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Box Elder, Chinook girls still going

Beeters, Bears look for state tourney berth on final day of Northern C girls tourney

For two District 9C girls basketball teams, the rest of the Northern C tournament will be about staying alive. For another, Thursday marked the end of the road.

On another busy day at the Northern C girls tournament in Great Falls, the Chinook Sugarbeeters lived to fight another day, while the Box Elder Bears will now look to do the same. However, the 9C champion Fort Benton-Geraldine Longhorns saw their season come to a halt after two loser-out games.

For the Bears, who made a great run in Wednesday night’s quarterfinals, they simply ran into a juggernaut Thursday night in the semifinals. That juggernaut came in the form of the defending Class C state champion Belt Huskies, who turned away Box Elder 60-45.

The Bears, who fell to 12-10 on the season, just simply couldn’t keep pace with the depth and talent of the Huskies, of former Chester standout Jeff Graham. Belt raced out to a 15-7 lead in the first eight minutes, then put another 15 points on the board to lead 30-15 at halftime.

In the second half, as they did in Wednesday’s win over Simms-Augusta, the Bears played much better on the offensive end. But the Huskies didn’t really slow down and they cruised into their fourth straight Northern C championship game. The Huskies will face the surprising Cascade Badgers in tonight’s finale at 8:30. Cascade beat Winnett-Grass Range in Thursday’s other semifinal.

Box Elder, which will now have to face Roy-Winifred in a loser-out game this morning, got an outstanding 15 points and 12 rebounds from Tyrah Gopher, while Alyssa LaMere added seven.

While the Bears will have their season on the line against the Outlaws this morning, Chinook’s will be, too. But the Beeters have already succeeded in one elimination game as they were able to fend off Simms-Augusta in a loser-out game Thursday afternoon.

In a defensive struggle, Chinook stayed alive in the Northern C tourney with a 38-31 win over the Tigers. Chinook led by just one at the end of the first quarter, but the Beeters scored 15 points in the second to take a slight lead into intermission. Chinook’s defense then clamped down on the Tigers, allowing just five points in the third period, and the Beeters led 31-21, and held on from there.

Brooke Nicholson had a big game for the Beeters, scoring 16 points, while Hannah Weber chipped in with 11. The win pushed Chinook (21-4) into another loser-out game this morning against Winnett-Grass Range. If the Beeters win their second 8 a.m. game of the tournament, they’ll face either Box Elder or Roy-Winifred in the consolation game tonight at 7.

“It was a tough game, but we wanted it,” Nicholson told the Great Falls Tribune. “We want to keep playing.”

And while the runner-up and third-place teams from the 9C still have at least one game left, the champions from last weekend in Havre are out of the Northern C. Fort Benton-Geraldine faced a tough road back after losing to Winnett-Grass Range Wednesday, and two games in one day was too much for the Longhorns to overcome.

However, things started well, as the Longhorns came out and won a thriller over Great Falls Central, 39-38 in the morning. FB-G’s defense was stellar at the start of the game, and the Longhorns had a comfortable 19-10 lead at halftime. However, things got interesting in the second half, and eventually, the Longhorns would have to stand tall as the Mustangs had two looks at a game-winning basket in the final minute.

Cassidy McCarthy scored 10 points for FB-G in the exciting win, which pushed the Longhorns into Thursday night tilt with Roy-Winifred. Once there however, the Longhorns ran out of steam in a 46-27 loss.

The Outlaws jumped out to a 14-7 lead after a quarter and outscored the Longhorns 24-12 in the second half to cruise to victory. Coya Nack scored seven to lead the Longhorns in their final game of their first season as a co-op with Geraldine and their first season in the 9C.

The 2015 Northern C girls tournament wraps up today in Great Falls with four games at the Four Seasons Arena. The top two teams advance to next week’s state tournament in Missoula. If a challenge game is needed, it will be played at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Fort Benton-Geraldine 39, Great Falls Central 38 (lo)

Central 2 8 15 13 - 38

FB-G 6 13 8 12 - 39

Great Falls Central - Lindsey Lincoln 2, Bryn Anderson 16, Kenadee Depner 8, Katie Wilson 12. Totals: 13 11-16.

Fort Benton-Geraldine - Kaitlyn Bird 3, Katie Witt 5, Madison Schumacher 1, Coya Nack, Makae Nack 5, Cassidy McCarthy10, Ally Poindexter 2. Totals: 10 15-29.

3-pointers - Anderson, Bird, Witt, McCarthy 2. Total fouls - Central 20, FB-G14. Fouled out - Witt.

Chinook 38, Simms-Augusta 31 (lo)

Simms-Augusta 7 9 5 10 - 31

Chinook 8 15 8 7 - 38

Simms-Augusta - Kendrah Sodergren 3, Brittny Hoover 6, Hollee Meek 8, Roxie Parenteau 12, Cynimon Mathews 2. Totals: 12 6-10.

Chinook - Brooke Nicholson 16, Hannah Weber 11, Katelyn Neibauer 6, Brooke Elliot 5. Totals: 13 11-17

3-pointers - Meek, Nicholson. Total fouls - Simms 16, Chinook 13.

Belt 57, Box Elder 40 (sf)

Belt 15 15 12 15 - 57

Box Elder 7 8 11 14 - 40

Belt - Bailey Cooper 13, Sara Anderson 2, Addy martin 11, Olivia McCafferty 4, Dani Urick 9, Kerstyn Pimperton 11, Kassie Hoyer 7. Totals: 16 17-21.

Box Elder - Leilani Gardipee 6, Tia Russell 6, Alicia Wolf Chief 6, Alyssa LaMere 7, Tyrah Gopher 15. Totals: 12 13-18.

3-pointers - Cooper 4, Martin, Urick, Pimperton 2, Gardipee, Wolf Chief, LaMere. Total fouls - Belt 16, Box Elder 16. Fouled out - Hoyer, Wolf Chief.


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