Thunderbirds 3-0 after Edging Plenty Coup 60-53 and Running by Heart Butte 71-32
December 15, 2021
The Hays/Lodge Pole Thunderbirds are rolling to start the 2021-22 high school basketball season. After opening with a lopsided win a week ago over Dodson the girls headed south to Billings this weekend.
The Thunderbirds took part in the 9th Annual American Indian Shootout. The Thunderbirds outlast Plenty Coup 60-53 on Friday night. Saturday the girls ran the Heart Butte Warriors out of the gym with a 71-32 thumping to improve to 3-0 on the season.
The tournament features a ton of talented teams from across Montana including Class A Browning and Hardin. Also in the field were Rocky Boy, Plenty Coup, Box Elder, Heart Butte, Two Eagle River and two teams from North Dakota, Mandaree and White Shield.
The Thunderbirds took the floor at the Metra set to get off to a fast start against the Plenty Coup Warriors. Senior Jaedyn Chandler scored six first quarter points while freshman Nina Fox added five. The Warriors however dropped in a pair from beyond the arc and led 19-16 heading into the second quarter.
The Thunderbirds tightened up their defense before the half and received a strong offensive effort from sophomore Alliya Pretty Paint with nine second quarter points. Chandler added five more to the Thunderbird tally as did junior Nashone Shambo. Hays/Lodge Pole outscored the Warriors 20-11 before the half to lead 36-30 at the break.
Pretty Paint connected again from a distance in the third quarter and Shambo added another five points in helping the Thunderbirds maintain the lead 44-41 as the teams entered the fourth quarter.
Fox scored five points down the stretch for the Thunderbirds and Chandler converted four of five from the charity strip to help the Thunderbirds secure a hard fought 60-53 win over the Warriors.
Pretty Paint led the way for the Thunderbirds with 20 points in the game. Chandler tossed in 16, Fox added 13 markers and Shambo finished with 11.
The 2-0 Thunderbirds looked to continue their hot start to the season Saturday when they took on Northern C foe Heart Butte.
Hays/Lodge Pole started fast, racing up and down the court in a high octane attack that saw them take 30-9 lead after just eight minutes of action. Chandler connected from beyond the arc and scored 13 first quarter points. Senior Judemia Gray added a three ball of her own and scored five points in the opening frame.
As fast as they started off the contest, their running shoes came off in the second, scoring just five more points before the half with three of those coming on a long ball from Shambo.
Leading 35-14 to start the second half the offense once again reestablished itself on the floor. The Thunderbirds got seven points from Shambo and scored 16 third quarter points to lead 51-23 entering the final quarter of action.
Pretty Paint scored eight points down the stretch for the Thunderbirds as the offense was in cruise control. Freshman Shailee Shambo found the scoring column with six points in the final stanza while Chandler added four more. The strong effort led to a 71-32 Thunderbird victory.
Chandler led the way with 19 points on the afternoon. Pretty Paint added 16 and Shambo finished with 12.
The Thunderbirds improve to 3-0 with the win and will close out 2021 with four straight road contest. The girls will be in Gildford on December 17, Big Sandy December 18, Fort Benton December 20 and Chinook on December 21.