Hays-Lodge Pole girls reach the Northern C for the first time in 33 years


February 24, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Hays-Lodge Pole's Nashone Shambo scores during Saturday night's District 9C girls consolation game in the Havre High gymnasium. Shambo and the Thunderbirds beat Box Elder to advance to their first Northern C in 33 years.

It has been a long time since the Hays-Lodge Pole Thunderbirds have made it out of the District 9C girls tournament. The T-Birds had not been to divisionals since 1987. In other words, it had been 33 years since HLP made the trip to the next level.

Which was a big reason why HLP was fighting Saturday night in the Havre High Gymnasium. Up against the defending state champs, the Box Elder Bears, the Thunderbirds had a lot of work ahead of them in the girls District 9C girls consolation game.

Despite the adversity, HLP succeeded in their quest for a spot in the Northern C Divisionals after a big 65-49 win over Box Elder.

Thunderbirds head coach Corey Morgan was glad for his team for working hard to make it to divisionals, ending the 33-year drought.

"We had the same game plan as Thursday, (HLP beat Box Elder in the first round)," Morgan said. "Keep the tempo up, them rushing and most importantly, keep the pressure on Box Elder. I'm proud of these girls. We did what we needed to do to get the win."

It was not the T-Birds that started off the game hot, though, as Sarah Parisian opened the bout with a field goal, but HLP answered by going on a huge 15-0 run to set the tone right away.

Parisian followed up by dropping more baskets for the Bears, while Aysia LaMere worked for her own, but the Thunderbirds kept the lead 21-8 after the first quarter.

The second stanza started with a Parisian 3-pointer, followed by a Ella Messerly and Nashone Shambo 12-0 run to keep HLP trucking. Parisian kept adding points for the Bears in the last part of the first half, but the Thunderbirds still led 39-22 at intermission.

Messerly was a major part of the T-Birds' success in the first half and is looking forward to being a big help once again in divisionals.

"I'm excited and happy," Messerly said. "I'm just proud of my team. We did it together with no selfishness."

Mulleeah Stiffarm brought the thunder in the third period to help HLP go on a 6-0 run throughout the period, while Parisian and Brielle Sunchild tried to help Box Elder keep up. As the second half continued, Parisian and LaMere added more buckets, but it was not enough, as the T-Birds claimed the third place trophy and a trip to divisionals.

Stiffarm was a key element in the second half, working hard on both sides of the court. There was not a moment where Stiffarm did not impress. Now, she gets to do so at the next level.

"I feel great, ya know," Stiffarm said. "We finally accomplished our goal. It's an amazing feeling honestly. I'm so proud of my teams and coaches for the hard work, dedication and effort that was all shown out on the court."

Despite the tough loss, Parisian was a force for the Bears, making 23 points to lead Box Elder. Messerly led the T-Birds with 14 points, followed by Stiffarm with 12 points and rebounds on the night.

HLP reached the semifinals Friday night, but eventual champion Fort Benton was too much for the T-Birds as Aspen Giese and McKenzie Clark poured in a 22 and 19 points, respectively in a 71-31 blowout. Nashone Shambo led the T-Birds with eight points.

In the other semifinal showdown Friday night, Turner made history by knocking off second-seeded North Star 57-53. The Tornaodes got 23 points from Sarah Billmayer and 21 points from Shyan Krass in the win, while the Knights were led by Kenidee Wolery's 19 points.

After falling to Fort Benton in the semifinals, the Thunderbirds bounced right back with a 78-58 win over CJI Saturday morning. The Hawks kept things close, but HLP scored 28 points in the final stanza to pull away. Ella Messerly scored 23 points and Mulleah Stiffarm added 18 for HLP, as the T-Birds eliminated CJI. Tatum Hull scored 18 points, while Molly Nelson chipped in with 12.

On the other side of the bracket Saturday morning, Box Elder edged North Star in a thriller, 63-59. The Bears jumped out to an early lead, and were ahead 36-24 at the break. But the Knights nearly pulled off a comeback in the fourth quarter. Still, Box Elder held on in the end, getting 17 points by Sarah Parisian and 16 from Aysia LaMere. Jade Wendland led the Knights in their final game with 15.

In Friday's loser-out games, CJI bounced Chinook 59-34, with Tatum Hull pouring in a tournament-high 30 points, and Haddie Woods adding 10. Allison Powell scored nine in the season finale for the Sugarbeeters.

Box Elder also took down Big Sandy Friday morning, 61-30. Sarah Parisian scored 11 points for the balanced Bears, while Lainey Gregory scored 12 for the Pioneers, who were eliminated from the tournament.

Now, Hays-Lodge Pole will take a trip to and represent the 9C as the third seed in the Northern C Divisionals next week at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls.

Hays Lodge-Pole 65, Box Elder 49 (3rd)

HLP 23 16 15 11 – 65

BXE 11 11 14 13 – 49

HLP – Nashone Shambo 6, Ella Messerly 14, Judemia Gray 6, Kassi Perez 7, Sierra Chandler 3, Tahtianna Whitecow 10, Jaedyn Chandler 5, Mulleeah Stiffarm 12, Janine HasTheEagle 2. Totals: 25-58 12-23 65.

