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Thunderbirds soaring high after knocking off District No. 2 North Star 55-53

 

January 29, 2020

Sophomore Jaedyn Chandler has been an integral part of the Thunderbird resurgence. This past weekend she scored 24 points in a pair of District 9C wins over North Star and Big Sandy.

The Hays/Lodge Pole Thunderbirds picked up a huge conference win Friday night in Gildford. In a back and forth battle with the North Star Knights it was the Thunderbirds that earned a hard fought 55-53 win. Saturday in Big Sandy, Hays/Lodge Pole ran away from the Pioneers 63-28 to improve to 8-4 on the season.

The Turner Tornadoes began the week with a home contest against the undefeated Fort Benton Longhorns and nearly pulled out a win, but fell 57-54. Saturday the girls bounced back with a shorthanded roster to defeat the Chester/Joplin-Inverness Hawks 32-26.

Friday night the Harlem Lady Cats suffered their first setback of the season in a 49-40 loss to conference foe Malta on the road. The Lady Cats turned in a solid performance Saturday afternoon in Wolf Point, earning a 62-50 to get back on the winning track and improve to 11-1.

The Chinook Sugarbeeters had a great third quarter Friday night in Big Sandy, but it wasn't enough as the Pioneers edged the 'Beeters 36-30 win. Saturday Chinook hosted Box Elder and were defeated 47-25.

Head Coach Corey Morgan has been building a solid program the past three seasons. The Thunderbirds have been very active throughout the year, implementing a solid off-season plan for the players and utilizing the summer to play in as many tournaments and varsity level competitions as they could get to.

The rewards didn't come right away, but the coaching staff and the players remained vigilante in their effort to get better. This season, in year three, that time spent in the gym during the off season is starting to show on the scoreboard.

The Thunderbirds were in Gildford Friday night looking to take down the districts No. 2 team in the North Star Knights.

The game was tightly contested start to finish with neither team being able to separate themselves by more than a couple of baskets.

Senior Mulleeah Stiffarm scored seven of the teams 13 first quarter points but the Thunderbirds trailed 14-13 after eight minutes.

The teams would much each others effort in the second stanza as well. This time it was the Thunderbirds outscoring the Knights 14-13 to send the game to halftime all even at 27-27.

The Thunderbirds got a big three-point bucket from Stiffarm in the third quarter and sophomore Tahtianna Morgan knocked one down from distance as well.

The Thunderbirds managed one more bucket than the Knights in the third (14-12) to take a 41-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

Stiffarm was clutch down the stretch, scoring six points in the final frame, including a pair from the charity stripe that helped seal the 55-53 win.

Stiffarm led her team to a huge District 9C win and a victory that can boost the program for the foreseeable future. Stiffarm scored 22 points in the win while Morgan added 10 of her own. Sophomore Judemia Gray added nine big points to the Thunderbird effort.

The win confirms what many have suspected for some time, the Thunderbirds are ready to compete for a spot at the Northern C Divisional next month in Great Falls.

Saturday the Thunderbirds welcomed the Big Sandy Pioneers to the Thunderdome and then hammered them in a lopsided 63-28 win.

Hays/Lodge Pole led from the get go, taking a 33-13 advantage into halftime. The Thunderbirds extended the lead in both the third and fourth quarters, securing the comfortable win.

Sophomore Jaedyn Chandler tossed in 18 points while Stiffarm added 16. Junior Ella Messerly contributed 14 to the Thunderbirds total. With the win the Thunderbirds improve to 6-3 in the District 9C (tied with Turner) and 8-4 overall.

The Harlem Lady Cats were in Malta Friday night to take on the M-ettes. The two teams played a barn-burner in their first contest, a 48-47 win by the Lady Cats. Round two would be another battle but the Harlem offense struggled mightily in the opening half.

Harlem scored just nine points in the first two quarters including a single point in the second to trail 20-9 at the break. They got the offense going considerably more in the second half but were unable to chip into the M-ette advantage. In the end they suffered their first loss of the season 49-40. Sophomore Taya Trottier led the way with 14 points while senior L'Tia Lawrence added 12.

Saturday the girls traveled to Wolf Point looking to get back to their winning ways. The offense found its way early, scoring 18 in the opening quarter and adding another 17 in the second to lead 35-25 after two.

