By Heidi Boyum
Led by an outstanding performance by senior Sugarbeeter, Kelsie Whitney, Chinook jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they swept the Harlem Wildcats in a physical district 2B contest Saturday night.
Just six minutes into a brutal first quarter the combined team fouls exceeded the combined team scores Harlem with ten fouls and four points, Chinook with four fouls and nine points.
"Harlem always plays a physical game," said Beeter coach Bill Keller. "They're scrappy and they play hard."
Senior co-captain, Whitney did just that with 15 points in the first half including eight of 11 from the charity stripe. Whitney went on to finish with a team high 20 points.
"Kelsie's been our starting point for the last three years," said Keller. "Her and Kelly Acra are our team leaders. They help us out tremendously."
Acra was the second leading scorer for the Beeters with 13 points.
Harlem coach Jack Plumage said he "didn't expect this physical of a game" and attributes the Wildcats' struggle to youth and lack of height.
The Wildcats two seniors, Kim Cliff and Nona Main, split for a combined 12 points. Freshman Megan Walls led the Wildcats with nine points.
Harlem's strongest quarter came in the second, sparked by flashy drive in spins and underhand lay-ins from sophomore Kelly Talksdifferent. Yet, with both teams in the bonus, the Beeters were able to convert their freethrow opportunities and gradually pull away, leading 41-19 at the half.
Coming out in the third quarter, the Beeters continued to turn up the heat as they outscored Harlem 23-9.
"We just want to put it in their minds to do the things they're capable of doing," said Keller.
Chinook's Kayla Erskine had nine points in her two quarters of varsity play.
"(Erskine's) been coming off the bench and giving us a tremendous performance," said Keller.
Tiffany Cuerth and Kelsey Crampton also had nine each for the Beeters as they went on to defeat the Wildcats 81-36.
The Chinook Beeters will host the Cut Bank Wolves in their homecoming contest on Saturday.