By Tiffany L. Rehbein
On paper, the Chinook Sugarbeeters (15-12) and the Frenchtown Broncs (22-2) appeared equal. Only the score, a 63-55 Frenchtown win, told the final chapter in the opening round at the State Class B tournament at Belgrade.
Both teams put three girls in double figures. Renda Birky, the offensive Sugarbeeter standout throughout the season, scored a game-high 18 points.
Senior Katie Hoffman scored 11 points, and Amanda Schoen chipped in 10 points for Chinook.
Christina Brown led Frenchtown with 15 points, followed by Jessie Williams and Julie Savik who each added 10 points in the win.
Frenchtown shot 35 percent from the floor, while Chinook shot 39 percent.
The 'Beeters fared better from 3-point land, nailing five 3-pointers in the contest, compared to just one for the Broncs.
Hoffman notched three treys, while Kelsie Whitney, in regular fashion, tallied two for Chinook, and notched her only points of the game.
The Broncs shot 64 percent from the free throw line, led by Williams who went 4-for-4 in the contest.
The 'Beeters shot 63 percent, led by Birky who went 8-for-10 from the stripe.
The Broncs outrebounded the 'Beeters 50-35 on the defensive end.
While Chinook led by one point, after one quarter, Frenchtown evened the score at 31-31 at the half.
After three quarters, the Sugarbeeters led by one point, 42-41, but Frenchtown exploded for 22 fourth-quarter points en route to the victory.
Chinook will face Manhattan (21-3) at 2 p.m. Friday in loser-out action.