The Lady Cats maintained their advantage the remainder of the contest to secure a 62-50 win over the Indians and improve to 11-1 on the season. Senior Kailee Henry tossed in 26 points in the win and Trottier added 18.

The Turner Tornadoes turned in a valiant effort Friday night when they welcomed the District 9C's top team, the undefeated Fort Benton Longhorns, to town.

Turner was solid defensively early on and limited the Longhorns to just seven first quarter points. Up 9-7 entering the second, the Tornadoes maintained their intensity on both sides of the court and grew the lead to 22-16 by halftime.

Fort Benton responded with a big third quarter effort, outscoring the Tornadoes 22-16 in the frame to even the contest at 38-38 entering the fourth quarter of action. Turner did a great job responding to the Longhorn attack but in the end came up just short in a tough 57-54 setback.

Junior Shyan Krass had a great game scoring 22 on the night. Sophomore Laci Maloney added 13 and junior Brooke Reed 9 for the Tornadoes.

Saturday in Chester the Tornadoes were without the services of seniors Sarah Billmayer and Laci Maloney who were dealing with foot and ankle injuries and lost junior Brooke Reed to foul trouble early on but still managed a 32-26 win over the Hawks.

Krass had a huge night for the Tornadoes, scoring 24 of the teams 32 points in the contest.

The Chinook Sugarbeeters trailed the Big Sandy Pioneers 22-12 midway through the third quarter but got rolling late and following a bank three-point bucket from junior Jade Cecrle led 25-24 entering the fourth quarter.

The teams were tied 30-30 with less than a minute remaining but Chinook was unable to score and fell 36-30. Cecrle led the team with eight points.

Saturday sophomore Allison Powell scored 14 in a 47-25 setback to the Box Elder Bears.

Big Sandy 36 Chinook 30

Chinook 4 8 13 5 - 30

Big Sandy 10 8 6 12 - 36

Chinook - Jade Cecrle 3 0-0 8, Toren Cecrle 2 0-0 5, Lexi Pitkanen 1 0-0 2, Anna Morrow 0 0-0 0, Anna Terry 0 0-0 0, Jayden Miller 2 0-4 6, Lily Surber 1 0-0 2, Morgan Friede 0 0-0 0, Allison Powell 3 1-5 7. Team Totals 12 1-9 30.

Big Sandy - Mia Dillworth 0 0-2 0, Jaycee Worrall 0 0-0 0, Kylee Sternberg 0 0-0 0, Mattie Gasvoda 0 0-0 0, Bailey Gasvoda 0 0-0 0, Amy Gasvoda 0 0-0 0, Lainey Gregory 1 2-2 5, Erin Taylor 0 0-0 0, Amanda Cline 4 4-7 13, Seanna Demontiney 4 0-0 10, Madison Terry 1 0-0 2. Team Totals 13 6-11 36.

Three Point Field Goals - Chinook 5 (Jade Cecrle 2, Torin Cecrle 1, Jayden Miller 2), Big Sandy 4 (Seanna Demontiney 2, Lainey Gregory 1, Amanda Cline 1); Team Fouls - Chinook 16, Big Sandy 16; Fouled Out - None.

Malta 49 Harlem 40

Harlem 8 1 13 18 - 40

Malta 12 8 13 16 - 49

Harlem - Kailee Henry 3 0-0 8, Kristyn Kittson 1 0-0 2, Gabi Bell 0 0-0 0, Alaynee Hawley 0 0-0 0, Vanise Little 0 0-0 0, L’Tia Lawrence 3 5-6 12, Taya Trottier 6 2-4 14, Chloe Messerly 0 0-0 0, Aria Owens 1 2-2 4. Team Totals 14 9-12 40 .

Malta - Kyle Nelson 5 2-2 12, Erica Smith 3 6-8 12, Kelbee Denham 0 2-6 2, Sidney Meeks 0 0-0 0, Justice Lamb 2 2-2 6, Kyle Hunter 1 0-0 3, Addy Anderson 1 0-0 2, Kaylee Bishop 0 0-0 0, Maddie Williamson 1 0 0-0 0, Carly Garfield 1 0-0 2, Allison Kunze 4 1-1. Team Totals 17 14-23 49.

