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January 12, 2013
Northwest Montana A Conference


GIRLS  FRI.  1-11-13  


Polson 55, Corvallis 32

At Polson, the host Lady Pirates found themselves embroiled in a tight contest through the early going with the visiting Lady Blue Devils, but then all the drills they have been working on over the past several weeks began to bear some of the long awaited fruit from their labors. A staunch Lady Pirate defense clamped down and held the visitors to single digit scoring through the middle quarters as Polson (1-6) picked up its first win of the season. Senior forward/post Heidi Rausch and guard Malia Hamel shared high scoring honors with 11 apiece. Rausch further contributed 10 boards to post a double-double, while Hamel want a stellar 6-7 from the charity stripe. Mackenzie Banner and Jessica Bagnell just missed tallying double figures themselves with 9 points and 8 points respectively. Post Hallie Hovenkotter gathered in 10 rebounds to bolster the cause of the home team. Cross-country State A champion team member, Track & Field two-time State A champion team member and multiple event, multiple time all-state runner senior Lakyn Connors was the only Lady Blue Devil to tally double figures with 10 points. Courtney Albright reeled in 9 rebounds and Sydonia Curtis pilfered a half dozen steals. The visitors put together a little run to open the second half to cut the Polson lead into single digit territory, outscoring the Lady Pirates by a 3:1 ratio, but then three of their key starters found themselves saddled with foul trouble, forcing them to the bench. Corvallis would only score one more basket in the third quarter thereafter, while the Lady Pirates doubled the offensive productivity of the Lady Blue Devils to open up their biggest lead of the season. Corvallis was also plagued by cold shooting woes that rivaled the teen degree Arctic temperatures outside. On any other given night, this might have been a much closer contest, but it was not to be on this particular evening. The Lady Pirate were hungry for a win and were not willing to relinquish this one.

Corvallis 8 5 8 11 - 32
Polson 9 16 16 14 - 55

CORVALLIS - Lakyn Connors 10, Carlie Jessop 5, Courtney Albright 4, Kayla Lewis 3, Breanne Luedecke 3, Sydonia Curtis 3, Jordan Miller 3, Chelsi Clarke 1.

POLSON - Heidi Rausch 11, Malia Hamel 11, Mackenzie Banner 9, Jessica Bagnell 8, Anna DiGiallonardo 6, Hallie Hovenkotter 4, Tegan Bauer 3, Breanna Harrison 2, Jaylin Kenney 1.

3FG - Corvallis 1-5 (Connors), Polson 2-9 (Banner, Hamel). REBOUNDS - Corvallis 30 (Albright 9, Luedecke 5, Connors 4, Miller 4, Jessop 4, Clarke 2, Curtis 2), Polson 39 (Rausch 10, Hovenkotter 10, Bagnell 8, Banner 3, Bauer 3, Hamel 2, Harrison 2, Kenney 1). ASSISTS - Corvallis 2 (Clarke, Albright), Polson 3 (Banner, Kenney, Rausch). STEALS - Corvallis 14 (Curtis 6, Luedecke 3, Albright 2, Connors 2, Clarke 1), Polson 18 (Rausch 5, DiGiallonardo 4, Banner 2, Hamel 2, Bauer 2, Bagnell 2, Harrison 1). BLOCKS - Corvallis 2 (Connors 2), Polson 4 (Bauer 2, Hovenkotter, Rausch). DEFLECTIONS - Polson > 15 (Hamel 4, Bauer 4, DiGiallonardo 3, Monika Frame 2, Bagnell, Banner).

Unofficial game rendition by John Heglie in collaboration with Tom Kenney for Polson stats and the Corvallis coaching staff for their input. Some details may vary from official summary.


Hellgate secures first win

STEVENSVILLE – Lexi Duce racked up 23 points and nine rebounds in leading the Class AA Missoula Hellgate girls’ basketball team to its first victory Friday over Class A Stevensville, 54-32.

The Knights (1-7) put together a dominating first half on both ends. As a result, they led 27-9 at halftime.

Stevensville (4-6) suited up just six players for a variety of reasons and struggled without its senior center, Alycia Sims. Hellgate boasted a 34-20 advantage in rebounds.

The Knights enjoyed a solid shooting performance, hitting 25 of 63 attempts from the floor. Stevi was 12 for 38.

Kayla Peterson paced the Yellowjackets with 15 points. Teammate Kyla Paulsen grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Hellgate 12 15 14 13 – 54

Stevensville 7 2 7 16 – 32

HELLGATE – Lexi Duce 23, Claire Hinther 9, Kara Hogan 8, Hydee Wilson 5, Makaya Resner 5, Darby Henthorn 4.

STEVENSVILLE – Kayla Peterson 15, Kyla Paulsen 7, Bailey Vercruyssen 6, Carly Vercruyssen 2, Madison Boesch 2.

Polson 55, Corvallis 32

At Polson, Heidi Rausch and Malia Hamel each scored 11 points to push the Pirates past the Blue Devils in the nonconference game.

Polson scored 16 points in both the second and third quarters and outscored Corvallis 32-13 over the middle periods.

Lakyn Connors reached double figures with 10 points to lead the Blue Devils, who fell to 1-7 overall.

Polson scored its first win in seven tries.

Corvallis 8 5 8 11 – 32

Polson 9 16 16 14 – 55

CORVALLIS – Lakyn Connors 10, Chelsi Clarke 1, Sydania Curtis 3, Kayla Leiais 3, Brean Luedecke 3, Courtney Albright 4, Jordan Miller 3, Carlie Jessop 5.

