against it.

Head coach Ligocki is confident in the team and their ability to compete in state. “It’s not one of those things where state is a given, but I certainly think it’s achievable,” said Ligocki. He said that the young ladies on the team are the best he has ever worked with. This is Ligocki’s first year coaching girls basketball.

The girls are currently ranked third and are in the middle of their conference, and they are working hard to be able to compete in state. If they do make regionals, their games are March 1-3 in Laramie, Wyo.