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Skylights aim to finish strong at Carroll, Providence

 

February 28, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Peyton Kehr, left drives against the Providence defense during a Frontier Conference women's game earlier this month in Havre. The Skylights will close out the regular season against the Argos Saturday night in Great Falls. First however, Northern visits nationally-ranked Carroll College tonight in Helena, where the Skylights try to avoid being swept by the Fighting Saints.

The season has been tough recently for the Montana State University-Northern Skylights. After losing three key players to unfortunate injuries, the Skylights have had their fair share of struggles in the past few games.

But Northern doesn't know what the word quit means. Despite the recent losses, the Skylights will look to close out the season with a bang. To do so, MSU-Northern will have to get through tough Frontier conference opponents in Carroll College tonight at 5:30 in the PE Center, followed by the University of Providence at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the McLaughlin Center.

And Skylight's head coach Chris Mouat expects a tough challenge from the pair of Frontier rivals, starting with the Fighting Saints.

"Carroll is a very complete team," Mouat said. "They are sound defensively, tough on the boards, and they are deep. They are playing well and executing at a high level. Obviously, Dani Wagner is having another great year, and what she has done speaks for itself. They have a ton of talent around her and they all play their roles very well."

Then comes the rough and tough Argos on Saturday, where Mouat is aware of what Providence can bring to the table.

"Providence, as I've said all year, has maybe the most talented team in our league," Mouat said. "They have kids at all five spots capable of big scoring nights. They are good inside and out. They are dangerous across the board."

But Northern has some bustling talent on the team despite the injuries. Allix Goldhahn, Sydney Hovde and Peyton Kehr have been taking care of business on the court offensively, while Ryley Kehr, Kenya Lorton and Petra Selin help whenever needed, whether it be offense or defense. Needless to say, the Skylights have not backed down so easily given their situation.

Northern's first challenge, tonight against Carroll, will not be easy be any means, though. Havre native Danielle Wagner, Taylor Salonen, Emerald Toth and Christine Denny have all been great this year on the hardwood. On top of that, there is no simple way to get around the Saints, as they have depth to back up their core.

Meanwhile, Providence has been a scary team to play in every sense. Seniors Jenna Randich and fifth year Bailey Cartwright have been astounding players on the court. Plus, experience flows throughout the entire Argos team and there is a lot to fear when going up against the scoring fest that is Providence.

Even so, Mouat has the key elements for the Skylights to put up a great fight this weekend against the Frontier opposition.

"We will have to be very sharp in both games, at both ends of the floor, for 40 minutes," Mouat said. "We need to continue to focus on one-shot possessions defensively, taking care of the basketball, and finishing plays. Our kids have done a great job this week. They are playing hard and giving great effort. We just need to put a full game together at both ends. I know we are capable of it and have a lot of faith in our kids."

With the regular season ending this weekend, MSU-Northern will play Carroll College tonight at 5:30 in the PE Center, with a game against the University of Providence at the McLaughlin Center at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Northern will then head to the Frontier Conference playoffs, which start next Wednesday all around the Frontier.

 

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