It was a clash of the big cats on Friday night in Sheridan when the Panthers welcomed the Harrison-Willow Creek Wildcats for a night of basketball.
The boys’ junior varsity teams took the court first and Sheridan lost to Harrison in a close game with a score of 26 – 35.
Varsity boys were next on the floor. Harrison gained control of the tip, but Panther junior Colter Kenworthy stole the ball and passed it to senior Brant Marsh to put Sheridan on the board first. Harrison played big in the paint and led for most of the first half, but Sheridan was able to tie the game at 26 with a little more than two minutes left.
Sheridan’s already limited roster was cut even shorter at the beginning of the second half when Marsh was forced to take a seat on the bench due to an ankle injury he sustained battling for a rebound against Wildcat senior John Brennan.
According to Sheridan coach Chad Elser, Marsh’s injury was looked at Monday, Jan. 6 and he is suffering from a high ankle sprain—Marsh will spend the next two weeks on the bench while he recovers.
The Panthers relied heavily on both Kenworthy and senior Seth Green who were deadly from 3-point range, but the Harrison-Willow Creek Wildcats kept a lead throughout the game with players Brennan and senior Garrett Petersen remaining dominant, each putting 20 points on the board.
With a little more than four minutes left in the game, Panther junior Sam Wood fouled out and the Sheridan team was down to only four players on the court.
“It was our only option,” Elser said. “The four boys out there fought until the end—they really played hard and did not give up.”
The Wildcats maintained their lead and won the game against the at-home Panthers 58 – 68.
The girls’ teams closed the night. Harrison junior Britt Cooper got the tip off and scored a 3-pointer on the first play of the game. The opening play foreshadowed the rest of the game—Cooper was in control of the ball, leading her team with 21 points.
Panther freshman and starter Janie Smart put the first four points on the board for Sheridan in the first quarter. Sophomore McKenzy Shields put two points on the board for the Panthers and junior April Degel scored three points in the fourth quarter.
The aggressive, experienced Harrison-Willow Creek Wildcats bested Sheridan 9 – 53—senior Jaci Nesbit added to Cooper’s points with 16 of her own, while senior Kristen White scored nine. Izee Arcangeli, Addie Nesbit and Megan Skillman also put points on the board for the Wildcats.
“I thought we did a very good job of running our plays and our quickness definitely showed in that game,” Wildcat coach Lisa Cooper said. “We are starting to get in a flow on offense and we are really learning our positions—this week on offense we really clicked.”