Arlee girls’ basketball had to wait a bit longer to solidify the outcome of their postseason foray, but it would be well worth the wait.
After a first round bye on account to edging Charlo for the regular schedule top seed, the Scarlets’ second round opponent would emerge with unexpected stripes of a different color.
Arlee’s semifinal opponent didn’t follow ordinary expectations when fifth-seeded St. Regis advanced after topping higher seeded Hot Springs.
The Lady Tigers showed why by exhibiting a quality level to their play that didn’t show any inkling of intimidation against Scarlet advantages in height or weaponry. The two previous encounters between these two during the regular season had been decided by 30 points or better.
This third tangle would be the closest of their meetings, showing how much an opponent can improve over the course of several weeks of competition.
But though the St. Regis effort would be valiant, Arlee shaped the tempo of the contest as they held off the feisty Lady Tigers.
Alyssia Vanderburg and Louetta Conko-Camel would both net double figures as they combined to match what would have previously sufficed to counter St. Regis. But the outcome this time around would benefit from the input of the other Scarlets to advance to the next round.
The district championship would be a rematch of Arlee’s Senior Night clash with the Charlo Lady Vikings. Only the stakes this time would be postseason hardware. On both occasions, the Lady Vikings came out with a hot shooting hand the first frame, staking themselves to a multiple possession lead. The middle frames strongly resembled those of their previous encounter as Arlee chipped away at the advantage until they had erased it, thereafter the score never straying out of reach of the other team. But the Lady Vikings would gain an edge at the free throw line.
Arlee 59, Plains 42
At the Bison Range (SKC Gym) this past Monday, the Arlee Scarlets successfully corralled the Plains Trotters in a challenge match to punch their ticket to the Western C Divisional in Butte this coming weekend.
The game was a relatively close affair up to midway through the second period when Plains only trailed 19-18 with 2:51 remaining before intermission. But multiple forced turnovers would be converted into transition points which would stake Arlee with a double figure cushion at the break.
Coming out of intermission, Plains battled to counter the offensive arsenal of the Scarlets, but continued to lose ground the remainder of the contest on account of a combination of Arlee sharpshooting from beyond the arc coupled by the inside presence of Alyssia Vanderburg, who scored in double figures both halves. Arlee had almost doubled their halftime edge just under halfway through the third period 43-23, putting the outcome on predictable ground at that juncture barring close to a miracle.
Coach Missy Tiensvold commented that she was “proud of the [Scarlets] tonight. We played like a team and were able to take care of business.”
Arlee advances to the Western C Divisional in Butte, where they will face 12C top-seeded Ennis on Thursday at 6 p.m. The winner plays the Darby-Manhattan Christian victor at 8 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals.
14C challenge game
Arlee 59, Plains 42
Arlee (14-7), Plains (14-9)
Plains 9 9 13 11 – 42
Arlee 11 18 16 14 – 59
PLAINS – Kylee Altmiller 7 2-9 16, Haley Josephson 3 1-4 7, Natalee Deschamps 2 0-0 6, Rachel Huenink 2 1-2 5, Miera Loberg 3, Willow Sturdivant 0 2-2 2, Kassidy Kinzie 0 1-4 1, Mariah Smith 1, Brooklyn Stafford 1.
ARLEE – Alyssia Vanderburg 13 3-4 32(10r,2s), Louetta Conko-Camel 5 2-3 13(1r,4a,4s), Nellie Desjarlais 4 2-2 10(6r,2a,2s), Emily Fiddler 2(1r,2a,2s), Sydni Rogers 2(1r), Noelle West (3r,2a,2s), Tomi Brazill (1a,1s), Halle Adams (1r), Hailey Shepherd 0 0-1 0, Cheyenne Pablo 0 0-1 0(1s)
3FGs – A4 (Vanderburg 3, Conko-Camel), P3 (Deschamps 2, Loberg). (M19Feb19challenge)
Championship game (see Charlo story)
Arlee 54, St. Regis 42
Arlee 17 14 10 13 – 54
St. Regis 11 10 10 11 – 42
ARLEE – Alyssia Vanderburg 7 3-4 18(8r,2s,1b), Louetta Conko-Camel 6 2-6 15(7r,2a,7s), Noelle West 2 4-6 8(2r,1a,3s), Emily Fiddler 2 2-2 7(3s), Nellie Desjarlais 1 3-4 5(8r,3s,1b), Halle Adams 0 1-4 1(2r), Sydni Rogers 0 0-2 0(1r,1s), Shelby Smith 0 0-2 0(1r), Tomi Brazill (4r,1a).
ST. REGIS – Madison Kelly 17, Baylee Pruitt 9, Kylee Thompson 6, Emma Hill 4(10r), Ashley Wilson 3, Makaela Kelly 2, Sunny Shoupe 1.
3FGs – A3 (Fiddler, Conko-Camel, Vanderburg), SR3 (Kelly, Pruitt, Thompson). (Fr15Feb19gm11dist)
Stat specs derived from informal JH tally.