BXE – Annalise Johnson 6, Sarah Parisian 23, Makeala Kelly 4, Brielle Sunchild 5, Aysia LaMere 6, Breanna Bacon 3. Totals: 11-41 23-34 49.

3-Pointers: Sarah Parisian 2, Brielle Sunchild 1, Aysia LaMere 1, Tahtianna Whitecow 1, Jaedyn Chandler 1, Mulleeah Stiffarm 1. Fouls: HLP 26, BXE 18. Fouled out: Sarah Parisian, Ella Messerly.

Fort Benton 71, Hays Lodge-Pole 31 (SF)

Fort Benton 20 25 19 7 – 71

HLP 6 13 5 7 – 31

Fort Benton – Cassie Nack 2, MeKenzie Clark 19, Aspen Giese 22, Abby Clark 5, Maci Molinario 5, Megan Clark 6, Chloe Kalanick 5, Emerson Giese 6, Hailee Wang 1. Totals: 25-57 15-25 71.

HLP – Nashone Shambo 8, Ella Messerly 6, Judemia Gray 2, Kassi Perez 1, Tahtianna Whitecow 4, Justice Werk 1, Jaedyn Chandler 2, Mulleeah Stiffarm 7. Totals: 11-53 6-17 31.

3-Pointers: Ella Messerly 2, Mulleeah Stiffarm 1, Aspen Giese 6. Fouls: Fort Benton 17, HLP 20. Fouled out: none.

Turner 57, North Star 53 (SF)

Turner 9 10 14 24 – 57

North Star 13 7 9 24 – 53

Turner – Sarah Billmayer 23, Brandy Calvert 2, Laci Maloney 2, Brooke Reed 9, Shyan Krass 21. Totals: 17-40 23-34 57.

North Star – Laynie Sattoriva 4, Jade Wendland 16, Kenidee Wolery 19, Shayla Borlaug 6, Kaytlyn Domire 3, Rainee Watson 5. Totals: 20-58 7-11 53.

3-Pointers: Jade Wendland 3, Kenidee Wolery 2, Rainee Watson 1. Fouls: Turner 14, North Star 25. Fouled out: Laynie Sattoriva, Kenidee Wolery, Shayla Borlaug.

CJI 59, Chinook 34, LO

CJI 13 8 23 15 - 59

Chinook 8 13 4 9 - 34

CJI - Tatum Hull 30, Averie Mattson 7, Haddie Woods 10, Lily Wickum 7, Aaliyah Standiford 2.

Chinook - Jade Cecerle 5, Torin Cecerle 1, Anna Terry 3, Jayden Miller 7, Lily Surber 7, Allison Powell 9.

3-pointers (Miller 1, Surber 1, Hull 2). Fouls: CJI 15, Chinook 23, Fouled out: None.

Box Elder 61, Big Sandy 30, LO

Big Sandy 6 8 7 9 - 30

Box Elder 21 16 17 7 - 30

Big Sandy - Kylee Sternberg 1, Lainey Gregory 12, Amanda Cline 7, Seanna Demontiney 4, Madison Terry 6.

Box Elder - Annalise Johnson 2, Sarah Parisian 11, Kendra Gopher 8, Makaela Kelly 8, Tayliegh Sunchild 2, Farrell Top Sky 5, Brielle Sunchild 5, Aysia LaMere 6, Breanna Bacon 8, Magic Ragged Robe 4, Faith Wells 2.

3-pointers: (Sunchild 1, LaMere 1, Bacon 1, Gregory 3). Fouls: Box Elder 14, Big Sandy 16; Fouled out: None.

Hays-Lodge Pole 78, CJI 58, LO

CJI 12 12 13 21 - 58

HLP 21 14 15 28 - 78

CJI - Jordan Leach 1, Tatum Hull 18, Averie Mattson 6, Molly Nelson 12, Hade Woods 11, lily Wickum 5, Aaliyah Standiford 3, Aria Miller 2.

HLP - Nashone Shambo 3, Ella Messerly 23, Judemia Gray 2, Kassi Perez 6, Sierra Chandler 11, Aubrey Chandler 2, Tahtianna Whitecow-Morgan 2, Jaedyn Chandler 9, Mulleah Stiffarm 18.

3-pointers: (Shambo 1, Messerly 2, Chandler 1, J. Chandler 2, Stiffarm 2, Hull 1); Fouls CJI 17, HLP 15; Fouled out: Woods. J. Chandler.

Box Elder 63, North Star 59, LO

Box Elder 21 15 13 10 - 63

North Star 8 16 17 22 - 59

North Star - Laynie Sattoriva 7, Kira King 6, Jade Wendland 15, Kenidee Wolery 9, Shayla Borlaug 8, Kaitlyn Domire 9, Rainee Watson 5.

Box Elder - Annalise Johnson 9, Sarah Parisian 17, Kendra Gopher 1, Tayleigh Sunchild 7, Farrell Top Sky 2, Aysia LaMere 16, Breanna Bacon 8.

3-pointers: (Johnson 1, Parisian 4, LaMere 3, Wendland 2; Fouls: North Star 27, Box Elder 28; Fouled out: Sunchild, Technical Foul: Sunchild.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The Hays-Lodge Pole girls go crazy after winning the 9C girls consolation game Saturday night in Havre.


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