Conrad tournament hopes die at 1B district meet

28_vb-8720KILL SHOT  — Cowgirl Rashelle Johns, junior middle hitter, smacks back a shot against a Cut Bank defender in first round play at the District tourney in Choteau. She had nine kills and 11 blocked shots, but the Cowgirls fell in the match, 3-0.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler




Going into district tournament play as the fifth seeded team, Conrad drew the number four team Cut Bank for the opening game of the 1B Tournament in Choteau on Thursday.

In the first game the Lady Wolves pinned the Cowgirls into a 9-17 hole, but kill shots by Taylor Judisch and Moranda Brenteson helped keep the team alive.

Down by eight points, 12-20, Taylor Johnson came to the service line and with one ace in her service, the home girls went on a seven point run to get within a point.

Cut Bank got the contest to 22-24, but Kelli Fagan came to the line and brought the Conrad fans to their feet when the team tied the score at 24-24. However, Conrad couldn’t put the contest away and Cut Bank rallied back for two points to edge out the Cowgirls 24-26.

The team was in trouble early as the Wolves jumped out to an 11-1 advantage and coasted to a 25-9 win.

Down two games, Conrad fell behind 1-6 in the rubber game. But Johnson went on a five point run at the service line to tie the set at 6-6.

Conrad would fall back again to trail by five points at 14-19 but they came back to tie the contest at 20-20 off a kill shot from Judisch.

This game slipped away too and they fell 22-25.

Fagan and Johnson each had a pair of ace serves. Johnson also dished up nine assists and 11 digs.

Rashelle Johns powered back 9-20 kill shots and blocked 8-16 shots at the net.

There was one upset, Cascade the number six seed downed number three Fairfield 4-1

Number two Shelby knocked off number seven Rocky Boy and later in the evening Cascade and the host team, number one seed Choteau, defeated Cut Bank.

Friday the home girls went up against Cascade in loser out action.

The Cowgirls suffered a straight set loss to the Badgers who would go on to claim fourth in district, by scores of 26-24, 25-17, 25-21.

Conrad posted up six aces with a host of ladies dripping in one each. They included Johnson, Greyn, Kara Bandow, Judisch, Johns and Fagan.

Of the 24 kill shots, Brenteson slapped back six and Johnson five. She also added nine assists with Greyn having seven.

Johns blocked seven shots at the line and Brenteson three. Bandow and Johnson both had 10 digs for the team.

Admittedly, Coach Dale Janzen noted, “It was a frustrating season. It’s not like we got blown out at our games like some teams, they were close most of the time, we just couldn’t put it together.”

Forever the optimist, he is already looking and planning for next year, “We look really good on paper, we should be really good with five seniors on the team.”

In the end, Choteau stopped Fairfield to win the district title. Shelby placed third and Cascade fourth.

Conrad hosts the Northern B Divisional tournament with the first match, Glasgow and Cascade tipping off at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Fairfield plays Wolf Point at 11:30 a.m., Choteau goes up against Plentywood at 1 p.m. and Malta and Shelby go face-to-face at 2:30 p.m.

Even though Conrad isn’t on the floor, there is some really good area local talent playing  who could use and appreciate our support as they wind themselves through tournament play.