George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
One down, for some two still to go. The first leg of the high school volleyball season was held this past weekend with district tournaments across the Hi-Line. In Chinook, the District 6C East tournament gave three area teams the chance to move on to this week's divisional tournament, and it saw the North Star Knights capture a district championship. North Star, Chinook and Big Sandy battled it out all season long in the 6C East and the three teams did the same Thursday and Friday. But it was the Knights who proved to powerful for the rest the field. North Star and Chinook met in Friday morning's unbeaten semifinal, and the Knights cruised to a three-game win by scores of 27-25, 25-21 and 25-22. Sarah Helmbrecht and Britnee Dyrland had eight kills each, while Helmbrecht added 19 digs and Dyrland had seven blocks as the Knights advanced to the championship match. The Sugarbeeters got 17 assists and two aces from Katie Diemert in the loss, and had to turn around and face Big Sandy for a chance to play North Star for the title. And it was the Pioneers who got by the Beeters in a five-game thriller on Chinook's home floor. In the third-place match, Big Sandy beat Chinook by scores of 23-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25- 22 and 15-6 and got 11 kills and two aces from Suzy Faber, as well as an amazing 21 blocks by Amber Amsbaugh. The loss to Big Sandy left Chinook in third place, but still in the divisional tournament. Meanwhile, it set up a Big Sandy/North Star finale on Friday night. In order to take the district title away from the Knights, the Pioneers would have to win twice, but North Star made sure that wouldn't happen. In the championship match, the Knights defeated the Pioneers by scores of 15-25, 25-12, 26-24 and 27-25 in what was an exciting final. Dyrland again came up big for the Knights, racking up 18 kills, 21 digs, five blocks and an ace, while Faber and Amsbaugh paced the Pioneers. Faber had eight kills and three aces and Amsbaugh had 25 digs and 13 blocks. In Thursday's first round, Box Elder defeated Hays-Lodge Pole by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-23 behind nine kills from Aricka Wolf Chief, but the Bears lost to Chinook by scores of 25-13, 25- 20 and 25-9 in quarterfinal action. In the other Thursday quarterfinal, North Star beat the Pioneers by scores in a five-game thriller by scores of 25-15, 25- 22, 23-25, 18-25 and 15-10. Big Sandy rallied from two games down but came up short in the match. Friday morning's loser-out matches in Chinook saw Big Sandy eliminate Box Elder by scores of 25-18, 25-23 and 25-13, and then take out HLP by scores of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-15. North Star, Big Sandy and Chinook will all play on Thursday in the first round of the Northern C Divisional tournament in Belt. Meanwhile, the in Simms, things didn't go according to plan for the Chester/J-I Hawks in the District 6C West tournament. The Hawks survived a first-round win over rival Dutton-Brady on Thursday, but eventually lost out before qualifying for the divisional tourney. On Thursday, C/J-I beat the Diamondbacks by scores of 25-16, 18-25, 19- 25, 25-17 and 15-13 behind 13 kills from Jenni Ghekiere and nine digs from Cheyloe Forbes, as C/J-I moved into the quarterfinals. But on Friday, the Hawks had to face the top team in the Northern C in Simms, and the match was no contest as the Tigers beat the Hawks by scores of 25-10, 25-9 and 25- 11. Jenni Ghekiere had 2 kills and an ace for C/J-I and Nikole Wolfe had six assists in the loss. The loss to Simms dropped C/J-I into the loser-out bracket and on Saturday morning, Valier eliminated the Hawks in five games. The Hawks made a valiant stand against Valier, but came up just short as the Panthers won by scores of 23-25, 25- 15, 25-18, 22-25 and 15-6, ending C/J-I's season. In their final match, the Hawks got 12 kills from Jenni Ghekiere, while Wolfe had 33 assists and three aces. The 6C West tourney went on to see Simms beat Sunburst in the championship match while the Panthers finished third. All three teams will move on to the divisional tournament in Belt later this week. In Class B district action, this weekend saw Rocky Boy and Harlem's season's come to an end. At the 1B tournament in Choteau, Rocky Boy opened with a three-game loss to Conrad in the first round on Thursday. The Cowgirls beat the Morning Stars by scores of 25-10, 25-16 and 25-9, as Rocky Boy got three kills and 10 blocks from Shanise Gamble, while Lacey Gardipee had three kills and two aces. The Morning Stars rebounded with a five-game win over Cascade in loser-out action on Friday however. Rocky Boy won its first district match of the year by beating the Badgers 24-26, 24-26, 28-26, 25-18 and 16-14, coming from two games down to win in dramatic fashion. Caitlin Standing Rocky had 17 kills and nine blocks, and Jordan Big Knife had 42 aces in Rocky Boy's thrilling win. But Friday was the end of the line for the Morning Stars as Shelby eliminated them in three games later in the day. The Coyotes beat the Morning Stars by scores of 25-14, 25-11 and 25-14, and Gardipee had 17 assists and 10 digs in Rocky Boy's final match of its first year in Class B. Meanwhile, Harlem had a quick exit at the District 2B tournament in Wolf Point on Friday. The Wildcats lost to Plentywood by scores of 25-21, 25-3 and 25-12 in the opening round, and were then eliminated by the Wolf Point Wolves by scores of 25-11, 25-10 and 25-15 later in the day. In the loss to Plentywood, Jasmine Dumas had four kills and nine digs for Harlem, and Shay Martin had five kills and two aces in the loss to Wolf Point.