Havre Daily News sports editor
The Chinook Sugarbeeters girls basketball team didn't have the regular season they had hoped for in their first year in Class C.
But last weekend at the District 9C girls basketball tournament in Havre, the Beeters got everything they wanted and then some by finishing in third place. And more importantly, they are still playing.
Chinook's 49-43 upset of second-seeded North Star in Saturday afternoon's consolation game, coupled with Rocky Boy's loss to Big Sandy in the championship game, gives the Beeters a chance to advance to the Northern C divisional tournament if they can beat the Morning Stars tonight in a 9C challenge game at the Havre High gymnasium.
In Saturday's consolation game, the fourth-seeded Beeters had to fight off a horrendous offensive performance in the first half and come to terms with their free-throw shooting demons in order to get past North Star.
After edging the Knights 12-11 in the first quarter, Chinook went on a scoring drought of epic proportions. From the last minute of the first period to the 6:20 mark of the third quarter, the Beeters went without a field goal.
Meanwhile, the Knights and center Tasha Dyrland took advantage. North Star outscored Chinook 11-3 in the second period, behind nine points from Dyrland, to take a 22-15 lead at halftime.
Chinook's woes continued early in the third quarter, but when Crystal Roseberry finally broke the scoring drought, everything changed. Chinook scored 15 unanswered points and outscored the Knights 23-6 in the third period to take a 35-28 lead heading into the final stanza.
In the fourth quarter, Dyrland and the Knights managed to fight their way back into the game, and she tied the game at 43-43 with 54 seconds remaining.
But Chinook responded by doing something it hadn't done all tournament - the Beeters made their free throws. The Beeters had all kinds of troubles from the charity stripe throughout the week, but in the last minute of Saturday's consolation game, the Beeters were a perfect 6-for-6 from the line, and that in essence is what kept their season alive.
Roseberry paced Chinook with 16 points and Georgia Barber added nine. The Knights got 17 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots from Dyrland. Jodi Norman added 12 points.
Chinook reached the consolation game with a 48-30 thumping of upstart Box Elder on Friday afternoon.
The Beeters outscored Box Elder 25-10 in the first half en route to the easy victory. Morgan Obie and Kassie Dugan paced the Beeters with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Rokki Parker scored 15 points in Box Elder's final game of the season.
North Star made its way into the consolation game with a 63-46 rout of Hays-Lodge Pole on Friday night. The Knights got a game-high 22 points from Dyrland and 13 from Allison Grant. HLP was paced by Suzi Kirkaldie's 15 points.
Tonight's District 9C girls challenge game between Rocky Boy and Chinook will get under way at 7:30 p.m. at the HHS gymnasium. The winner will move on to the Northern C divisional tournament in Great Falls next weekend.
Beeters 49, Knights 43 (3rd)
North Star 11 11 6 15 - 43
Chinook 12 3 20 14 - 49
North Star - Maia Aageson 5, Natasha Dyrland 17, Magen Warren 3, Allison Grant 2, Jodi Norman 12, Jourdan Han 4. Totals: 16 10-13
Chinook - Dawn Kellem 8, Crystal Roseberry 16, Jacque McMaster 8, Morgan Obie 5, Georgia Barber 9, Kassie Dugan 3. Totals: 17 12-21.
Total fouls - NS 23, Chinook 17. Fouled out - Grant, Norman, Dugan. 3-point goals - Aageson, Roseberry 2, Obie.
Beeters 48, Bears 30 (lo)
Chinook 10 15 15 8 - 48
Box Elder 5 5 9 11 - 30
Chinook - Dawn Kellem 3, Cheyanne Hamilton 4, Crystal Roseberry 8, Abby Johnson 2, Morgan Obie 14, Georgia Barber 5, Kassie Dugan 12. Totals: 20 4-10.
Box Elder - Rokki Parker 15, Sharlene Yellow Tail 2, Tasha Parisian 5, Emily McCovy 1, LaTasha Wolfchild 3, Arielle Wolfchief 4. Totals: 10 6-13.
Fouls - Chinook 18, Box Elder 15. Fouled out - McMaster. 3-pointers - Parisian, Wolfchief, Roseberry 2, Obie 2.
Knights 63, Thunderbirds 46 (lo)
Hays-Lodge Pole 11 12 15 8 - 46
North Star 9 20 20 14 - 63
HLP - Suzi Kirkaldie 15, Shenna Shambo 1, Karisa Kirkaldie 10, Deeanne Brockie 2, Kelsey Stiffarm 2, Twai Werk 2, Fanci Bouchie 6, Cara Obey 7, Kayelynn Eggert 1. Totals: 18 9-21.
North Star - Tairelle Warren 3, Vanessa Lipp 2, Maia Aageson 5, Natasha Dyrland 22, Magen Warren 13, Allison Grant 3, Jodi Norman 5, Jourdan Han 2, Courtney Wendland 8. Totals: 18 25-41.
Total fouls - HLP 29, NS 25. Fouled out - S. Kirkaldie, Shambo, Bouchie, Norman. 3-pointers - Obey, Aageson, M. Warren.