'Beeters Strong Second Half Effort Leads to 52-43 win over Hays/Lodge Pole
December 29, 2021
It was a tale of two halves this past Tuesday night in Chinook as the Sugarbeeters welcomed the Hays/Lodge Pole Thunderbirds to town. Both teams have the same goal of playing on Saturday night at the District 9C Tournament in February, making this early season clash a big one.
The Thunderbirds controlled the tempo early in a defensive first half, taking a 19-10 lead into the halftime locker room. The third quarter belonged to the 'Beeters as they stormed out of the gates, turning a nine point deficit into a nine point advantage heading into the fourth quarter en route to a 52-43 victory.
Tuesday nights contest was the final game in 2021 for both teams as they headed into the Holiday break. Thunderbird senior Tahtianna Morgan got the scoring started, scoring the first basket of the game after the teams traded possessions.
Chinook answered back on the 'Beeters next trip down the court. Both teams were aggressive on the defensive side of the ball, giving the offenses fits early on.
Junior Bree Swanson evened the contest at four and moments later senior Allison Powell gave the 'Beeters their first lead of the contest, 6-4 at the 3:50 mark of the opening stanza. Thunderbird senior Jaedyn Chandler connected from distance to give Hays/Lodge Pole a 7-6 lead late in the first quarter.
The Thunderbirds defense stymied the 'Beeter attack throughout the first half. Hays/Lodge Pole took a 9-6 lead into the second quarter following a nice pass from sophomore Alliya Pretty Paint to senior Judemia Grey as time wound down.
Pretty Paint pushed the Thunderbird lead to five, 11-6 early in the second quarter. Junior Nashone Shambo connected on a pair of free throws building on the Thunderbird lead. The Thunderbird momentum led to a 'Beeter timeout at the 4:13 mark of the second quarter.
Coming out of the timeout Grey took a nice kick-out pass from Pretty Point and knocked down a three ball to give the Thunderbirds a 16-6 advantage. Morgan added another three ball two possessions later giving the Thunderbirds their biggest lead of the contest at 19-6.
The Sugarbeeters built a bit of momentum heading into halftime. Freshman Alexus Seymour connected from the field to stop the Thunderbirds 15-0 run. Sophomore Mya Berreth dropped a dime to sophomore Hallie Neibauer to cut the lead to 19-10 with 1:22 remaining in the half.
The Sugarbeeters stepped up their defensive pressure down the stretch holding the Thunderbirds scoreless, but the offense missed an opportunity to cut into the deficit even more missing on four straight free throws to close out the half.
Hays/Lodge Pole held a 19-10 advantage to start the third quarter but a fired up Chinook squad wasted little time erasing that advantage.
Neibauer was a force in the third quarter leading the 'Beeter offense up and down the court. Neibauer scored off an offensive rebound just seconds into the half. Drawing the foul on the play she then connected from the free throw line to trim the Thunderbird lead to six, 19-13.
Pretty Paint connected on triple of her own to push the lead back to nine, but the Thunderbirds would struggle offensively the rest of the quarter.
Neibauer scored on a nice move in the paint and Seymour soon added another bucket for the 'Beeters. Swanson turned a steal into an old fashioned three-point play as the 'Beeter offense was soaring high. Neibauer connected on the first of two free throws moments later leading to a Thunderbird timeout.
Neibauer added the second free throw to even the score at 22-22 just three minutes into the third quarter. Swanson drained a long ball and Neibauer converted a steal into points and a 29-22 Chinook advantage with 1:29 left on the third quarter clock.
Chandler ended the 'Beeters 16-0 run with a strong move in the paint. Neibauer answered with another bucket at the end of the quarter giving her 15 points in the quarter and the 'Beeters a 33-34 lead entering the final eight minutes of action.
The teams would match each others effort down the stretch. Pretty Paint and Neibauer traded scores early. Seymour then connected from beyond the arc giving Chinook a 38-26 lead. The 'Beeter attack continued as Neibauer went 2-2 from the charity stripe to give Chinook their biggest lead of the contest, 43-29.
Chandler had a big fourth quarter for the Thunderbirds, scoring 11 points late. Hays/Lodge Pole managed to cut the 'Beeter lead down to six in the final minutes. The 'Beeters were outstanding from the charity stripe in the second half converting 16-17. Neibauer went 10-10 in the half from the foul line knocking five late to power Chinook to a 52-43 win over the Thunderbirds.
Neibauer led all scorers in the contest with 28 points, all but four coming in the second half. Swanson added eight for the 'Beeters and Seymour seven in the win.
Pretty Paint led the way for the Thunderbirds with a 16 point night. Chandler scored 13 on the night.
Chinook will return to the court Tuesday, January 4 with a road contest in Chester against the Hawks. The Thunderbirds will start 2022, Friday January 7 at Home against the Turner Tornadoes.