The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Lady Pioneers get pushed around by 9C heavyweights


February 12, 2020

The Big Sandy girls have taken their lumps this season against the best the District 9C has to offer on the basketball court.

This week proved no exception.

A favorite to win the Class C state championship paid a visit to the Lady Pioneers Monday before the two-time defending state champions stopped by Friday. Each departed with a decisive win, leaving little left in the tank for the Pioneers Saturday as they traveled to North Star and dropped their fourth straight.

The Fort Benton Longhorns were first up and only an additional three points for the visitors kept the contest from mirroring the final tally in the earlier contest between the teams this season. Fort Benton topped themselves with a 73-11 rout on Monday, Feb. 3.

“That was tough,” Pioneers coach Pete Jerrel said after the game. “There’s a reason they’re ranked up there in the state.”

McKenzie Clark led the way for the Longhorns with 16 points and Megan Clark added 13, but they put together a well-balanced attack with 10 players getting into the scorebook.

The Lady Longhorns’ defensive pressure took its toll before Big Sandy started getting some open looks. Then they could not convert them.

“We started beating the press … but then when you can’t make layups, the score gets out of hand pretty quick,” Jerrel said. “I think we put up maybe 20 shots in the whole game. If you’re going to compete like that, you’ve got to make 100 percent of those. We shot more like 20 percent.”

Senior Seanna Demontiney hit the game’s lone three-pointer to get Big Sandy on the board before the end of the first quarter, which they trailed 20-3. She and freshman Madison Terry each sank a pair of second-quarter free throws and the Pioneers would not connect from the field again until the third stanza. A fourth-quarter bucket by freshman Mattie Gasvoda rounded out the scoring for Big Sandy.

The Pioneers played a much tighter contest Friday against Box Elder before falling 44-32. The Lady Bears are a shadow of their former selves this season as their previous coach and two of their best players moved out of state during the offseason.

Box Elder trails North Star in the league standings and the Lady Knights maintained their edge after defending home court in a 65-23 romp Saturday up on the Hi-Line.

Big Sandy (1-11, 2-14) is scheduled to conclude the regular season with a visit Friday to Turner. They will play their final home game with a 6 p.m. tipoff against Chester-Joplin-Inverness, potentially with No. 6/7/8 seeding for the district tournament on the line, with Chinook also in that mix and traveling to Fort Benton. The Pioneers lost a heartbreaker in overtime at Chester in the teams’ earlier meeting this season.


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