By the Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The Havre Central eighth-grade basketball team captured its own annual invitational basketball tournament with a hard-fought win over the Cascade Badgers.
Katie Mariani scored a game-high 21 points, including a pair of clutch three-pointers down the stretch to secure the victory. Steph Stremcha scored 16 points inside and grabbed several big rebounds in the win.
Central opened the tournament with a 71-13 thrashing of Hays-Lodge Pole. Mariani and Stremcha led a group of four scorers in double figures with 14 points each. Jenna McCann and Danika Patterson added 12 points apiece in the win.
Central then squeaked past rival Our Lady of Lourdes out of Great Falls in the semifinals, 60-59. Mariani led the 49ers with 18 points while Karly Evans had 11. McCann, Stremcha and Jaleesa Barthel chipped in with eight points each.
For her efforts, Mariani was unanimously named the tournament's most valuable player while Stremcha and McCann were named to the all tournament team.
Other members of the eight grade team were Stacey Sheppard, Mara Malsam and Jessica Obrecht.