Big Sandy girls clinch 9C regular season title, remain unbeaten


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It was another packed weekend of girls high school basketball across the Hi-Line. After the dust settled, conferences races in District 9C and 10C became quite clear as teams positioned themselves for seeding in upcoming district tournaments.

On Thursday night in Chinook, the host Chinook Sugarbeeters picked up a District 2B win over the Harlem Wildcats, 59-39. The Beeters used an 18-6 in the first quarter to open up a lead that Harlem could never overcome. Chinook was led in the win by Whitney Lybeck's 15 points, but also got 13 points from Jennifer Baird and 10 from Kelsey Crampton. Harlem was paced by Melinda Cochran's 9 points. Lillian Yonkers added eight in the loss.

In Gildford, the KG KouGars defeated the visiting Chester Coyotes, 47-38. The KouGars held a 26-23 lead at halftime and then held off the Coyotes in the fourth quarter to preserve the nine-point victory. KG was led by Cady Arifin's game-high 18 points while Emily Stewart chipped in with 14 points. Chester got 11 points from Amanda Schlepp in the losing effort.

On Friday night, the Harlem Wildcats suffered a heartbreaking 38-36 loss in Plentywood. The game was a seesaw affair that saw Harlem take a 14-10 first quarter lead but then fall behind 21-19 at the half. Harlem then outscored Plentywood, 10-2, in the third period, but Plentywood went on a 15-7 fourth-quarter run to take over the game.

Harlem was led in the loss by Megan Walls' game-high 16 points while Alicia Shields added 10 in the loss.

In District 9C action, the Box Elder Bears picked up a huge district win by downing the Blue Sky Eagles, 69-58, in Box Elder. The Bears used a 37-point first-half outburst to gain a 37-24 lead at the break. Box Elder held on to the victory despite being outscored 34-32 in the second half by the Eagles. The Bears were led in the win by Tami Infante's 24 points. Brandy Lawrence chipped in with 13 as well. Blue Sky got a game-high 35 points from Jessica Patrick in the losing effort.

The Bears (11-5) have third place wrapped up in the 9C race and will visit Hays-Lodge pole on Friday night and play host to Turner on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Big Sandy Pioneers put an exclamation point on their 2002-2003 9C regular season title by ripping Rocky Boy, 80-45, Friday night in Rocky Boy. The Pioneers were led by Lindsay Danreuther's game-high 17 points but also got 16 from Sheena Darlington and 15 points from Ashley Goodian. Linda Givens and Naomi Williams added 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Morning Stars were paced by Shanna St. Pierre's 12 points in the losing effort.

In Turner, the host Tornados were upset by the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds 44-40. Turner held a comfortable 25-16 lead at intermission but the T-Birds stormed back to outscore Turner 28-15 in the second half en route to the win. Suzi Kirkaldie led the way for Hays-Lodge Pole, scoring 15 points. Ashley VanVoast and Cheryl Cowan led Turner with 10 points apiece.

On Saturday night, the Chinook Sugarbeeters dropped a one-point 47-46 decision to the Glasgow Scotties on senior night in Chinook. The Scotties jumped out on the Beeters, 17-7, in the first quarter. But the Beeters rallied in the middle periods before coming up short in the final seconds of the contest. Chinook was led by Jennifer Baird and Brittany Buhmann who each scored 10 points.

The Beeters, 3-11 overall and 3-7 in District 2B, will finish the regular season this week with a trip to Havre on Thursday night and a home contest with Poplar on Friday afternoon. Their final game will be in Fort Benton on Saturday afternoon.

In Harlem, the Harlem Wildcats capped off their senior night with a 58-38 win over the Rocky Boy Morning Stars. Harlem used scoring runs of 16-8 in the first quarter and 16-7 in the final period to pull away from the struggling Stars. Belinda Horn led the way for the Wildcats with 11 points and Leslie Horn added 10 points. The Morning Stars were paced by Marti Siffarm's game-high 16 points.

The Wildcats, 3-13 overall and 0-8 in District 2B play, will be at Malta on Thursday night and at the top-ranked Wolf Point Wolves on Friday. Meanwhile, Rocky Boy's record fell to 1-15 overall this season with two games left.

In Rudyard, the Chester Coyotes pulled off a 56-46 upset of the Blue Sky Eagles. The Coyotes led the entire way and outscored the Eagles 33-25 in the second half en route to the nine-point victory. Chester got a game-high 25 points from Keyla Wendeland while Amanda Schlepp chipped in with 11. The Eagles were led by Natalie Strissel's 15 points while Jessica Patrick added 14.

Chester (8-8) will travel to J-I on Thursday night. The Eagles (12-4) will visit Turner tonight and travel to Rocky Boy on Thursday night to conclude their regular season.

In Gildford, the Turner Tornados rebounded from a Friday night loss to pick up a critical 9C road victory over the KG KouGars, 48-28. Cheryl Cowan led the Tornados with 15 points and Brittany Jones added 12 points. Ashley VanVoast chipped in with 10 points. The KouGars got 13 points from Mandy Rambo in the losing effort.

Turner (6-10) will wrap up their regular season with a home game tonight against Blue Sky as well as a trip to Box Elder on Saturday night. The KouGars (5-11) will host the Big Sandy Pioneers on Thursday night and Rocky Boy on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, in Big Sandy, the host Pioneers routed the visiting Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds, 70-54. The Pioneers got 18 points from Ashley Goodian as well as 16 from Linda Givens. The T-Birds were led by Collette Hawley's 11 points.

Big Sandy (16-0) will look to end the regular season undefeated when it hosts KG on Thursday and travels to Geraldine on Saturday. After the loss Saturday night, the T-Birds' record dropped to 6-10.

In District 10C action, the J-I Rams are still seeking their first victory of the year after they fell to Valier, 56-45, on Saturday night. The Rams were paced by Megan Herdina's 14 points but also got 12 from Laine Lybeck in the loss. J-I (0-16) will finish the regular season with senior night Thursday against Chester and a road trip to Heart Butte on Saturday.


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