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Match-ups to watch this week

by Brandon Hansen / For The Leader
| January 5, 2023 12:00 AM

Sports are back after winter break and it couldn’t come at a better time. Things heat up for Mission Valley athletics in a hurry with rivalry match-ups and important conference and league battles that are just a short drive from home.

THURSDAY, JAN. 5

Get pumped for some fun Mission Valley rivalry basketball, as the Mission Bulldogs will play host to the Arlee Warriors in Class B Basketball action. While in different leagues, these two teams could always meet up in the postseason. Arlee (4-2) and Mission (1-3) want a win badly as they need to keep momentum up in both the stacked Western 6B and Western 7B leagues. Keep your program handy to keep an eye on the Bulldogs’ Zoran LaFrombois who is averaging 29 points per game and has a 42-point game to his credit this year. On Arlee’s roster, Jace Arca and Ben Old Person-Harlow have showed they can pop off some double-digit action as well. The Warriors have notched 370 points in six games this season so you know they can score.

The same could be said for the girls’ matchup between Arlee and Mission as well. The Mission girls are 3-1 and they have a powerful offense with Kason Page, Izzy Evans, Kooper Page, Cora Matt and Elannah Flat Lip showing they can score points. Arlee’s Raven Parson and Princess Bolen can ball to for the Scarlets, so bring your popcorn (or buy it at the concession stand and support Mission Athletics)

FRIDAY, JAN. 6

This is such a busy night in athletics, you’re going to be driving all over to keep up with local athletics. If you’re in the north county, check out the revitalized Polson girls basketball team (3-2) playing host to Whitefish (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. Both teams look like they have evenly matched offenses so this could be a battle.

Arlee, Charlo and Two Eagle all have league match-ups that you can attend.

Ronan begins the Western MT Duals and Mission-Charlo and Polson will be in attendance. You’ll see a bevy of ranked wrestlers for this two-day event (it goes into Saturday). Ronan will be a tough host and they have a big roster of wrestlers in the state’s top ten poll.

Polson Swimming will host a home meet at the Mission Valley Aquatic Center at 12 p.m. The key point to this is that it is indoors, so you can enjoy some swimming and warm temperatures while cheering on the Polson swimmers. It will be the least amount of driving you’ll have to make to attend a Pirate swim meet.

SATURDAY, JAN. 7

Is the Mission Valley the center of the Montana basketball universe this weekend? It sure seems like it. The Mission Bulldogs will host Ronan boys and girls in what is sure to be a packed gym. These are the kind of rivalries that are fun since the players know each other, and while there are no league implications, the bragging rights always seem to matter the most.

And, Polson boys and girls basketball will be hosting Browning in a huge Northwest A Conference battle. The Browning boys finished in second place last year behind Polson in the conference standings and the Browning girls were atop the standings last year with a 9-1 record. You can also catch the Northwest A’s boys leading scorer – Jarrett Wilson – in action as he is averaging 24.2 points per game for the Pirates. He’s kind of an NBA Jam cheat code, okay?

TUESDAY, JAN. 10

It’s more league action as Mission will play host to undefeated Western 7B foe Thompson Falls in boys action. Did we mention the Thompson Falls girls are undefeated too? So again, a big league matchup and a must attend.

Two Eagle boys and girls will host Hot Springs in some 14C League action and Polson Girls Wrestling will be in Hamilton.

Tuesday’s marquee matchup will be the Polson at Ronan boys wrestling dual. These kinds of local duals are always a ton of fun to watch as wrestling isn’t 5-on-5 but one-of-one. You might think you like MMA, but you really should give high school wrestling between neighboring Montana towns a chance. It’s all the intensity, but with less Dana White and Joe Rogan.

Check out the sports schedule for the times for these fun local sports match-ups!

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