FINGER ROLL — Cowgirl senior Samantha Fagan gets the finger roll off a shot against Cut Bank in first round action of the 1B tourney in Shelby. Fagan tossed down six points and grabbed four boards in the 55-34 Conrad win. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
As the District 1B tourney got going in Shelby on Thursday, Conrad may have saved the best for last.
Sporting a 5-7 conference record the home ladies came in seeded fourth. Opening up with Cut Bank, the team may have put together their best game of the season.
The first round victim was Cut Bank and the Lady Wolves never had a chance.
Sophomore Rashelle Johns got the Cowgirls on the board first, keying in on the hoop with a pair of free throws. She was just getting started here.
With her toes just barely on the line, senior Sam Fagan drilled in a long two shot and senior Jenny Silvernale hit a neat shot in the paint for a quick 6-0 lead.
Cut Bank’s Reedie Spencer then nailed back-to-back treys to tie the score at 6-6. But that was as close as the Wolves would get. They never held a lead and Spencer was done scoring for the afternoon, not to be heard from again.
Taylor Johnson and Jayleen Harris quickly undid the tie. Both sliced the nets with three ball shots and Silvernale, off a nifty pass from Beth Grubb, dropped in a back door shot and Conrad closed out the first quarter with a 14-10 lead.
The second period belonged to the Cowgirls.
Fagan scored on a put-back off a rebound and Johnson bombed in her second trey of the game. After a quiet first period, Grubb put up a shot in traffic off a rebound and went coast-to-coast, scoring off a Cut Bank turnover. Johnson scored four points, including two more from the freebie line.
The Cowgirls fashioned a 17-7 run to lead 31-17 at the intermission.
After the break it was more of the same. Johns went to the house for eight of a leading 17 points on the afternoon. Moranda Brenteson put up two points off a rebound.
The Cowgirls at one point built up a massive 27 point lead, 49-22 before Coach Tyler Bucklin emptied his bench in the fourth period.
Conrad dominated the boards as well, out rebounding Cut Bank 42-28. They committed a season low 14 turnovers and had seven steals.
Johns led all scorers with her 17 points. She was a perfect 7-7 at the line and was a neat 5-8 shooting from the field. She also out rebounded everyone else, pulling down eight boards.
Johnson pumped home 12 markers. Grubb with her six markers also had a neat game overall. She came down with seven boards had four assists and two steals.
Fagan also tossed in six points and had four boards. Harris had her trey for three, Brenteson and Stenson each scored two.
The Cowgirls hit on 21-51 shots from the field for 41 percent. They were hot at the line, sinking 10-13 shots.
Cut Bank was just 11-49 from the floor, shooting 22 percent and went 7-15 at the line.
In other 1B action, Rocky Boy held on to nip Shelby 35-33 and Choteau bombed a winless Cascade team, 54-29.
The win over the Wolves set up a match with Fairfield who came into the tourney with a 17-1 record and two wins over the Cowgirls in the regular season.
In other tourney action, Rocky Boy slipped by Shelby 35-33 and Choteau beat up a hapless Cascade team 54-29.
Friday against Fairfield, the Eagles led 27-11 at the break and went on to win, for the third time this season, 51-33.
Sam Fagan led the team in scoring with nine points. No one broke into double figures for scoring. Johns put up six markers, Grubb matched that, Harris had a four spot, while Kelly Fagan, Johnson, Judisch, Brenteson each scored a hoop.
The Cowgirls hit on 11-49 shots from the floor and were 15-33 at the line.
The Eagles scored on 15 shots from the field and were19-31 at the line.
In other action, Shelby stopped Cascade and sent the Badgers home licking their wounds (0-20), 56-41. Choteau took care of Rocky Boy, 65-45.
Playing in loser out action Conrad and Shelby had the first game on Saturday morning.
The Cowgirls broke open a close game over the second and third periods with a 29-13 run, coming on to win handily 56-38.
B. Grubb led all scorers, slicing the nets for 15 points. Right behind was Johnson, banging in 12 markers off the glass.
Johns went home with eight points, Judisch tallied six, Fagan and Silvernale had four each, Erica Grubb scored three and Harris matched that with a trey.
Conrad scored on 20-53 shots from the floor and was 11-25 from the line. The Coyotes hit on 11-45 shots from the field and were 9-15 from the line.
That win advanced the Cowgirls to the consolation game in the afternoon where they would play Cut Bank again, for third or fourth place. The outcome of the game didn’t matter too much as the top four teams would go on to play in the divisionals in Choteau starting on March 4.
The contest was sort of like winning the battle and losing the war.
The Cowgirls outscored the Wolves in three of the four periods, but Cut Bank put together a 17-8 run in the second frame and held on to win the game 45-44.
B. Grubb led all scorers, notching 15 markers.
Johnson pumped in eight points, Johns touched the nets for seven, and Judisch marked down seven in the score book, Fagan bumped in four points, while Harris and Brenteson each scored a bucket.
Conrad scored on 18-62 shots from the floor and was only 5-16 at the line. Cut Bank scored on 14-42 shots from the field and won the game from the line, knocking down 16-26 of the freebies.
Conrad will play at 7:30 p.m. in Choteau on March 4.