Season ends for Mission Valley A-B teams
Polson's Dawson Dumont reaches for the ball during a tournament game against Columbia Falls. (JP Edge/Hungry Horse News)
Maiden Lauryn Buhr and Lady Pirate Mila Hawk, who faced off in the recent Class A Divisional Tourney in Ronan, join forces in the Mission Mountain All Star Game as members of Team B. (JP Edge/Hungry Horse News)
Polson's Julia Barnard goes up for two points against Browning during the Class A Divisional Tourney in Ronan. (Bob Gunderson photo)
Polson's Mila Hawk goes up for a jump shot against Columbia Falls during last week's Class A Divisionals. (JP Edge/Hungry Horse News)
Trent Wilson stretches for the basket against Hamilton during last week's Class A Divisionals in Ronan. (Bob Gunderson photo)
The Polson's Cheer Team roots for the Pirates at last week's Class A Divisional Tournament in Ronan. (Bob Gunderson photo)
Mission's Zoran LaFrambois drives by Bigfork's Izak Epperly during the Class B Regionals challenge game on Feb. 27. The two are teammates Saturday during the Mission Mountain All Star Game in Ronan. (Bob Gunderson photo)
Cedrick McDonald scores two points for the Bulldogs during Monday's challenge game against Bigfork. (Bob Gunderson photo)
| March 2, 2023 12:00 AM
WESTERN A BOYS Divisionals
Pirates’ season ends with loss to Columbia Falls
Polson ended their season with losses to Hamilton and Columbia Falls during the Western A Divisionals at the Ronan Events Center.
The Pirates were outscored 16-7 in the fourth quarter as they fell to Hamilton on Thursday, Feb. 23.
The game was close by all accounts up until the final stanza. Hamilton led Polson 27-23 at halftime before Polson pulled to just one point behind in the third quarter.
Espn Fisher and Cymian Kauley led the Pirates with 12 points, while Jarrett Wilson added nine.
The Pirates came much closer to besting the Wildcats on Saturday than their previous two matchups this year. Still, the fellow Northwest A Conference member ultimately picked up a 66-61 victory to end the Pirates’ season.
Fisher led Polson with 20 points, while Trent Wilson added 15.
The Pirates led 20-17 after one quarter, but a 17-7 run by the Wildcats gave them a 34-27 halftime lead. The game was a tight one, but ultimately Columbia Falls was able to squeeze out a victory. The Wildcats would lose to Dillon in the next game, also putting an end to their year.
In fact, no Northwest A Conference basketball team advanced to the state tournament.
Previously in the year, Polson lost to Columbia Falls via scores of 63-48 and 64-48.
The Pirates concluded the season with a 7-13 record.
HAMILTON 54, POLSON 44
Polson - 13 - 10 - 14 - 7 - 44
Hamilton - 15 - 12 - 11 - 16 - 54
POLSON: Espn Fisher 12; Cymian Kauley 12; Jarrett Wilson 9; Trent Wilson 6; Brock Henriksen 4; Owen McElwee 1
COLUMBIA FALLS 66, POLSON 61
C-Falls - 17 - 17 - 13 - 19 - 66
Polson - 20 - 7 - 13 - 21 - 61
POLSON: Espn Fisher 20; Trent Wilson 15; Jarrett Wilson 9; Dawson DuMont 7; Brock Henriksen 2; Owen McElwee 2; Cymian Kauley 2
WESTERN A GIRLS Divisionals
Lady Pirates end season 12-10
Both teams had their runs, but Hamilton advanced with a 48-43 victory over Polson in the Western A Regional Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 23, in Ronan. In a weird stroke of tournament scheduling, both the Polson boys and girls teams played Hamilton, and unfortunately the results were similar.
Polson trailed 14-11 after one quarter before Hamilton opened things up with a 16-8 run in the second stanza for a 30-19 advantage. The Lady Pirates, however, would go on a 12-5 run in the fourth quarter as part of a comeback that never materialized completely.
Mila Hawk led Polson with 15 points, while Ilysia Adams had eight points.
Next up for Polson was Mission Valley rival Ronan. In a low-scoring, hard-fought game, Polson was able to use a fourth-quarter surge to defeat Ronan 35-28 on Friday.
Both teams were tied early in the fourth quarter 23-23, but Polson began to increase their advantage step by stop. This included Polson guard Julia Barnard sandwiching two free throws between steals against Ronan and scoring by Grace Simonich to finish things off.
Polson was led by Nikki Kendall and Simonich, each with seven. Polson got eight rebounds from Simonich, while Hawk hauled in nine rebounds.
Leina Ulutoa’s eight points led Ronan, and she increased her season-scoring total to over 200 points. Ulutoa also had nine rebounds, while Kylie Fetui had six.
The Lady Pirates had previously beaten Ronan this season by tight scores of 52-49 and 43-31.
League-undefeated Browning had their hands full against Polson on Saturday, as the Lady Pirates were tied at halftime. Browning pulled away in the fourth quarter with a 16-9 run for the 46-37 Western A Consolation Bracket victory.
