At the State Class C Girls Basketball Tournament in Great Falls last weekend, the Western second-seeded Scarlets of Arlee didn’t fare well against the beast from the East in their opener, but rallied in their second game to overtake the lead for a short while that was almost enough to advance to play another day.
This past Thursday, the Lady Vikings opened against the Eastern top-seed Lady Spartans of Scobey, whose only loss during the course of the regular schedule had been to top-ranked Class B Wolf Point.
Arlee trailed by a managable margin at the close of the first frame, but Scobey opened up a double figure lead by continuing to outscore the Scarlets by two to three possessions each of the remaining periods.
With Spartan defense corralling Scarlet post Alyssia Vanderburg from being able to exercise her usual around-the-paint prowess, Scobey continued to make shots while other Scarlet shooters struggled to find their marks. Arlee would only net a single triple from beyond the arc out of 20 tries, while Scobey not only outtargeted their opponent from long range, but also netted more in the paint as well as at the free-throw line. The result would be an atypical multiple dozen deficit, routing the Scarlets over into consolation competition.
Alyssia Vanderburg and Nellie Desjarlais were the only Scarlets to tally among double digits, while fellow teammates could only muster single-possession numbers.
Early afternoon this past Friday, the Scarlets would lock horns with the the Southern second seed Wibaux Lady Longhorns.
Arlee didn’t fare well during the course of the first half as the Lady Longhorns outshot as well as outhustled the Scarlets to stake themselves to a double-figure lead at intermission.
Arlee would make crucial adjustments at halftime, blending the height of Desjarlais and Vanderburg with the sharpshooting of Conko-Camel to close the gap within a single possession, 50-47.
Reserve Sydni Rogers would splash a triple to tie at 50 apiece, followed by a pair of free throws from Nellie Desjarlais to give the Scarlets a two point advantage at the end of the third period.
Starting the final frame, the twin sister act of Layni Schieffer followed by Marni would tie it, then give the Lady Longhorns the lead 56-54.
Scarlet Desjarlais would deal a deuce to regain the lead for Arlee 56-54, but Longhorn Layni would sandwich one-of-two at the charity stripe by Shantel Bertelsen with a pair of free throws to tie at 56, then take over the lead 57-56. Scarlet Vanderburg would net the front end of a tandem at the charity stripe to tie once again at 57 apiece.
Longhorn Marni Schieffer would net a deuce to edge Wibaux ahead 59-57, but a pair of free throws by Scarlet Vanderburg would tie the contest back up at 59 apiece with 2:16 remaining. Strategic possessions, ball control and turnovers inevitably loom large in a game this close and they would factor into which way the door on the hinge would swing with regard to the outcome of this contest.
Longhorn Marni Schieffer would deflect an Arlee cross court pass intended for a fellow Scarlet, redirecting its trajectory toward Wibaux’s end of the court, then converting a layup while getting fouled. Her free throw turned a conventional three-point play with 1:32 remaining. Sister Layni would net a pair of free throws to extend the advantage to two possessions, 64-59.
Arlee tried to pare the deficit back down into a one possession differential, but their long distances calls from beyond the arc failed to make a connection. Wibaux would win their first ever victory at state in the history of the school’s girls basketball program.
Despite the loss, the closeness of the match served notice that Arlee merited consideration as a bonifide postseason contender.
The Scarlets bid farewell to a magnificent set of seven seasoned seniors in Alyssia Vanderburg, Louetta Conko-Camel, Nellie Desjarlais, Noelle West, Tomi Brazill, Sydni Rogers and Hailey Shepherd, who collectively contributed over 1,300 points this season and more than 3,600 cumulative points over the course of their prep careers.
2019 Class C Girls
Four Seasons Arena — Great Falls
Feb. 28 - Mar. 2
Wibaux 64, Arlee 59
Louetta Conko-Camel crested the triple century (300) point plateau for season scoring while simultaneously crossing the sextuple century (600) threshold for varsity career scoring.
(2W) 14C Arlee (16-10), (2S) 4C Wibaux (21-6)
Arlee 12 16 24 7 – 59
Wibaux 19 20 11 14 – 64
ARLEE – *Alyssia Vanderburg 5 7-8 19(*6r,4a,2s,5b), *Louetta Conko-Camel 7 1-1 18(2r,3a,4s,1b), Nellie Desjarlais 4 6-8 14(11r,4s), Sydni Rogers 1 0-1 3(1r), Emily Fiddler 3(2r,1a,1s), Halle Adams 0 2-2 2(1s), Noelle West 0(3r,5a,4s),Tomi Brazill 0 (2r,1a).
WIBAUX – Marni Schieffer 9 2-5 22(11r), Layni Schieffer 4 8-8 19(10r,91), Ceara Miske 6 2-3 18, Odessia Linwood 4, Shantel Bertelsen 1, Madison Bakken 0(6r,1a,1s).
3FGs – A 7-30 (Vanderburg *3-9, Conko-Camel *2-8, Rogers 1-2, Fiddler 1-4), W 9-20(Miske 4-10, L.Schieffer 3-4, M.Schieffer 2-4). (Fr01Mar19gm5st)
Asterisk (*) denotes stat variant(s) where JH informal tally deviates from GFPSvenue data: Vanderburg (GFPS: 3FG 2-8, 5r1b; JH: 6r5b), Conko-Camel (GFPS: 3FG 3-9), Desjarlais (GFPS: 11r3s; JH: 9r4s), Fiddler (GFPS: 0a0s),
informal JH tally 3FG credit variant: Vanderburg 6 7-8 22p(3FG 3-9 = 3rd,38th,45th pts), Conko-Camel 6 1-1 15p(3FG 2-8 = 10th, 31st pts). Acronym key: GFPS = Great Falls Pacific Steel & Recycling aka Montana ExpoPark Four Seasons Arena
Scobey 65, Arlee 40
(2W) 14C Arlee (16-9), (1E) 3C Scobey (22-1)
Arlee 13 8 6 13 – 40
Scobey 17 14 15 19 – 65
ARLEE – Alyssia Vanderburg 5 5-9 15(10r,2a,1b), Nellie Desjarlais 5 0-3 10(4r,1a,1s), Noelle West 1 1-3 3(3r,4a,1s), Louetta Conko-Camel 1 1-2 3(2r,1a,2s), Tomi Brazill 3(1r), Halle Adams 2(1r), Cheyenne Pablo 2(1r), Shelby Smith 1(3r), Sydni Rogers 1(1r), Emily Fiddler 0(1r,2a,3s), Hailey Shepherd (1a,2s), tmA(GFPS: 35r,11a,8s)
SCOBEY – Kortney Nelson 20, ShaAnn Danelson 16, Gracee Lekvold 13, Abria Boze 5, Ryleigh Backman 4, Karys Lamb 3, Jennifer Cahill 3, Daisey Hersel 1.
3FGs – A 1-20 (Brazill 1-3), S 5-17 (Nelson 2-4, Lamb 1-1, Lekvold 1-3, Danelson 1-8). (Th28Feb19gm2st)