POLSON – Mackenzie Banner 9, Malia Hamel 11, Tegan Bauer 3, Gaylin Kenney 1, Anna DiGiallonardo 6, Breanna Harrison 2, Jessica Bagnell 8, Heidi Rausch 11.

Class B

Thompson Falls 42, Libby 29

At Thompson Falls, Kelsey Fitchett scored 16 points to push the District 7-B Bluehawks past Northwestern A Libby.

Fitchett went 4 for 6 from the free-throw line on the game and scored 10 points in the second half to boost her team-high total. Thompson Falls improved to 6-3 overall with the nonconference win.

Daylyn Germany scored 11 points to lead Libby, which fell to 1-3 overall.

Libby 7 6 5 11 – 29

T. Falls 13 7 10 12 – 42

LIBBY – Kaitlyn Gilder 2, Hannah England 3, Hailey Craig 8, Hailey Moe 4, Daylyn Germany 11 Devon Gallagher 1.

THOMPSON FALLS – Hope Reid 8, Kelsey Fitchett 16, Madison Fitchett 4, Allison Vaught 8, Logan Beckman 6.


Big Timber 51, Livingston 41

Livingston 11  16  41 
Big Timber 12  11  13  15  51 

Livingston — Emily Fochs 3, Megan Schoenen 10, Macy Ricketts 10, Megan Ricketts 1, Mia Stewart 4, Meadow Ingram 9, Callie Ellington 2, Mariel Kelley 2.

Big Timber — Hayley Moen 7, Haley Sargent 10, Taryn Campbell 9, Liz Arlian 12, Carly Rech 8, Sidney Arant 5.


BELGRADE — Make it personal.

It’s what Shanna Smith told her Belgrade girls basketball team prior to Friday night’s contest against Three Forks. Belgrade took it to heart in the final 4 minutes of its 41-34 victory at the Special Events Center.

The Class A Panthers closed the contest on a 13-4 spurt to secure the comeback victory and ensure themselves of a two-games-in-two-nights split against District 5B. Belgrade lost, 36-34, in Manhattan on Thursday.

Three Forks had a late chance at a potential tie, but Belgrade’s Dylan Fowler swiped the ball back 2 seconds after it was taken from her. She sprinted down court for a layup and a 39-34 lead. A missed 3-pointer by the Wolves’ Skylar Baldry led to Fowler being fouled and hitting a pair from the line a few seconds later for the final tally.

A Fowler theft after Taylor Woolman’s put-back led to a Leighton Hirsch layup and a 29-28 advantage. Later, Woolman snagged an offensive rebound, and the ball found its way to Holly Dahinden. Dahinden buried an open 3 – one of just four hit by both teams – for a 34-30 advantage.

The visiting Wolves (3-6) never got closer than two points down the stretch.

“We made it work however we made it work,” Smith said. “We had a couple huge plays down the stretch — a couple put-backs, a huge 3 by Dahinden.

“This was an ugly ‘W’, and we’ll take it.”

In what has become a typical box score when Belgrade meets its close 5B rivals, neither team shot more than 29 percent from the field (Three Forks 10-for-37; Belgrade 14-for-49). It also was a turnover-filled contest (23 for Three Forks, 19 for Belgrade), and the whistles were blown frequently as each team tried to outrun and outhustle each other. Belgrade (5-4) was called for 23 fouls and Three Forks 22.

The key for Jeff Bellach’s Wolves was the free-throw line: Despite sinking three more free throws than Belgrade, the Wolves missed half their attempts from the line. Mariah McLeod, who netted a game-high 14 points, hit 10 of her 12 from the stripe, but the rest of the team connected on just three.

“That hurt a lot,” Bellach said. “I told the girls before the game, ‘We make free throws, we’ll have a good chance to win.’ Mariah did her part, but the rest of us didn’t.”

Baldry added 11 despite struggling from the field; she shot 5-for-16. The senior wing added three blocks and four steals, both team bests. But she – like several of her teammates — was caught over-rotating or just flat-footed on defense a few times down the stretch. That led to Belgrade’s march back from a 28-25 deficit 2 minutes into the final frame.

“We got lost a couple times, didn’t move our feet,” Bellach said. “We were switching up and got confused a couple times. We have to get better at that.”

Fowler and classmate Leighton Hirsch each scored 10 points for nearly half the Panthers output. The pair of guards combined for 17 rebounds, seven on the offensive end, and six of 14 steals. Dahinden, the third starting guard, sank just one shot and had a game-high four steals.

“We talked about … having a lot of pride in the way we play and protecting our home court,” Smith said. “I’m really proud of my kids.”

Belgrade 41, Three Forks 34

Three Forks    7 6 8 13 - 34

Belgrade    9 8 8 16 - 41


Mariah McLeod 2 10-12 14, Skylar Baldry 5 0-0 11, Mardee Scott 0 1-4 1, Taylor Ferguson 1 0-0 2, Dani Dellinger 0 1-8 1, Madison McCauley 2 1-2 5. Totals: 10 FG 13-26 FT 34.


Holly Dahinden 1 2-2 5, Leighton Hirsch 4 1-3 10, Dylan Fowler 2 6-13 10, Erin Singelton 1 0-0 3, Tanna Holliday 4 0-1 8, Taylor Woolman 2 1-3 5. Totals: 14 FG 10-22 FT 41.

3-point goals—TF 1 (Baldry), Bel 3 (Dahinden, Hirsch, Singelton). Rebounds—TF 38 (Dellinger 10), Bel 38 (Fowler 9). Assists—TF 2 (Dellinger, Scott), Bel 5 Hirsch 2). Steals—TF 8 Baldry 4), Bel 14 (Dahinden 4). Blocks—TF 4 (Baldry 3), Bel 5 (Woolman 3).

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