The regular season may have ended just three days ago, but for many area girls basketball teams, the fun is just starting.
Today in Cut Bank and Conrad, as well as Thursday in Malta, three Hi-Line teams will start a quest for postseason basketball glory.
In Cut Bank, the Rocky Boy Morning Stars will start play in the District 1B tournament, where the top four teams advance to the Northern B Divisional in two weeks. The Morning Stars went 9-9 during the regular season and 6-6 in conference play, good enough for a fourth place finish overall. Rocky Boy has had a strong second season in Class B and is one of those teams the top tier teams in the league, Fairfield, Conrad and Choteau would rather not play this weekend.
Rocky Boy opens tournament play against Shelby today at 4. The Morning Stars swept the Coyotes during the regular season, but the game will be a tough matchup as the 1B is perhaps the deepest district in all of Class B girls basketball. If Rocky Boy gets by the Coyotes today, the Morning Stars will play top-seeded and undefeated Fairfield in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.
Rocky Boy is led in scoring by Falene Russette, but the Morning Stars also get outstanding production from Tennae Singer, Chanel Standing Rock and Caitlyn Gamble. And Star Broncho is a force in the middle, giving the Morning Stars an excellent chance to get out of the district tournament in only their second year.
Other first-round games today in Cut Bank pit third-seeded Choteau taking on Cascade at 5:30 and second-seeded Conrad battling host Cut Bank at 7. The tournament will resume Friday and conclude on Saturday.
Meanwhile, just down the road in Conrad, the District 10C tournament opens today, but the top-seeded Chester/J-I Hawks won’t see action until Friday. The Hawks finished the season on top of the 10C standings and have a first-round bye.
It’s been a productive year for the Hawks, who came within one win of reaching the state tournament a year ago. And with a balanced and deep lineup, led by junior Jenni Ghekiere, as well as Larisa Lybeck, Jocelyn Woods and Stina Haaland, the Hawks have a good chance to not only repeat as district champions this weekend, but move deep into the postseason.
The Hawks will await the winner of today’s game between Simms and Dutton-Brady. C/J-I swept both teams during the regular season, so a berth in Saturday’s 10C title game is a good bet. But C/J-I won’t overlook anybody, as Simms, Sunburst and Valier are all considered tough opponents.
The first round of the 10C tourney starts today at 4 with Valier taking on Heart Butte. Second-seeded Sunburst battles Power at 5:30 and Simms and Dutton-Brady take the floor at 7. C/J-I’s semifinal game will be at 4:30 on Friday afternoon. The 10C tournament runs through Saturday night in Conrad, with the top two teams advancing to next week’s Northern C Divisional in Great Falls.
Thursday marks the first day of play at the District 2B tournament in Malta. And the Harlem Wildcats have a good chance to advance, just as they did a year ago.
Harlem went 9-9 in the regular season and finished fourth in the 2B standings, a league which features perennial power and defending Class B champion Malta, as well as a tough Glasgow team. The Wildcats however, have played well and are a talented group with a balanced attack. Maurvella and Jacinda Fuller have both been outstanding scorers this year for the Wildcats, while Hyapatia Getten has been the floor leader. Kianna Dumas and Raelynn Rider have also been offensive weapons at times this year, and the Wildcats, being one of the tallest teams in the district, could make some noise this weekend.
Harlem will open tourney play on Thursday at 1 p.m. against Plentywood. The two teams split during the regular season with Plentywood winning just last week. The other first-round game pits Wolf Point against Poplar at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night, while Malta and Glasgow have byes into Friday’s semifinals. If Harlem prevails on Thursday, the Wildcats will meet the top-seeded M-Ettes Friday at 1 p.m..
The top four teams from the 2B advance to the Northern B Divisonal.