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February 22, 2014
Northwest Montana A Conference


THURS., 02-20

Stavish, Frenchtown girls roll up Polson

POLSON – Vanessa Stavish had 11 points by halftime and finished with 18 to lead Frenchtown to the 56-22 Northwestern A runaway road victory over Polson on Thursday.

The Broncs improved to 6-2 in conference play and 13-5 overall while the Pirates fell to 1-6, 2-15.

Lacey Hochhalter added 13 points for Frenchtown, which went 13 for 20 from the foul line. Polson was just 3 for 5.

Haley Cyr and Allie Moe each added seven points for the Broncs.

Nichole Lake’s five points led the Pirates while Jessica Bagnell chipped in four points.

Frenchtown 15 14 18 9 – 56

Polson 4 9 5 4 – 22

FRENCHTOWN – Haley Cyr 7, Vanessa Stavish 18, Kayla Blood 2, Allie Moe 7, Brooke Yarnall 5, Keegan Wickman 2, Lacey Hochhalter 13, Laci Willett 2.

POLSON – Skyla Kranzt 3, Hannah Potter 2, Jessica Bagnell 4, Nichole Lake 5, Dylan Quinn 2, Kaelen Wall 2, Monika Frame 2, Peyton Anderson 2.

Frenchtown 56, Polson 22
At Polson, the host Lady Pirates (2-15, 1-6) entertained intentions of reining in the Lady Broncs (13-5, 6-2) by keeping them penned up in a corral of sorts, but their equine visitors from the south stomped their hooves on such a maleficent masquerade at hospitality and instead gallantly galloped back home with gratification on account of their final victory of the regular schedule.   Polson put forth a valiant attempt at keeping pace with Frenchtown in the first quarter, coming close to matching the other team for attempted shots at the basket.  The margin of separation was due to the visitors converting their shots several times beyond those attempted by the host team, and alas the margin continued to expand like leaven in a rising loaf of baking bread.    The culprit behind some of this discrepancy was the almost 4:1 ratio of Frenchtown initiated pilfered possessions in comparison to those initiated by Polson, indicative that lack of precision in their passing and telegraphed intentions continue to plague ball movement and possession control.  Another aspect was the high percentage nature of Frenchtown from-the-floor shots and at one juncture of the latter stages of the second half, 80th percentile shooting from the free throw line.  But to the Lady Pirate’s credit, there were extended segments where they played well and would have posted more victories on the season had they played with such panache against less seasoned teams that they lost to earlier over the course of the season.   The Lady Broncs placed a pair of players in double figures, MSU-Billings bound Vanessa Stavish netting close to her ppg avg with 18 points, supplemented by a baker’s dozen contributed by Lacey Hochhalter.  Concordia University bound Kayla Blood provided a big spoon to help stir the pot with a half dozen assists and 7 steals. Lady Pirate leading scorers for points were Nicole Lake with a quintet and Jessica Bagnell with a quartet, although another half dozen contributed to the scoring coffers.  Polson could very well have generated three more additional points, but an Anderson deuce was denied by the officials as having been fouled before the shot, while Lake could have been perfect at the charity stripe on account of converting both of her free throws, but a Lady Pirate toe breaching the lane deducted its would-have-been credit.  One bright spot that can be gleaned from its game schedule thus far was that Polson tallied its first bonifide century club member for scoring on the season.  Team LP awaits the outcome of the remainder of its games to see whether others will emerge to ratify their membership with this club as well.
Frenchtown   15   14   18    9   -   56
Polson             4     9     5    4   -   22
FRENCHTOWN - Vanessa Stavish 18, Lacey Hochhalter 13, Haley Cyr 7, Alli Moe 7, Brooke Yarnall 5, Keegan Wickman 2,Kayla Blood 2, Laci Willett 2.
POLSON - Nicole Lake 5 (denied FT would have been 6), Jessica Bagnell 4, Skyla Krantz 3, Peyton Anderson 2 (denied 2FG would have been 4), Monika Frame 2, Kaelen Wall 2, Dylan Quinn 2, Hannah Potter 2.
3FG - Frenchtown 2-9 (Stavish, Hochhalter).
2FG - Frenchtown mid-40%, Polson low-30%.
FT - Frenchtown  13-20, Polson 2-5.
REBOUNDS - Frenchtown 30 (Stavish 7, Hochhalter 6, Cyr 5, Blood 4, Willett 3, Wickman 2, Moe, Yarnall, Shelby Shourds), Polson 25 (Lake 7, Bagnell 6, Jaylin Kenney 5, Anderson 2, Frame 2, Erin Sampson 2, Wall).  ASSISTS - Frenchtown 11 (Blood 6, Moe 2, Cyr, Wickman, Shourds), Polson 5 (Anderson 2, Lake, Bagnell, Krantz).  STEALS - Frenchtown 22 (Blood 7, Moe 4, Yarnall 3, Hochhalter 3,  Stavish 2, Cyr 2, Shourds), Polson 5 (Bagnell 2, Lake, Kenney, Frame).  BLOCKS - Frenchtown 3 (Stavish 2, Blood), Polson 2 (Anderson, Lake).  
Unofficial game rendition by John Heglie drawn from own game tally.  Polson stats have also benefited from collaboration with informal gallery statisticians Alan Anderson as well as some input from Tom Kenney.  Frenchtown stats have been supplemented by input from the Lady Bronc coaching staff.  Minor deviations may exist.  For example, my own game tally credited Cyr with an assist, whereas this was not reflected in the consultation after the game, which may change once film is reviewed.  

