George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
With the early season and holiday break in the past, conference play heated up this weekend in girls basketball across the Hi-Line. In a marquee District 9C matchup Friday night, the North Star Knights defeated conference front-runner Rocky Boy, 42-35. The Knights used a stifling defense to build an 18-11 halftime lead, and then held the Morning Stars off in the final 16 minutes. Natasha Dyrland and Megan Warren led the way for North Star with 17 and nine points, respectively. Loni Belcourt scored 14 points for the Morning Stars. In Big Sandy on Friday night, the Big Sandy Pioneers raced past the Chinook Sugarbeeters, 63-44. The Pioneers exploded for 23 points in the second quarter to basically put the Beeters away. Shaila Cline scored 15 points to lead the Pioneers. Laci Keller and Shalayna Pearson added 10 points a piece. The Beeters got 14 points from Kayla Dugan and 10 points from Becky Paulsen in the loss. In other 9C action, the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds grabbed their first win of the season by thumping Turner 62-26 in Hays. Meanwhile in nonconference action Friday night, Sunburst belted visiting Box Elder 79-44. The Refiners outscored the Bears 41-25 in the first half en route to the easy victory. Rokki Parker did score a game-high 19 points for the Bears, and Jamie Montes chipped in with 14 points. Kayla McCoy led the Refiners with 15 points. In Class B action Friday night, the Harlem Wildcats dropped a tough 39-27 decision to Shelby at home. The Wildcats, who trailed by just one point at intermission, managed just 12 points in the second half on their way to the difficult nonconference loss. Amy Stiffarm and Leandra Thomas led the way for Harlem. Stiffarm scored 10 points and Thomas added nine points in the loss. On Saturday night, another big Class C matchup took place, this time in Chester, as North Star upset No. 6 Chester/J-I, 47-42. The Knights made a bold statement by grabbing a 26-23 halftime lead, and holding it all the way to the end. The Knights were extremely balanced throughout the game, and despite not having a scorer reach double figures, they got eight points each from Natasha Dyrland, Britnee Dyrland, Megan Warren and Kendra Donoven. C/J-I got 15 points and nine rebounds from Jessica VanDyke as well as 13 points from Hannah Pimley. Saturday night also saw Rocky Boy step up to the Class B ranks and knock off Harlem 47-42. The Morning Stars raced out to a 30- 21 halftime lead, and then held off a surging Harlem team in the fourth quarter. Loni Belcourt scored 19 points to lead the Morning Stars, including four 3- pointers. Erin Broncho chipped in with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Leandra Thomas scored 10 points and grabbed 10 boards for Harlem. The Chinook Sugarbeeters rebounded from their Friday night loss at Big Sandy with a narrow 61-58 victory at home against Hays-Lodge Pole. The game was deadlocked at 26-26 at intermission, but the Beeters were able to pull ahead in the third quarter and hold off the T-Birds late. Kayla Dugan had a huge game for Chinook. She poured in a career-high 31 points. Brittney MacLean added 12 points for the Beeters. HLP did manage to drill seven threes on the night, and the T-Birds got 21 points from Kelsey Stiffarm. Carla Obey added 14 points in the loss. Meanwhile, in Turner, the Big Sandy Pioneers stormed past the struggling Tornados, 99-27. Laci Keller led five Pioneers in double figures with a game-high 25 points. Chelsie Jones scored 14 points and Ashley Mohar added nine points for Turner. In nonconference action, Box Elder dropped its second straight non-league game, this time losing to Heart Butte 68-58. Despite the loss, Rokki Parker was again spectacular for Box Elder. The junior scored a game-high 31 points and blocked three shots. Jamie Montes also poured in 14 points and Arielle Wolf Chief added 11 points.