Lady Pioneers' season concludes at 9C tourney
February 26, 2020
HAVRE - Two teams with championship pedigrees escorted the Big Sandy girls out of the 9C district basketball tournament.
Fort Benton successfully defended its district championship, opening with a 61-9 Thursday rout of the Lady Pioneers.
Senior Amanda Cline chipped in 5 of those Big Sandy points and added a team-high 6 rebounds. Freshmen Mia Dilworth and Kylee Sternberg each added a bucket.
Three Longhorns finished in double figures: McKenzie Clark (13), Aspen Giese (12) and McKenna Hanford (11).
Tournament officials awarded Cline a sportsmanship medal at the game's end.
Younger players for the Pioneers gained valuable experience just getting on the floor in the atmosphere of the 9C.
"Everybody got in and they played pretty well. We looked at things we can control: our attitudes and our effort," Big Sandy head coach Pete Jerrel said after the game. "Our effort was there all game long."
The Pioneers (2-18) were simply overmatched by an opponent who ran their unblemished record to 21-0 by the time they bested Turner 58-41 to retain the 9C crown in the final.
They found areas to work on even as the game largely got away from them.
"We had different people handling the ball, trying to see who our ball handlers are going to be next year," Jerrel said.
Cline again led the Pioneers as they put up a fight with greater offensive output Friday on the consolation side of the bracket. She scored 7 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 61-30 loss to defending state champion and fourth-seed Box Elder. Sarah Parisian had a game-high 11 points for the Bears. The defeat eliminated the Pioneers from the postseason.
Box Elder upset third-seed North Star 63-59 in the ensuing game to advance to the consolation final. Hays-Lodge Pole ended the Bears' season with a 65-49 win Saturday to join Fort Benton and Turner as the 9C representatives at divisionals.