Huskies, Renegades, Cougars all record wins during first week
The girls basketball teams across Stillwater County found success in this season’s opening weekend.
At a tournament in Sheridan last Saturday, the Huskies faced the freshman team from Class A Belgrade.
After a close first quarter, Absarokee outscored Belgrade 14-5 to put the Huskies up 22-10 at halftime. The third quarter was slow, with only six points scored between the two teams.
Entering the final quarter, Absarokee was up 14 points. Belgrade continued to fight, and went on a 22-9 run in the fourth quarter. In the end, the Huskies were able to outlast the Panthers, winning 35-34.
Absarokee was led by junior Mallorey Sheppard with 14 points. Senior Rebecka Lester scored nine points, and senior Emma LaMoure had five. Also contributing was sophomore Kaiya Holmquist with four points.
Coach Jimmie Lester felt the Huskies started the season well in the first game.
“They played as a team on defense and got some critical stops to get a win,” he explained.
This Saturday, the Huskies will face West Yellowstone in a tournament the Wolverines are hosting.
Lester said the team will be missing two starters due to college testing, but he is confident the team’s younger players will be able to step up and perform well.
Throughout the season, the Huskies will be working to push the ball more, get early scoring opportunities, and limit turnovers, according to Lester. If the team can do that, he believes the team will find success this season.
On Saturday, the Renegades faced the Fromberg Falcons.
This year, Fromberg does not have a varsity girls basketball team, it only has a JV team. Because of this, RPR’s game on Saturday counted as a JV game.
The Renegades controlled the game from the start, putting up 30 points to the Falcons’ two in the first half. After a close third quarter, RPR outscored Fromberg by nine points to win 49-11.
Junior Jocelyn Ott and sophomore Carlee Blodgett led the Renegades’ offense, putting up 18 and 14 points, respectively. Mercedes Hoff, a junior, had seven points, and freshman Abby Knoll and sophomore Lily Knoll each contributed four.
“For the first game of the season I was pleased that the girls came out ready to play and pushed the tempo of the game,” said Coach Tricia Hess. “I feel we played good team basketball and we moved the ball well on offense and pushed the ball up the court on fast breaks.”
She felt the girls were able to get out some beginning of the season jitters, and is glad they have the first game in the books.
RPR will head to the Showcase Tournament in Lewistown this week. On Thursday the Renegades will play Denton-Geyser-Stanford, and on Friday they will face Tri-City.
Hess is looking forward to the tournament, saying that it will get players out of their comfort zones and will give the team an opportunity to play teams from other conferences.
“It gives us the chance to try different things before we get into conference play to see how well they work or don’t work in game situations for the players that we have on the court,” she explained.
The Cougars had a busy opening weekend, playing on both Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Columbus faced Class A Laurel at home. The first half was slow for the Cougars, and the team went into halftime down 30-10. The team gained some momentum in the third and fourth quarters, but the late push was not enough, and Columbus came up short, losing 48-31.
The Cougar offense was led by junior Morgan Kirch with 11 points. Junior Alexa Riveland put up five points, and sophomores Liz Lorash and Brenna Rouane each added four.
Columbus was more successful on Saturday in Big Timber. The Cougars came out strong in the first quarter, outscoring the Herders 7-4. The tide changed in the second quarter, though, and at halftime Columbus was down 21-17.
After a close third quarter, the Cougars entered the final minutes of the game down five points. In the fourth quarter Columbus caught fire, going on a 23-10 run to win the game 53-45.
Senior Camryn Ault had a great game, putting up 20 points. Rouane and Kirch each added 15 points.
This weekend Columbus will head to Manhattan for a tournament on Friday and Saturday.