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Frontier Notebook: Frontier playoffs begin Thursday

Frontier Conference Notebook


Last updated 2/24/2021 at 2:03pm

Colin Thompson

Carroll College's Dani Wagner, a former Havre Blue Pony great, and the Fighting Saints are the No. 1 seed in this week's Frontier Women's Playoffs.

The Frontier Conference playoffs are coming. And there were many that though they'd never get this far because of the coronavirus. And while there were plenty of challenges, the league has indeed made it to the postseason.

Carroll College won the women's crown as predicted, as the Saints went 13-1 in conference play, and earned a bye into the semifinals. Providence finished second with a 9-4 marl, well ahead of third-place Montana Western, which went 12-8 and was the only women's team to complete all 20 scheduled conference games. The Bulldogs will play Rocky Mountain College, which went 1-9 in league play and finished as the No. 6 seed.

Meanwhile, with a win at Montana Tech last Saturday, the Montana State University-Northern Skylights earned the No. 4 seed with a 5-10 record, and will get a rematch with the Orediggers (5-13) Thursday night in the Armory Gymnasium. The lowest remaining seed will travel to Carroll for the semifinals on Saturday, and the highest remaining seed will visit Providence Saturday in Great Falls. The women's championship game will be held on Monday night at the highest remaining seed.

The Providence men also proved the preseason predictions correct, as the Argos went 15-2 to win the league outright for the first time. The Argos will be the No. 1 seed, while Carroll will be the No. 2 seed after going 13-5.

Montana Tech earned the No. 3 seed with a 12-8 record, and the Orediggers were the only men's team in the league to play all 20 games. The Orediggers will host RMC (1-15) Thursday night. The MSU-Northern Lights, by virtue of two percentage points, will host fifth-seeded Western (6-12) in the other quarterfinals. The Dawgs went 6-12, while the Lights were 6-11 in league games this season.

Providence will host the lowest remaining seed in one semifinal Saturday night, while Carroll will host the highest remaining seed in the other. The men's championship game will be played Tuesday night at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Individual Greats

Montana Tech's Sindou Diallo just edged UP star Zach Darko-Kelly for the Frontier men's scoring title. Diallo averaged 18.6 ppg, while Darko-Kelly scored 18.5 per night. Carroll's Jovan Slijivancanin scored 18 points per night and also led the league in rebounding at 9.4 per game. Northern's Mascio McCadney was the fourth player in the Frontier to average 18 points per game this season.

On the women's side, UP's Emilee Maldonado averaged 17 points per game to win the scoring title, while also leading the league in assists. Montana Western's Brynley Fitzgerald and Carroll College's Dani Wagner were the only other Frontier players to crest 15 ppg this season. Northern senior Sydney Hovde also won the rebounding title, averaging 9.2 per night, while Tiara Gilham was fifth in scoring at 14.4 points per game.

Frontier Honors

Speaking of Wagner, the former Havre Blue Pony earned her fourth Frontier Women's Player of the Week award. No. 6 Carroll College closed the regular season with a road sweep of (RV) Montana Western. The Saints won Saturday 63-55 and 70-59 on Sunday afternoon.

Wagner averaged 19.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and two assists per game. She was 13 of 24 from the field (8 of 16, 3-point) and 5 of 5 from the free throw line.

Slijivancanin was named the Men's Player of the Week. Sljivancanin is a 6-foot-5 junior forward from Belgrade, Serbia. Carroll College closed the regular season with a road sweep of Montana Western. The Saints won Saturday night 67-52 and 77-63 on Sunday afternoon. For the weekend, Sljivancanin averaged 17 points, 15.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He was 13 of 24 from the field and 7 of 7 from free throw line.


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