Bitterroot Star Masthead
The Bitterroot Valley's only locally owned newspaper

Volume XIX, Number 26


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

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Sports at a Glance

- All stories by Jean Schurman

Girls Basketball - Florence Lady Falcons stopped

Girls Basketball - Victor Lady Pirates nab second win

Boys Basketball Roundup

Florence Lady Falcons stopped

The Loyola Heartbreakers didn't read Florence's playbook Saturday. According to Florence coach Bryan Neuman, the Falcon defense is designed to make an opponent's "non-go-to players step up." These very players did just that for Loyola and defeated Florence, 53-43.

"Give them credit," said Neuman. "The other players stepped up and shot the ball great."

Florence mixed their defenses up several times during the game trying to contain Loyola's Sarah Moody but nothing really seemed to work. "She can post up or step out and hit a three," said Neuman.

"Our post defense needs to start with the person pressing the ball," he went on to say. "We'll have to work more on that."

But all was not bad for the Lady Falcons. The 13 turnovers were the second fewest all year. Neuman said they made a concious effort to control the ball on offense and he was pleased with the results.

Heather Martin really came on for the Lady Falcons. The 5'10" junior worked the ball from the high post position trying to find Kaci Gaub open underneath and was successful several times. Martin finsished with 11 points and Gaub with 17.

Florence played Loyola fairly closely in the first quarter but Moody sparked a 10-point run by Loyola in the second quarter to put the Heartbreakers up by 12 points by the end of the half. In the third quarter, Angela Vandeburgh pulled the Lady Falcons within 9 points when she hit a trey. But Loyola answered when Moody stepped to the foul line and sank both free throws on a one-and-one situation.

Martin scored the last field goal and the final two free throws for Florence but it was not enough to close the gap.

Loyola is ranked No. 2 in the state B power poll. Florence is ranked No. 9. The two teams are assured of meeting at least once more this season. You can be sure Neuman and company are already working on new plays to contain the Heartbreakers.

Loyola, 53, Florence 43
Loyola (53) -- Sarah Moody 17, Kaelyn Cassidy 8, Asia Hege 3, Sarah Guiliani 11, Jessy Matthews 10, Drew More 4.

Florence (43) -- Erin Dean 3, Liz Ashworth 4, Kristin Person 3, Heather Martin 11, Angela Vandeburgh 5, Kaci Gaub 17. od. RBIs - McCartney, Mildenberger 2, Wood, 4, Baer, Krueger.

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Victor Lady Pirates nab second win

The Lady Pirates of Victor finally played a complete game of basketball together and, as their coach predicted, came out with a win.

"I knew when we put four quarters together," said second-year coach Heather Brinkman, "that we would be successful." The 32-28 victory was only the second win for the Lady Pirates this season.

The key to the victory, according to Brinkman, was the outside shot being successful which opened up the middle. Sophomore BreeAnna Hochhalter sank four of seven three pointers to lead the Victor scoring and open up the middle. Sami Blough pulled down eight rebounds and scored seven points for Victor as well. Victor out-rebounded Philipsburg 39-21.

"We are working on our mental toughness," said Brinkman. "We have the skills, we just need to use them. A couple of times we've been up at the half and then let it slip away. This time we didn't."

The Lady Pirates are a young team with only two seniors and a junior on the entire team. With an eye toward the future, Brinkman has instituted a system to reward strong play during practice and the junior varsity play and build confidence as well.

"I'll suit different girls every week. If they have played tough during practice and the JV game, then they get to dress for varsity."

She said the young players need to learn how to be intense and focus on winning.

"They're coming along, and we're proud of all of them."

Victor 32, Philipsburg 28
Victor (32) -- Jessica Pederson 3, BreeAnna Hochhalter 13, Amanda Burrington 4, Katie Jolley 2, Sami Blough 7, Devin Monta 3.

Philipsburg (28) -- Brandi Johnson 4, Lauran McDonald 2, Heather Dunkerson 5, Kari Robson 3, Beth Walker 6, Jackie Bohmsen 8.

In other basketball action, Corvallis defeated Frenchtown, 55-43, in Western A conference play on Thursday. The Blue Devils surged out to an 11 point lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Vanessa Bleibtrey led the Blue Devils with 21 points. Evanie Squires dropped in 10 points from the post position.

Corvallis 55, Frenchtown 43
Corvallis (55) -- Beth Weidow 8, Vanessa Bleibtrey 21, Shanda Bradshaw 8, Cali Reinke 3, Heather Wofford 2, Evanie Squires 10, Jenna Tintzman 3.

Frenchtown (43) -- Katrina Galayda 5, Candace Lang 7, Amy DeGroot 25, Jala Morse 2, Lesli Furniss 4.

Darby defeated Flathead Valley Christian on Friday. Led by Whitney Banksı 27 points, the Tigers held off a late surge to take the 56-41 victory. Linda Hall added 14 for the Tigers.