Three Point Field Goals - Harlem 3 (Kailee Henry 2, L’Tia Lawrence 1), Malta 1 (Addy Anderson 1); Team Fouls - Harlem 16, Malta 12; Fouled Out - None.

Hays/Lodge Pole 55 North Star 53

Hays/Lodge Pole 13 14 14 14 - 55

North Star 14 13 12 14 - 53

Hays/L.P. - Nashone Shambo 3 0-0 6, Ella Messerly 0 0-0 0, Judemia Gray 4 1-2 9, Kassie Perez 0 0-0 0, Sierra Chandler 1 0-2 2, Tahtianna Morgan 4 0-3 10, Justice Werk 0 0-0 0, Jaedyn Chandler 3 0-2 6, Mulleeah Stiffarm 7 5-6 22. Team Totals 22 6-15 55.

North Star - Laynie Sattoriva 3 0-0 6, Kira King 1 0-0 2, Jade Wendland 9 4-5 25, Kenidee Wolery 1 3-6 5, Mackenzee Sargent 0 0-0 0, Shayla Borlaug 2 0-0 4, Kaytlyn Domire 4 3-8 11, Rainee Watson 0 0-0 0. Team Totals 20 10-19 53.

Three Point Field Goals - Hays/L.P. 5 (Mulleeah Stiffarm 3, Tahtianna Morgan 2), North Star 3 (Jade Wendland 3); Team Fouls - Hays/L.P. 17, North Star 14; Fouled Out - None.

Fort Benton 57 Turner 54

Fort Benton 7 9 22 19 - 57

Turner 9 13 16 16 - 54

Fort Benton - Cassie Nack 1 0-0 2, MacKenzie Clark 8 3-5 19, Ashlee Wang 0 0-0 0, Aspen Giese 8 2-3 23, Abby Clark 0 0-0 0, Samantha Vielleaux 0 0-0 0, Maci Molinario 0 0-0 0, Megan Clark 1 1-2 4, Emerson Giese 0 0-0 0, McKenna Hanford 3 0-2 9. Team Totals 21 6-12 57.

Turner - Dakota Krass 0 0-2 0, Emma Billmayer 2 0-0 4, Sarah Billmayer 1 2-2 4, Gracie Honey 0 0-0 0, Brandy Calvert 1 0-0 2, Laci Maloney 5 1-3 13, Brooke Reed 4 0-0 9, Shyan Krass 9 4-4 22, Hannah Richman 0 0-0 0, Paycee Leo 0 0-0 0, Katie Kimmel 0 0-0 0. Team Totals 22 7-11 54.

Three Point Field Goals - Fort Benton 9 (Aspen Giese 5, McKenna Hanford 3, Megan Clark 1), Turner 3 (Laci Maloney 2, Brooke Reed 1); Team Fouls - Fort Benton 14, Turner 10; Fouled Out - None.

Box Elder 47 Chinook 25

Box Elder 16 8 12 11 - 00

Chinook 6 2 8 9 - 25

Box Elder - Sarah Parisian 5 4-5 16, Breanne Bacon 4 1-2 9, Maia Henderson 0 0-0 0, Alysia LaMere 3 3-4 9, Analiese Johnson 0 0-0 0, Zayna Henderson 0 0-0 0, Kendra Gopher 1 0-0 2, Tayleigh Sunchild 2 0-0 4, Brielle Sunchild 1 0-0 2, Makayla Kelly 1 2-2 5. Team Totals 17 10-13 47.

Chinook - Jade Cecrle 1 1-2 3, Toren Cecrle 0 1-4 1, Lexi Pitkanen 2 0-2 4, Anna Morrow 0 0-0 0, Anna Terry 1 0-2 3, Jayden Miller 0 0-0 0, Lily Surber 0 0-0 0, Morgan Friede 0 0-0 0, Allison Powell 5 4-6 14. Team Totals 9 6-16 25.

Three Point Field Goals - Box Elder 3 (Sarah Parisian 2, Makayla Kelly 1), Chinook 1 (Anna Terry 1); Team Fouls - Box Elder 18, Chinook 12; Fouled Out - Chinook (Jade Cecrle).