Hawk led Polson with 16 points, while Barnard had nine points. At one point, the Lady Pirates had a 24-41 lead in the third quarter before Browning pushed the ball in the post.
Browning finished things with a 16-9 run in the fourth quarter. Polson had previously lost to Browning in Northwest A Conference play by scores of 55-48 and 43-34.
Finally, Polson almost extended its season in an exciting 59-57 loss to Northwest A Conference foe Columbia Falls in Saturday’s Western A Divisional Challenge Game. Hawk crossed the 200-point scoring milestone for the season and led the Lady Pirates with 17 points.
Columbia Falls led 17-6 after one quarter, but Polson clawed back and trailed by just 27-23 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Lady Pirates hit four three-pointers to take 45-42 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Polson missed a three-point attempt to win it, and a put-back to tie it also could not find the bottom of the net.
Simonich added 12 points, while Kendall had 11 points to cross the 100-point scoring milestone for the season.
Polson finished 12-10 on the season, an incredible feat after just four wins last year and nearly a decade of long seasons.
HAMILTON 48, POLSON 43
Hamilton - 14 - 16 - 13 - 5 - 48
Polson - 11 - 8 - 12 - 12 - 43
POLSON: Mila Hawk 15; Ilysia Adams 8; Julia Barnard 6; Grace Simonich 6; Nikki Kendall 5; Samantha Rensvold 2; Ashtyn Wagner 1
POLSON 35, RONAN 28
Ronan - 9 - 8 - 6 - 5 - 28
Polson - 5 - 8 - 8 - 14 - 35
RONAN: Leina Ulutoa 8; Kylie Fetui 5; Olivia Heiner 5; Lauryn Buhr 4; Arianna Zepeda 2; Ally Luedtke 2; Isabella Devereaux-Trahan 2.
POLSON: Nikki Kendall 7; Grace Simonich 7; Julia Barnard 5; Ashtyn Wagner 4; Mila Hawk 4; Ilysia Adams 4; Samantha Rensvold 2; Natalie Adams 2.
BROWNING 46, POLSON 37
Polson - 4 - 15 - 9 - 9 - 37
Browning - 10 - 9 - 11 - 16 - 46
POLSON: Mila Hawk 16; Julia Barnard 9; Nikki Kendall 5; Grace Simonich 5; Ilysia Adams 2
COLUMBIA FALLS 59, POLSON 57
Polson - 6 - 17 - 22 - 12 - 57
C-Falls - 17 - 10 - 15 - 17 - 59
POLSON: Mila Hawk 17; Grace Simonich 12; Nikki Kendall 11; Samantha Rensvold 5; Natalie Adams 5; Ilysia Adams 4; Julia Barnard 3
Ronan falls to Dillon, Polson
Ronan was held to 11 second-half points against top-seeded Dillon in a 62-26 Western A Divisional loss on Thursday, Feb. 23. Arianna Zepeda led the Maidens with nine points, while Leina Ulutoa had seven points.
Dillon went on an 18-5 run in the second quarter for the 35-15 at halftime lead.
Following Friday’s loss to the Lady Pirates, Ronan finished the season 7-14 overall.
DILLON 62, RONAN 26
Dillon - 17 - 18 - 10 - 17 - 62
Ronan - 10 - 5 - 8 - 3 - 26
RONAN: Arianna Zepeda 9; Leina Ulutoa 7; Lauryn Buhr 3; Isabella Devereaux-Trahan 3; Ally Luedtke 2; Margaret Cordova 1; Olivia Heiner 1
WESTERN B REGIONAL BOYS
Missions’ furious comeback comes up short
The Bulldogs scored 27 points in the third quarter, but regional host Anaconda came away with the 69-55 Western B Regional victory on Thursday, Feb. 23.
Mission was led by Zoran LaFrombois’ 23 points, while Landon Walks Over Ice had 11 points. Kenny Ness also had nine points.
The Bulldogs rallied on Friday to beat the neighboring Warriors 78-57 and end Arlee’s season. LaFrombois was his usual dominating self, scoring 29 points as Mission advanced through the next round of the Western B Regional tournament.
Mission went on a 27-11 run in the second quarter to lead 43-24 at halftime. Cedrick McDonald scored 13 points, and Kellen McClure had 10.
Ethan Fiddler’s 12 points led Arlee while Jace Arca scored 10.
Mission’s offense proved too much as the Bulldogs advanced to the Western B Regional Consolation Finals with a 67-56 victory over Florence-Carlton on Saturday, Feb. 25.
LaFrombois had 37 points, and the Bulldogs led Florence Carlton 36-19 at halftime. McDonald added 11 points to Missions’ efforts, while Kenny Ness added 10.
Mission won Saturday’s Consolation Final against Thompson Falls, 77-74 in overtime, earning the Bulldogs an opportunity to challenge Bigfork.
Trailing in the game, the Bulldogs went on a 24-14 run in the third quarter.
LaFrombois scored 43, and McDonald added 13 points for the Bulldogs.
