George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
It turns out that the home court advantage might just mean something after all. Having finished third in the regular season in the District 6C East volleyball standings, the North Star Knights made an amazing run to the 6C district championship this past weekend in Rudyard. On Saturday night, the Knights beat district favorite Chinook, not once, but twice to claim the 6C East championship. Just to get to the title match, North Star had to outlast Big Sandy in five games by scores of 21-25, 25-12, 25-27, 25-22 and 15-10 in the third-place match Saturday afternoon. In that match, the Knights got 11 kills and five blocks from Britnee Dyrland, while the Pioneers, who placed third, got 12 digs and eight assists from Josi Herron. With the five-game thriller over Big Sandy in tow, the Knights turned their attention to the vaunted Sugarbeeters, who had to lose twice to North Star in order to not finish first. In the first title match, the Knights got off to a strong start, crushing Chinook 25-17 in game one. From there, Chinook tried to rally, but North Star stayed strong and won the next two games by scores of 25-21 and 25-21 to force a winner-take-all second match. Dyrland was again big for the Knights with 10 kills, while Shelby Beaudry added 13 assists, five digs and three blocks. In the loss, Chinook got nine kills and six aces from Kelsie Hanson. I the final match of the tournament, the Knights left no doubt about who was the best team in the 6C on the weekend. North Star drubbed the Beeters by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-19 to take home the district title. Dyrland had 10 kills and four aces in the title match while Chinook was paced by Hanson's six aces, six assists and three kills. North Star's run to the title was jump-started by a three-game sweep of Box Elder on Thursday. Also on Thursday, Rocky Boy outlasted Hays- Lodge Pole in five games. Friday's action saw Rocky Boy eliminate Box Elder and Big Sandy outlast HLP. In the semifinals, Chinook knocked off the Knights in a fivegame thriller that went to 18-16 in the decisive game. The loss to Chinook on Friday night was North Star's only blemish of the tourney. Saturday morning saw Big Sandy eliminate Rocky Boy in three games, before the Pioneers lost to the Knights in five. North Star, Chinook and Big Sandy will all represent the 6C East at this week's Northern C tourney in Chinook. Meanwhile, in Chester, the Chester/J-I Hawks were able to get in to the Northern C field as well, by finishing third at the 6C West district tournament. C/J-I started the tournament Thursday night with a three-game win over Power in which Kylie Richter and Jenni Ghekiere each had eight kills. Later on the Thursday, the Hawks were beaten in three games by Sunburst to fall into the loser's bracket. On Friday, C/J-I kept its postseason alive with a three-game sweep of Dutton-Brady. In that match, the Hawks got 12 kills from Ghekiere, while Lyndsey Oraw had 13 digs. The Hawks again stayed alive on Saturday morning with a hard-fought win over Valier in loser-out action. The Hawks beat the Panthers, a team that had given them trouble this season, by scores of 25-10, 22-25, 25-20 and 26-24. Oraw and Daina Kolstad each had nine kills for the Hawks in the door- die match. Finally, the Hawks run ended with a loss to Sunburst in the third-place match. The match was a five-game thriller that saw the Refiners upend the Hawks by scores of 25-18, 25-21 23-25, 17-25 and 15-13. Ghekiere and Larissa Lybeck each had 12 kills for C/J-I while Lexi Lybeck had 28 assists. Simms went on to defeat Sunburst in the championship match, and the Tigers, Refiner and Hawks will all move on to the Northern C tourney. The Northern C Divisional will get under way Thursday morning in Chinook. The Northern C tournament runs through Saturday night in Chinook and the top two teams will move on to the Class C state tournament Nov. 20-22 in Bozeman.