Last Tuesday at the Ronan Events Center, the Maidens hosted the first encounter of the season with visiting Whitefish in a crucial conference clash. Despite home court advantage, the Lady Bulldogs surged to a double-figure lead after the first frame during which Maiden Jaylea Lunceford accounted for the only field goal and Aislyn Baker supplemented with a solo free throw. But the Maidens flipped the script in the second period, holding Whitefish to small numbers as they countered among the high teens to knot the contest even steven at intermission.
Thereafter, the Maidens outscored their visitors with a trio of deuces and three sets of free throws to account for the margin of victory. The dueling Jae’s collaborated on the lion’s share of the damage done to the Dawgs as Lunceford contributed a double-double that included a dozen boards, while Jaeleigh Gatch dealt a pair of crazy eights for points along with boards.
At Bigfork last Thursday, the visiting Maidens experienced almost the mirror opposite of their preceding game. After a strong first frame, the host Valkyries tied the contest by the half, then surged during the third period to force Ronan to play catch me if you can. Game on, and the Maidens almost did just that. They pulled to within a deuce, but couldn’t close the gap any further. Coach Steve Woll pointed out that Ronan had plenty of opportunities to win the contest. Detrimental to their dilemma would be leaving a dozen-and-a-half free throws on the table, a trio of which would have sufficed to tilt the outcome in their favor.
Lunceford contributed another double-double, while Regan Clairmont netted a dozen points.
The Maidens close out their regular schedule with the rematch with Whitefish having already taken place on Tuesday, Feb. 5, then host SWA conference leader Corvallis for Senior Night on Thursday.
Bigfork 56, Ronan 54
NWA Ronan (7-9), 7B Bigfork (6-8)
Ronan 16 8 11 19 – 54
Bigfork 8 16 17 15 – 56
RONAN – Jaylea Lunceford 4 5-11 13(16r,2a,1b), Regan Clairmont 4 3-4 12(2r,2a,5s), Madison Clairmont 3 2-4 8(3r,2a,3s), Tiana Ulutoa 3 0-3 7(5r,4s), Kieauna DeRoche 2 1-2 6(2r,2a), Jaeleigh Gatch 1 3-8 5(9r,2a,2s), Lexi Wirz 3(1b), Aislyn Baker 0(1s), Madeline McCrea 0(10r,1s,7b).
BIGFORK – Ansleigh Edgerton 17, Heidi Schneller 11, Emma Berreth 9, Audrey Buenz 5, Saylor Martinez 4, Isabella Santistevan 3, Ashton McAnally 3, Rakiah Grende 2, Meredith Bedford 2.
3FGs – R4-16 (DeRoche 1-3, Wirz 1-3, Ulutoa 1-4, R.Clairmont 1-5). (Th31Jan19)
Ronan 43, Whitefish 38
Ronan (4-5, 7-8), Whitefish (2-6, 4-11)
Whitefish 15 6 7 10 – 38
Ronan 3 18 12 10 – 43
WHITEFISH – Payton Kastella 10, Kaiah Moore 8, Marlee Bender 8, Gracie Smyley 4, Hope Brown 4, Claire Carloss 2, Jasmine Matern 2, Claire Carloss 0.
RONAN – Jaylea Lunceford 6 4-6 16(12r,2a,3s), Jaeleigh Gatch 3 2-6 8(8r,1a), Tiana Ulutoa 1 6-8 8(2r,2a,4s), Regan Clairmont 2 2-2 7(2r,2a,1s,1b), Kieauna DeRoche 3(3r,1s) Aislyn Baker 1(1r,2s), Madison Clairmont (4r,2a,3s), Madeline McCrea (5r,1s,1b).
3FGs – W1-9 (Kastella 1-7), R2-7 (DeRoche 1-2, R.Clairmont 1-4). (Tu29Jan19)