The Lady Yellowjackets of Stevensville fell to conference foe Anaconda on Saturday. The two teams traded baskets early in the first quarter before Stevensville pulled had by six points at the end of that period. But the pressure defense by the Copperheads was beginning to take a toll.
“They played a great defensive game,” said Stevensville coach Brandon Day of Anaconda. “We didn’t handle the pressure.”
Alycia Sims of Stevensville had two different opportunities to give the Lady ‘Jackets an edge going into the halftime break. But the only hit one each time and a quick Anaconda basket at the end of the second quarter gave Anaconda a one-point margin at the break. When the teams came back on the court, it was more of the same back and forth scoring with no more than four points separating the two for much of the third quarter. With just over a minute remaining in the third quarter, Sims hit a short jumper and was fouled. However she didn’t sink the charity shot. Anaconda’s Courtney Moodry hit a trey and then Karli King hit another Copperhead field goal to give Anaconda a four-point lead at the buzzer.
“They just outplayed us,” said Day. “We had a lot of missed free throws, turnovers, just didn’t play smart.”
Stevensville spotted Anaconda eight points in the fourth quarter before climbing back into the game when Kyla Paulsen and then Sims each had a steal. Paulsen was fouled but only hit one free throw. Sims, who was double and sometimes triple teamed, hit another field goal to bring Stevensville within two points. But the clock was ticking down and for every point scored by the Lady ‘Jackets, Anaconda came right back to score again.
“We have to get some more production from the other girls,” said Day. “It was a good game for us though, an eye opener. They (Stevensville) work hard. They’re down right now but they will bounce back.”
Anaconda 49, Stevensville 41
Anaconda – Abby Stanberry 14, Jacqueline Verlanic 10, Courtney Moodry 9, Jayme Stergar 10, Karli King 4, Julia Peterson 2.
Stevensville – Alicia Sims 20, Kayla Peterson 7, Kyla Paulsen 6, Britney Chilcott 4, Baylee Bergman 4.
Florence was host to St. Ignatius on Saturday. Mission jumped out to an early lead but Florence soon caught fire on defense, creating turnover after turnover and converting those turnovers to points. By the end of the first quarter, Florence had a six-point lead while Mission had seven fouls.
The key to Florence girls basketball this year is intensity and attacking, attacking, attacking to create turnovers and make baskets. This involves a lot of scrapping and fighting for the ball. By the end of the night, the referees had called 33 jump balls.
“I would say that is probably on a par with how we’ve been doing it all season,” said Florence coach Bryan Neuman of the jump ball calls. “I thought we did a good job with our double teaming without fouling.”
He went on to say that he had been telling his team to adjust to the ref and if they were calling the game tighter, the Lady Falcons would back off. But that wasn’t the case on Saturday. Florence went on to win, 59-32. Neuman said his team didn’t shoot very well – they were 21 of 92 from the field – but he was pleased with the 49 turnovers they created. With the win, Florence moved to 4-1 in conference play and 7-5 overall.
Florence 59, St. Ignatius 32
St. Ignatius – Lauren Erickson 10, Steph Lewandowski 7, Bryanna Steele 10, Sahriha Camacho 1, Katrina Stevens 2, Hayley O’Hern 2.
Florence – Courtney Byrne 2, Cody Miller 11, Carli O’Brien 3, Kyndall Hoff 7, Rosie O’Brien 12, Megan Byrne 1, Cassandra Skeers 12, Paige Bodner 7, Hailey Huot 2, Margaret Finlay 2.
In other girl’s basketball action, Hamilton took on Butte Central. Hamilton got off to a slow start and could never catch up to the Maroons. Butte Central won, 44-30. Taylor Goligoski had nine points and Meghan Kratofil had eight points to pace the Lady Broncs. Stevensville defeated Polson, 46-36, on Thursday. Paulsen had 16 points to lead the Lady Yellowjackets. Corvallis fell to Dillon on Saturday night, 49-37. Lakyn Connors tallied 20 pointed for the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils fell to Florence, 79-53 on Thursday. Rosie O’Brien had 29 points to lead the Lady Falcons while Connors dropped in 22 for Corvallis. Darby topped Philipsburg, 61-45. Julie Abrahamsen broke loose for 17 points for Darby and Brianna Massey added 16. Arlee edged Victor, 46-39 on Friday. Skye Mitcham, Shai Scheffer and Ryanne Tracey all had nine points each for Victor in the game. Victor lost another close game on Saturday. The Lady Pirates lost to Lincoln, 34-27. Haley Tillotson had 10 points for Victor.