Prep Roundup: Chiefs cruise against Bulldogs

by by John Heglie, special for the Leader
| January 6, 2021 7:00 AM

At Ronan, the Chiefs built a huge early lead over the visiting Mission Bulldogs and held on for a 66-52 victory in boys basketball.

Ronan sophomore guard Elijah Tonasket turned in a varsity career high 27 points, while Girma Detwiler tallied among the high teens supplemented by eight boards. Couture brothers Zarec and Ruben collaborated on a dozen rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The Bulldogs placed a pair of players in double figures as sophomore guard Zoran LaFrombois and sophomore forward Cedrick McDonald combined for 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine steals. Junior post Ross McPherson contributed nine points, nine boards and a block, while senior Layne Spidel raked in nine rebounds as well.

“It’s super exciting to see how good our guys can be,” first-year Ronan coach DJ Fish said. “I was concerned with our fourth-quarter effort. We have to find a way to stay engaged all four quarters. Much respect to Mission for their efforts and their ability to step up to the challenge.”

Mission coach Stuart Grant acknowledged the impact of the delayed season start coupled with first-game adjustments.

"I thought we came out with first game jitters early on that made us have to play catch up all game. We competed hard on the glass, but we need to make better decisions with the ball. Overall, I'm pleased with our effort and I'm confident our crew will bounce back this week."

Next up for the Chiefs are road games at Hamilton on Tuesday (Jan. 5) and Corvallis on Thursday, Jan. 7.

Mission has conference clashes at Eureka followed by Thompson Falls at home on Friday.

That’s followed by a pair of nonconference matchups against Plains on Saturday and at Arlee on Tuesday.


Ronan rustles rivals

Ronan opened their wrestling season with a team sweep of Western A competition, dispatching Dillon, Hamilton and Butte Central.

Trapper McAllister, Julian Strait and Fortino Silva each notched two pins, while seniors Daniel Collins-Bishop and Jesse LittleBoy both won two matches, one by pin and the other via forfeit. Overall, nine Chief wrestlers won at least one bout this past weekend.

"I was extremely happy with the way that our kids competed,” coach Dylan Kramer said. “We had multiple freshmen hop into our lineup and get big wins for us and our upperclassmen did what was expected of them. It was great to get back to competition and our kids really enjoyed it."

Ronan is scheduled to host Libby, Browning and Hamilton on Friday, followed by Mission-Charlo and Eureka on Tuesday.

Crawford collaboration paces Warriors

At Arlee, Warrior wrestlers opened their season with a mixer against the Clark Fork co-op of Superior/Alberton and Eureka.

All-state senior Colt Crawford notched two pins, while Charley Crawford and RJ Knoll split their bouts.

Freshman Drew Knoll faced one of the tougher assignments when he drew defending state champion (BC126) Gunnar Smith of Eureka as his opponent.

Warrior coach Paige Carney was encouraged by the start, but acknowledged, "There is a lot to work yet to do, but it was good to get rolling for the year."

Bulldog wrestlers tussle at T-Falls

Thompson Falls, Mission-Charlo opened its wrestling season with a pair of duals against Cutbank and Simms. Bulldog wrestlers competed against one team at the middle school gym, while the other faced Thompson Falls at the high school gym. Pandemic season protocols required vacating the venue for cleaning, after which teams were then able to face the other contingent to culminate the quad. Canyon Sargent won both his matches at 152 against Cutbank and Simms wrestlers, while Charley Adams split his bouts at 145. The remainder of the matches were won by Wolf or Tiger wrestlers from CutBank or Simms. Kody Dillard was outflanked by a pair of Wolves from CutBank at 103 and 113, while George Ranney was nipped in his solo bout at 182. Cutbank and Simms wrestlers prevailed in the remaining matches against Bulldogs Codiak Killorn (145), Chance Bockman (160) and Christian Smith (170).

Bulldog head wrestling coach Lyle Cronk acknowledged some great wins by Sargent as “confidence boosters,” while Charley Crawford “wrestled a barn burner during his second match with determination and heart.”

Even though Chance Bockman and Kody Dillard emerged on the short end of the scorecard for their bouts, “they were in a match.”

The Mission-Charlo Bulldogs will travel to Superior to face the Clark Fork Mountain Cat co-op on Thursday, Jan. 7, then possibly Arlee on Saturday, followed by a cross county clash at Ronan that will include Eureka on Tuesday.