Darby 56, Flathead Valley Christian 41
Darby (56) -- Laura Bratvold 2, Whitney Banks 27, Janelle Hilton 5, Linda Hall 14, Jenna Blue 8.

Flathead Valley Christian (41) - Stephanie Silva 4, Sarah Hanson 3, Stacy Thompson 2, Jenna Priest 17, Sonya Solum 1, Nicole Clark 9, Ivy Straener 3, Kayla Kajos 2.

The Tigers traveled to Deer Lodge for 5B action Saturday night. After battling to a 34-all tie at the half, Deer Lodge poured in the buckets and won, 75-62. Amy Hamilton had 21 points for Darby.

Deer Lodge 75, Darby 62
Deer Lodge (75) -- Mary Hansen 9, Lindsay Gilman 10, Joanna Lee 4, Ashley Neubauer 13, Jackee Beck 2, Nicole Janke 32, Janae Green 4, Tara Covington 1.

Darby (62) -- Laura Bratvold 3, Whitney Banks 11, Amy Hamilton 21, Tara Ray 7, Linda Hall 15, Jenna Blue 3, Brittney Smith 2.

Hamilton took on the No. 1-ranked Whitefish Bulldogs Saturday. The Lady Broncs played a tough first two quarters but couldnıt contain future Lady Griz Johanna Clossen in the second half. The Lady Broncs fell, 61-42. Hamilton was paced by Sarah Lyonsı 12 points.

Whitefish 61, Hamilton 42
Whitefish (61) -- Brandie Buckless 10, Kyla Salisbury 5, Aly Withey 3, Carrie Biolo 4, Johanna Closson 27, Tess Kalfell 8, Katie Cain 4.

Hamilton (42) -- Sarah Lyons 12, Katie Mildenberger 10, Hannah Linkenhoker 7, Nicole Lawson 4, Claire Schultz 2, Laura Shrives 3, Ashley Franke 4.

Hamilton lost to Class AA Missoula Big Sky on Thursday night, 52-40. Lyons had 13 points to pace the Lady Broncs.

Stevensville dropped a conference game to Ronan, 56-41. The Yellowjackets were led by Amie Groningerıs 12 points. They also lost to Sentinel on Thursday.

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Boys basketball roundup

It was a battle of the No. 1 teams Thursday night in Stevensville when Missoula Sentinel, No. 1 in Class AA, came to town to meet up with No. 1 in Class A, Stevensville. The gym was packed with basketball fans from all over the area. The more experienced Sentinel team took control of the game and scored the 85-64 win.

Sentinel jumped out quickly and established their perimeter game, scoring eight treys in the first half. Stevensville made a run and briefly took the lead in the first quarter but that was the only time all night. Stevensville went into the locker room at half time down by 20 points.

Coach Keith Chambers made some adjustments at the half and tried to stop the Spartans but it was too little, too late. Daniel Creech led the Yellowjackets with 28 points. Jordan Hasquet of Sentinel led all scorers with 30 points.

The weekend didn't get any better for Stevensville. The Yellowjackets traveled to Ronan for a Western A conference game against the Chiefs. The battle was close with Ronan edging out Stevensville 59-55. Creech led the 'Jackets with 19 points. With the loss, Stevensville dropped to 7-1 in conference play and into a tie for second with Ronan. Libby is the conference leader.

A strong second half was not enough for the Corvallis Blue Devils as they fell to Frenchtown, 68-60. Foul trouble gave Frenchtown several easy points. Corvallis was led by Joe Nisly's 24 points. Brett Henry added 10.

Four players in double figures was not enough for Hamilton as the Broncs fell to Class AA Big Sky, 73-66. Chris Baecht with 12, Caleb Brewer with 18, David DeSantiago with 14 and Luke Schuler with 17 points led the way for the Broncs in a balanced scoring attack that fell short.

Hamilton lost to Whitefish in conference action on Saturday night, 71-54. DeSantiago led the way for the Broncs with 17 points.

Darby defeated Flathead Christian, 59-55. Cody Ralston had 16 points to lead the Tigers.

Florence fell to Missoula Loyola in a close game Friday night in Florence. After spotting Loyola as many as nine points, Florence battled their way back to take a one-point lead with 1:40 remaining in the game when Mark Ward pulled down a rebound and was fouled by Jake Grimstad of Loyola. Ward sank both free throws and the Falcons had the lead. But after a scrum, a jump ball and a missed time out call by the referee, Loyola had the ball with 41 seconds remaining. Willie Stack took the pass and scored a long threepointer to pull Loyola ahead. Florence had a couple more chances to regain the lead but could not. Mark Ward had 20 points to lead the Falcons' scoring.

Victor lost to Florence in non-conference play and Philipsburg in conference action.

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