Central girls close regular season with win over Skyview

The girls basketball teams from Billings Central and Billings Skyview had other things on their minds besides their interclass matchup Thursday night.

Judging by the outcome at the Nelles Activities Center, Central did a better job of staying in the moment.

The Rams, ranked fourth in Class A, closed their regular season with a 49-39, preparing for their upcoming divisional tournament with a strong defensive effort and an efficient showing on the offensive end.

Central (14-4) trailed just once in the game and used a 7-0 run at the start of the second quarter to build an 11-point lead and effectively put away the Falcons of the Eastern AA.

“Senior Night, everybody’s jacked up, pretty emotional so I think it was a good performance considering our feelings,” said Central’s Erika Kuehn, one of six Rams playing their final game on the Central floor. “I think we came out and got a good win tonight.”

Two other seniors, Justyn Juhl and Melissa Koerber, reached double figures as the Rams shot 49 percent from the floor. Juhl had 13 points and Koerber netted 11 on a perfect night: 4 of 4 from the floor and 3 of 3 from the foul line.

Overall, it was a pretty solid performance from a team that won just four of seven games down the stretch as it readies for next weekend’s Eastern A tournament at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.

“Skyview’s been playing really, really well lately and so it’s nice to be able to get a win,” Central coach Levi Osborne said. “It’s always a little bit emotional on Senior Night. It’s kind of fun for us, but at the same time it gets us on a little bit of roll going into the divisional tournament.”

Skyview was coming off last week’s upset of Billings Senior, then the No. 3-ranked team in Class AA, and the Falcons’ Ronnie Harris and Aundrea Morales entered the game both shooting 39 percent from the arc.

But the Rams’ intense, ball-pressure defense forced the Falcons into some quick, off-balance shots, and Skyview finished shooting just 33 percent from the floor. Part of that was the team’s 3-for-14 performance from the 3-point line.

It’s only the fourth time this season Skyview has been held under 40 points. Coach Larry Newell credited the Central defense, but also said his team, which has three important Eastern AA games yet to play, just didn’t seem into the game.

“It really wasn’t us tonight,” said Newell, whose team travels to Butte on Saturday for a key league contest. “Don’t take anything away from Central. They’re a good team … they played hard. But it’s hard for us to play a non-conference game when our 100 percent focus and commitment is to get that (Eastern AA) home playoff game. I thought we were flat, and we got caught off-guard a little bit tonight.”

Harris led Skyview with eight points and Hailey Copinga had seven points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Central 49, Skyview 39

Skyview 14  12  39 
Central 13  12  18  48 

Billings Skyview (5-12) — Annie Nessen 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan Webster 1-6 0-0 2, Erika Murray 0-2 0-0 0, Tyler Fleury 1-3 2-2 4, Aundrea Morales 2-6 0-0 5, Ronnie Harris 3-8 1-2 8, Hailey Copinga 3-11 1-2 7, Brianna Bull Shows 3-3 0-0 6, Alex Allen 2-5 0-0 5, Bekah Ellis 0-2 2-4 2, Molly Little 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 15-46 6-11 39. 3-pointers: 3 (Morales 1, Harris 1, Allen 1). Rebounds: 29 (Copinga 13). Fouls: 15. Assists: 5 (Copinga 2). Turnovers: 16. Blocks: 3 (Allen 2). Steals: 11 (Copinga 3). Fouled out: None.

Billings Central (14-4) — Becca Shipp 0-1 0-1 0, Allie Lucas 2-6 2-4 9, Mariah Wittman 1-3 2-2 4, Julianna Arellano 0-0 0-0 0, Baylee Hadley 2-4 0-0 6, Morgan Lucas 0-0 0-0 0, Erika Kuehn 3-4 -1 6, Skylar Rockwell 0-0 0-0 0, Justyn Juhl 4-11 5-6 13, Melissa Koerber 4-4 3-3 11. Totals: 16-33 6-14 49. 3-pointers: 3 (Hadley 2, A. Lucas 1). Rebounds: 24 (Juhl 8). Fouls: 13. Assists: 9 (A. Lucas 4). Turnovers: 15. Blocks: 2 (Juhl 2). Steals: 6 (A. Lucas 3). Fouled out: None.


