ROCK SPRINGS – The Mustang Women’s Basketball will take an 11-4 non-conference record into their first conference games, at home against Miles Community College on Jan. 12 at 5:30 p.m. and against Little Big Horn College on Jan. 14 at 1 p.m.
The women will play the same road and home schedule as the men for the remainder of January, with home contests against Northwest at 5:30 p.m. and against Sheridan at 2 p.m. on Jan. 26 and 28, respectively.
“Starting off at home is good for our girls, especially after a long layoff,” said Head Coach Garett Sherman, whose squad will have been idle for almost one month when his players take the court Jan. 12. “I’ve seen (a long break) be good for teams and I’ve seen it be bad for teams. We won’t know until we get back in the swing of things. I am hoping that it gives everybody time to rest mentally and physically. It could be a great thing, or it could be something we struggle our first couple of games with.“
Sherman said his squad’s impressive play so far has earned the Mustangs some notice around Region IX, with other coaches telling him they see Western as the team to beat this season.
“I’m not sure how much I believe in that,” the coach said. “I think we’ll have to see as we get along. Our conference is obviously pretty tough. There is never an easy win in our conference.
“We’ve got a chance to be pretty good. We certainly have some talent,” Sherman said. “We’ve just got to put everything together. Consistency, I think, will be our biggest thing. We’ve played some good games against some good teams, and we’ve had some letdowns against some teams we should have beaten. I guess it’s no different than any year that I’ve ever coached. But in region play, we just want to be playing our best basketball at the right time.”
Sherman identified Western Nebraska, Casper and Sheridan as a few of the teams the Mustangs must contend with to win a region title.
“Gillette won it last year, and they returned some good players,” he added. “And there are some other teams, like Northwest and Miles, that I think could be right up there. Their records might not show it, but I’ve seen them play, and if they put it all together they could be tough to beat. It’s a tough league, no doubt. And certainly, we could end up on top, but we’re going to have to play well to do that.”
The Mustang women are heading into the second half of their season injury-free.
“Right now, we’re good to go,” Sherman said. “Of course, (injuries) can happen anytime, especially after a long layoff. That’s one thing you cross your fingers for. But we’re going into the second half of the season full strength.”