ANACONDA 69, ST. IGNATIUS 55
Anaconda - 19 - 21- 19 - 10 - 69
Mission - 12 - 13 - 27 - 13 - 66
ST. IGNATIUS: Zoran LaFrombois 23; Landon WalksOverIce 11; Kenny Ness 9; Kellen McClure 2; Carmine Adams 1
MISSION 78, ARLEE 57
Mission - 16 - 27 - 19 -16 - 78
Arlee - 13 - 11 - 14 - 19 - 57
MISSION: Zoran LaFrombois 29; Cedrick McDonald 13; Kellen McClure 10; Kenny Ness 9; Lex LaFrombois 7; Landon Walks Over Ice 6; Carmine Adams 4.
ARLEE: Ethan Fiddler 12; Jace Arca 10; Kaiden Ostby 9; Kendall O'Neill 8; Ben Old Person-Harlow 8; Bridger Smith 4; Dallas Swab 3; Tucker Brown 3; Jake Knoll 2
MISSION 67, FLORENCE-CARLTON 56
Mission - 18 - 18 - 10 - 21 - 67
Flor-Car - 12 - 7 - 12 - 25 - 56
MISSION: Zoran LaFrombois 37; Cedric McDonald 11; Kenny Ness 10; Landon Walks Over Ice 3; Kellen McClure 2; Lex LaFrombois 2
MISSION 77, THOMPSON FALLS 74 (OT)
Mission - 13 - 12 - 17 - 24 - 11 - 77
T-Falls - 15 - 21 - 16 - 14 - 8 - 74
ST. IGNATIUS: Zoran LaFrombois 43; Cedric McDonald 13; Leo Pierce 7; Landon Walks Over Ice 7; Lex LaFrombois 5; Kellen McClure 2
Bigfork and Mission defeat Arlee
Despite 33 points from Ben Old Person-Harlow, Arlee fell to top-seeded Bigfork 71-58 in Western B Regional action on Thursday, Feb. 23, in Anaconda. Ethan Fiddler also had nine points for the Warriors.
Friday’s 78-57 loss to Mission ended the Warrior’s season.
BIGFORK 71, ARLEE 58
ARLEE: Ben Old Person-Harlow 33; Ethan Fiddler 9; Kaiden Ostby 7; Jake Knoll 4; Dallas Swab 3
Mission takes Bigfork to the wire
By all accounts, Monday's Western B Regional Challenge game was the start of the state tournament.
State power Bigfork moved on to the State B Boys Basketball Tournament next week in Great Falls, but it was pressed to the absolute limit by Mission.
The Bulldogs led the Vikings 17-15 after one quarter but trailed off in the next two stanzas. Bigfork led 42-33 going into the fourth but Mission staged a 14-7 run that saw them come so, oh, so close, to a state tournament berth.
Bigfork has all the indications of moving up to the Class A ranks after being one of the most dominant basketball programs in the state this year. That didn't matter in this game, however, as the Bulldogs showed they were in the same conversation.
Mission finished the year 15-11 on the year, while Bigfork will have the west's No. 2 seed in the state tournament with a 20-4 record.
BIGFORK 49, MISSION 47
Mission - 17 - 8 - 8 - 14 - 47
Bigfork - 15 - 10 - 17 - 7 - 49
WESTERN B GIRLS
Mission downs regional host, suffers 2 losses
The Lady Bulldogs jumped out quickly and fended off an Anaconda comeback during a 47-42 Western B Regional first-round matchup on Thursday, Feb. 23.
Mission led 15-7 after one quarter and 25-24 at halftime.
Kooper Page led Mission with 22 points, while Kason Page and Cora Matt each added eight points.
Next up, Mission suffered a 69-25 loss to Class B power Bigfork on Friday, Feb. 24. Matt led the Lady Bulldogs with nine points, while Kooper Page had six points.
Florence-Carlton snuck past Mission 52-50 in the Regional Consolation Semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The Lady Bulldogs led Florence-Carlton 17-14 after one quarter but trailed 27-26 at halftime.
Kooper Page led Mission with 17 points and Elannah Flat Lip pitched in 13 points for Mission.
The Lady Bulldogs end the season with a 17-7 record.
MISSION 47, ANACONDA 43
Anaconda - 7 - 17 - 7 - 12 - 43
Mission - 15 - 10 - 6 - 16 - 16
MISSION: Kooper Page 22, Kason Page 8, Cora Matt 8, Izzy Evans 6, Kieran Incashola 3
BIGFORK 69, MISSION 25
MISSION: Cora Matt 9; Kooper Page 6; Kason Page 4; Kieran Incashola 2; Izzy Evans 2; Brooklyn McClure 2
FLORENCE-CARLTON 52, MISSION 50
Mission - 17 - 9 - 14 - 10 - 50
Flor-Car - 14 - 13 - 13 - 12 - 52
MISSION: Kooper Page 17; Elannah Flat Lip 13; Cora Matt 8; Izzy Evans 6; Kason Page 6