Lady Rangers fall to Fergus; will face Belgrade at Divisionals

Enterprise photo by Shawn Raecke

Park's Meadow Ingram looks to shoot under the basket in a crowd of Fergus defenders in the first half in Livingston, Thursday evening.

The Park High School girls basketball team had the Fergus Lady Golden Eagles right where they wanted them, tied going into the fourth quarter, but mistakes allowed Fergus to pull away and win 54-45.

The bitter irony of holding a Senior Night for a team with no seniors could sum up the regular season for the Lady Rangers, who struggled early in the year but have come on lately. 

The youthfulness of the team was apparent in the fourth quarter, as turnovers, fouls and cold shooting allowed Fergus to sneak away with a win, but head coach Jon Willyerd isn’t worried about the team’s play in the fourth quarter going into the Divisional Tournament.

“All year long I think we’ve scored 33 percent of our points in the fourth quarter,” he said, “and that’s the first time all year we haven’t scored most of our points in the fourth quarter.”

That being said, the Lady Rangers did hang tough with a team from Lewistown that’s competing with Browning for the second seed in the Central A. The Lady Rangers pulled out to an early lead, but Fergus fought right back to tie it up at halftime.

After the Lady Rangers scored 19 points in the third quarter, it looked as though they would continue to prove they’re a second-half team, but the wheels fell off in fourth. Park went scoreless for the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, allowing Fergus to pull out to a 48-42 lead.

Sophomore Sierra Higgs continued her impressive play leading Park with 14 points, three rebounds and three steals. Junior Mariel Kelly added 13 points and four boards in the loss. Meadow Ingram finished with six points and three rebounds.

“I feel really good about where we’re at,” Willyerd said.

Willyerd didn’t want to divulge any strategy going into their Divisional opener against Belgrade on Thursday, but said, “I don’t know if strategy decides the game more than whoever plays defense and rebounds.”

The Lady Rangers have been playing inspired defense lately. They’re second in the conference when it comes to cleaning up the glass, and are especially good at grabbing offensive boards. Belgrade is the only team that rebounds better, but the Lady Panthers also turn it over more than anyone, and Park’s gritty full-court pressure will likely create havoc for Belgrade.


Billings Central 49, Billings Skyview 39

Missoula Big Sky 61, Missoula Hellgate 51

District 1B at Cut Bank

First Round

Conrad 64, Rocky Boy 52

Cut Bank 65, Shelby 25

District 2B at Malta

First Round

Glasgow 43, Harlem 32

Plentywood 48, Poplar 20

District 3B at Colstrip


Baker 47, Colstrip 40

Forsyth 65, St. Labre 42

District 4B at Red Lodge


Red Lodge 48, Columbus 43

Shepherd 50, Huntley Project 42

District 5B at Belgrade

First Round

Big Timber 46, Three Forks 33

Townsend 59, Whitehall 22

District 7B


Bigfork 57, Thompson Falls 40

Plains 56, Eureka 31

District 3C at Wolf Point

First Round

Dodson 53, Nashua 46

Hinsdale 43, Lustre Christian 17

Scobey-Opheim 64, Frazer 23

District 4C at Miles City

Loser Out

Ekalaka 40, Wibaux 39

Melstone 51, Plevna 28

District 6C at Huntley Project

First Round

Broadview-Lavina 63, Roberts 34

Park City 48, Absarokee 37

District 7C at Lewistown

First Round

Hobson 41, Moore-Judith Gap 26


Denton-Geyser-Stanford 45, Roy-Winifred 38

District 8C at Great Falls

First Round

Belt 54, Geraldine 31

Fort Benton 42, Great Falls Central 30

Highwood 47, Centerville 35

District 9C at Havre


Chinook 52, Box Elder 30

North Star 48, Big Sandy 35

District 10C at Conrad

First Round

Dutton-Brady 54, Valier 40

Heart Butte 50, Power 36

Simms-Augusta 66, Sunburst 24

District 11-12C at Butte

First Round

Gardiner 51, White Sulphur Springs 32

Harrison-Willow Creek 41, Ennis 18

Shields Valley 64, West Yellowstone 36

Twin Bridges 39, Manhattan Christian 36

District 13C at Frenchtown

First Round

Darby 56, Valley Christian 33

Drummond 50, Lincoln 28

Seeley-Swan 56, Alberton 18

Victor 48, Phillipsburg 43

District 14C at Ronan

First Round

Charlo 56, Noxon 10

St. Regis 69, Two Eagle River 33

Superior 47, Hot Springs 27

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