George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The end of January is approaching, and things are really starting to get interesting in girls basketball on the Hi- Line. On Friday night, the No.1-ranked Big Sandy Pioneers were able to remain undefeated, but just barely. Big Sandy went on the road and had to hold off a hard-charging Box Elder team, 61-58 in order to remain on top of the District 9C standings. The Bears gave the Pioneers all they could handle, holding a 44-42 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. But Big Sandy rallied, outscoring Box Elder 19-14 down the stretch to earn a hard-fought win. Laci Keller paced the Pioneers with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Josi Herron added 12 points and Shersteen Cline chipped in with 11. Box Elder got 16 and 13 points, respectively from Arielle Wolfchief and Rokki Parker. In other 9C action on Friday night, the North Star Knights kept their hold on second place in the league standings by thrashing Chinook, 65-36 in Rudyard. The Knights broke the game wide open with an 18-3 run in the third quarter and never looked back. North Star got a game-high 25 points form Natasha Dyrland in the win, while the Sugarbeeters were led by Krista Johnson's 10 points. And in a pivotal Class C showdown, in Highwood, the second-ranked Mountaineers thumped visiting Rocky Boy 62-47. The Mountaineers used an 18-point outburst in the first quarter to gain an edge on the Morning Stars, and Rocky Boy never recovered. Rocky Boy did have three players score in double figures led by Shawna Small's team-high 15 points. Frances Eagleman scored 14 points and Erin Broncho chipped in with 10 points in the loss. Turner also fell victim to a nonconference opponent on Friday night, losing to Dodson 51-21. The Tornadoes only trailed 12-8 after the first quarter, but they managed just one point in the second period and two points in the final stanza in the loss. Lauren Scheffelmeier led Turner with eight points in a losing effort. And in District 10C action on Friday night, the Chester/J-I Hawks were beaten by Sunburst, 60-43 in Chester. The Hawks' offense struggled against the Refiners, scoring just 12 points in the first half on their way to a double-digit defeat. Molly Brown paced the Hawks with 13 points and Lexi Lybeck chipped in with 12 points. Meanwhile, in District 2B play, Harlem's struggles continued on Friday as the Wildcats lost at Poplar, 46-34. Saturday night was about bouncing back for several Hi-Line teams. In Rocky Boy, the Morning Stars recovered from their loss to Highwood by racing past Hays-Lodge Pole, 68-33. Rocky Boy jumped out to a 21-8 lead and never looked, as the Morning Stars defense held HLP to 21 points through three quarters. Frances Eagleman led the way for the Morning Stars with a game-high 17 points, while Shawna Small nailed three 3-pointers on her way to 15 points. HLP got 13 points from Kara Obey in the loss. Box Elder also came back from a loss strong on Saturday night as the Bears took care of Chinook 56-39 in Chinook. The first quarter was the Sugarbeeters undoing as they scored just three points and the Bears led 18-3 en route to the easy victory. Rokki Parker had an outstanding game for Box Elder. The senior poured in a game-high 21 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. The Bears also got 17 points from Arielle Wolfchief, while Chinook got eight points apiece from Jessica McMaster and Alyssa Brown. And in Simms, the C/J-I Hawks got back on the winning track with a slim 39-38 victory over the Simms Tigers. The Hawks trailed 26-21 in the fourth quarter, but they scored 18 points to come all the way back and earn a hardfought victory. Molly Brown had another strong performance for C/J-I, notching 15 points and six rebounds, while Kylie Richter pitched in with seven points. And in another critical 9C showdown, the Big Sandy Pioneers put a stranglehold on the standings by taking care of second-place North Star, 65-54. The game was still in doubt heading into the fourth quarter, but the Pioneers pulled away late to stay undefeated in conference play. Big Sandy got a huge game from point guard Josi Herron. The junior guard scored a career-high 28 points, including nailing four three's. Meanwhile, Natasha Dyrland and Justine Beaudry scored 18 points each for the Knights.