By Tiffany L. Rehbein
A 3-pointer that tasted nothing but the charred tips of the net lifted the Dawson County Red Devils (16-7) to a 40-37 upset over the Havre Blue Ponies (16-6) in the opening round of the State Class A tournament Thursday at the Butte Civic Center.
The Blue Ponies, with fouls to give, worked the clock, but, with :35 remaining in the game, Sarah Farber nailed a 3-pointer on the baseline that lifted the Red Devils to a 38-37 lead.
She sewed up the victory from the free throw line with :01 on the clock en route to the victory. Farber led the Red Devils with 12 points, including shooting 57 percent from the field, making 3-of-4 shots beyond the arc, and making 1-of-2 free throws.
"It was poor coaching decisions," head coach Dennis Murphy said. "I think we should have played man down the stretch so they didn't get a set three. There were about five things I listed to Coach Way that we should have done differently."
Havre, who entered the tournament as the top-seeded Central A team, opened the game with a 7-0 lead behind the shooting of senior Tiffany Shrauger and junior Alyssa Matter.
However, Glendive answered with a 5-0 run of its own, giving Havre a 13-9 lead after one quarter. Shrauger notched seven points in the first quarter en route to her team-high 16 points.
"Tiffany had a really good game for us tonight," Murphy said. "She went 7-for-11 and kept us in the game on a couple of shots. She shot the ball well for us."
Shrauger, Alyssa Matter and Nikki Baltrusch each tallied a trey in the first quarter.
Farber opened the second quarter for the Red Devils with a 3-pointer, bringing Glendive within one point at 13-12 just seconds into the quarter.
Senior Erin Patera grabbed back-to-back offensive rebounds and notched the put-back to lift the Ponies to a 15-12 lead. Patera finished with three points in the game.
However, Alisa Lordemann hit a 3-pointer to even the game at 15-15 with 6:08 remaining in the quarter. Lordemann notched 16 points in the victory, shooting 83 percent from the field, 100 percent from 3-point land, and 83 percent from the free throw line.
"I knew it was going to be a battle and it came down to that," Murphy said. "I'm very proud of our kids. They did what I asked them to do. It was just two teams battling it out, and Glendive got the shot. One week ago, it was just the opposite. You've got to take the good with the bad."
Baltrusch, Shrauger and Alyssa Matter chipped in some points and sent the Ponies to the locker room with a two-point, 20-18, lead.
Alyssa Matter finished with 11 points in the game, including shooting 6-for-8 from the free throw line. Baltrusch notched five points in the contest, including one trey.
Shrauger again wound up in the third, as she notched seven points in the quarter. Sophomore Amy Ranes came off the bench and powered through a double-team on the post for her only two points of the game.
It was all Jessie Handran and Lordemann in the third for Glendive, as the two combined for all Glendive's 10 points. Handran scored 11 points for the Red Devils.
Up by one point heading into the fourth quarter, Alyssa Matter notched a bucket to lift the Ponies to a 31-28 lead. Farber answered with a 3-pointer, but Matter kept the Ponies in the game. She went 5-for-6 from the foul line in the final eight minutes of play, including hitting two free throws with 1:01 remaining to lift the Ponies to a 37-35 lead.
But it was Farber's 3-pointer and Farber and Kelsey Mast hitting the first end of a one-and-one free throw situation with less than one minute remaining that sealed the Glendive victory.
"One of the big things was that Glendive had an opportunity to make a big shot and they made it," Murphy said. "We had the same opportunity, and the ball goes in and out."
It was all Eastern A all day at the tournament. The top-ranked Miles City Cowgirls (21-0) opened the tournament with a 77-41 rout over the second-seeded Browning Indians to advance to the semifinals Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Miles City, the defending State A champion, has won 40-straight games, dating back to early last season.
They will face the Central A's third-seed team in the Fergus County Golden Eagles (17-6). The Eagles upset the No. 1-seeded Libby Loggers from the Western A with a 67-47 win.
In the session closer, the Eastern A Colstrip Fillies (16-6) downed the second seed Western A Polson Pirates (16-8) 54-28. Colstrip will face Glendive at 8 p.m. Friday. The two teams have met four times this season, with Glendive winning one matchup, but, most recently, Colstrip collected a 46-36 semifinal win at divisional.
Browning will meet Libby at 12:30 p.m., while Havre readies for Polson at 2 p.m. in loser out action.
"We have to re-evaluate our goals for now," Murphy said. "Our run for the third-place trophy starts tomorrow."
Alison Ziegler 0-1 0-0 0, Jessie Handran 5-11 1-2 11, Kelsey Mast 0-3 1-2 1, Alisa Lordemann 5-6 5-6 16, Sarah Farber 4-7 1-2 12, Breon Berg 0-4 0-0 0, Michelle Mooer 0-3 0-0 0, Coleen Glueckert 0-0 0-0 0, Holly Anderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-35 8-12 40.
Nikki Baltrusch 2-7 0-0 5, Tiffany Shrauger 7-11 0-0 16, Alyssa Matter 2-9 6-08 11, Erin Patera 1-1 1-4 3, Jeri Matter 0-1 0-0 0, Amy Ranes 1-1 0-0 2, Jayla McPherson 0-1 0-0 0, Samantha Velk 0-0 0-0 0, Lashae Michaels 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-31 7-12 37.
3-point goals--Glendive 4-11 (Farber 3-4, Lordemann 1-1, Handran 0-3, Mooer 0-3), Havre 4-11 (Shrauger 2-3, Baltrusch 1-2, A. Matter 1-6). Fouled out--none. Total fouls--Glendive 15, Havre 16. Rebounds--Glendive 17 (Berg 6), Havre 25 (Shrauger 6).