Harlem 62 Wolf Point 50

Harlem 18 17 15 12 - 62

Wolf Point 13 12 10 15 - 50

Harlem - Kailee Henry 12 0-3 26, Kristyn Kittson 3 0-0 7, Alaynee Hawley 1 0-0 2, L’Tia Lawrence 1 0-0 2, Taya Trottier 8 0-0 18, Chloe Messerly 0 0-0 0, Aria Owens 2 2-2 7. Team Totals 27 2-5 62.

Wolf Point - Josie Kolstad 1 1-4 3, J’Elle Garfield 5 0-0 10, Hamyonie Campbell 1 0-0 2, Sarah Williamson 0 0-0 0, Mya Fourstar 7 1-2 18, Tori Nyguard 3 2-4 8, Tia Nygard 1 0-1 2, , Jodi Houg 0 0-0 0, Marissa Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Demi Ke 0 0-0 0, Jaylee Azure 2 3-4 7, Alex Sutton 0 0-0 0. Team Totals 20 7-15 50.

Three Point Field Goals - Harlem 6 (Kailee Henry 2, Taya Trottier 2, Kristyn Kisson 1, Aria Owens 1), Wolf Point 3 (Mya Fourstar 3); Team Fouls - Harlem 12, Wolf Point 7; Fouled Out - None

Hays/Lodge Pole 63 Big Sandy 28

Big Sandy 9 4 7 8 - 28

Hays/Lodge Pole 15 18 12 18 - 63

Big Sandy - Mia Dillworth 0 0-2 0, Jaycee Worrall 1 0-0 2, Kylee Sternberg 0 0-0 0, Mattie Gasvoda 0 0-0 0, Bailey Gasvoda 0 0-0 0, Amy Gasvoda 0 2-4 2, Lainey Gregory 1 1-4 4, Erin Taylor 0 0-0 0, Amanda Cline 2 8-9 12, Seanna Demontiney 2 1-3 6, Madison Terry 0 0-0 0, Angie Stout 1 0-0 2. Team Totals 7 12-22 28.

Hays/L.P. - Nashone Shambo 0 1-2 1, Ella Messerly 6 0-1 14, Judemia Gray 2 1-1 5, Kassie Perez 1 0-0 3, Sierra Chandler 1 0-2 3, Aubry Chandler 1 0-0 3, Tahtianna Morgan 0 1-2 1, Justice Werk 0 0-0 0, Jaedyn Chandler 6 2-2 18, Mulleeah Stiffarm 6 1-2 16. Team Totals 23 6-12 63.

Three Point Field Goals - Big Sandy 2 (Lainey Gregory 1, Seanna Demontiney 1), Hays/L.P. 12 (Jaedyn Chandler 4, Mulleeah Stiffarm 3, Ella Messerly 2, Kassi Perez 1, Sierra Chandler 1, Aubrey Chandler 1); Team Fouls - Big Sandy 0, Hays/L.P. 19; Fouled Out - None.

hunderbird senior Mulleeah Stiffarm has been through it all with the Thunderbirds. After surviving some difficult seasons her freshman and sophomore years, she's been a great team leader in helping the Thunderbirds achieve their 8-4 record.

Turner 32 Chester/Joplin-Inverness 26

Turner 6 12 6 8 - 32

Chester/J-I 1 5 5 15 - 26

Turner - Dakota Krass 1 1-4 4, Emma Billmayer 1 0-1 2, Sarah Billmayer 0 0-0 0, Gracie Honey 0 0-0 0, Brandy Calvert 1 0-2 2, Laci Maloney 0 0-0 0, Brooke Reed 0 0-0 0, Shyan Krass 10 4-7 24, Hannah Richman 0 0-0 0, Paycee Leo 0 0-0 0, Katie Kimmel 0 0-0 0. Team Totals 13 5-14 32.

Chester/J-I - Tatum Hull 3 3-4 10, Averie Mattson 1 0-0 2, Molly Nelson 2 3-3 8, Maddie Woods 1 0-0 3, Lily Wickum 0 0 0-0 0, Aaliyah Standiford 1 1-2 3. Team Totals 8 7-9 26.

Three Point Field Goals - Turner 1 (Dakota Krass 1), Chester/J-I 3 (Tutum Hull 1, Molly Nelson 1, Maddie Woods 10); Team Fouls - Turner 14, Chester/J-I 17; Fouled Out - Turner (Brooke Reed), Chester/J-I (Tatum Hull).

 
 

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