A look at this weekend’s key sports matchups

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Rez roundball rivarly wrangle at Ronan:

Ronan vs. Polson

Friday, January 10

Girls

The visiting Lady Pirates will be in search of their first conference win. Not only will they have to play exceptionally well, they need to work their walking wounded back into the lineup. Junior forward Mossy Kauley, their leading scorer thus far this season, was sidelined the final game of December as well as the first game of January with a knee injury. Senior forward Sharmaine Zempel, the leading scorer among returnees from last season, was finally able to see recent action after missing the December slate of games. Senior six-footer Ali Kienitz has been sidelined due to complications with transfer criteria. The availability of any of these players will have an influential impact upon bolstering the level of potential Polson point productivity, the more the better.

The Ronan Maidens enter the rivalry wrangle coming off an impressive skirmish with visiting Browning in which they held a fifteen point lead at the half and still held a seven point edge entering the final frame. The Lady Indians would culminate their rally with a 17-2 run the final quarter during which they capitalized on double digit Ronan turnovers converted into either transition points along with foul shots at the free throw line. No team can push Browning like that without having a multi-dimensional arsenal, bench depth and moxie.

The Maidens are led by junior post Jaylea Lunceford, who turned in her third double-double by the close of the December calendar as well as crossed the career triple century threshold for both points as well as boards. The second leading scorer thus far has been Regan Clairmont, who had turned in a trio of double digit dabbles prior to the winter break. The Maidens have been averaging in the vicinity of the mid-40s.

Boys

The visiting Pirates have been somewhat of an anomaly thus far, inconsistent at times, almost invincible at others. The contrast was no more apparent that the back-to-back games to close out the December calendar. Against Corvallis, the Pirates tallied among the twenties during the middle frames to take firm control of the contest. The next evening against Whitefish, they would have had an easier time buying vowels on the Wheel of Fortune game show than net a basket the first three frames. The Pirates are coming off a very close contest against formidable Frenchtown in which the held the lid on their potent arsenal most of the way, dropping the contest by a mere possession.

Sophomore guard Colton Graham is one of the spoons that stirs the pot, leading scorer at this juncture of the schedule who just crested the triple century (300) point plateau for varsity career scoring during the preceding contest. When Pirate post players Gunner Grisak, Trevor Lake and Braunson Henriksen are proficiently pounding the boards as well as netting putbacks, Polson has fared well. Guard play also seems to factor in their fortunes. When senior guards Bo Kelley, Ryker Wenderoth and Anton Lefthand are netting baskets, dishing out assists and pilfering possessions, Pirate fortunes tend to wax. Reduction in such category output seems to be a common denominator in games where Pirate fortunes wane. Senior guard/forward Connor Lanier, who recently crossed the double century (200) threshold for varsity career rebounding while knocking at the door of the quadruple century point plateau for varsity career scoring, has been sidelined for an unknown period of time due to a leg injury. Lanier is the Pirate to netted the winning free throws in the double overtime rivalry wrangle two season ago.

The host Chiefs have been averaging in the forties with a pair of nonconference wins in which their point productivity delved into the five dozen range. Their leading scorer thus far has been junior Leonard Burke, who is projected to have already ascended the century point plateau for season scoring. Burke is almost as proficient at shooting the three ball as he is scoring a deuce, draining a half dozen in a loss against Hamilton. Juniors Girma Detwiler, Zarec Couture and Trey Donít Mix have contributed multiple dozens to the coffers entering the new year. Freshman guard Elijah Tonasket has helped bolster the playmaking, dishing out assists that delve into double digits along with those previously mentioned. The Chiefs feature a handful of up-and-comers who are in various stages of development in their game acumen.

Ronan versus Polson tends to be one of the marquee matchups among area rivalries.

Mission Mountain mascot mayhem:

Charlo at Arlee

Saturday, January 11

Boys

The host Warriors may still be adapting to a redistribution of roles, a new conference affiliation as well as stylistic differences of veteran collegiate coach Zach Camel, but the more games they play, the better adjusted they are liable to be. The Warriors enter the contest with Charlo averaging in the vicinity of 50-ish points per game. Leading scorers averaging among the teens have been senior guard Cody Tanner and sophomore forward Levi Fullerton. Veteran guard Billy Fisher has just been recently cleared to play, while a handful of others have infused the roster at various junctures of the schedule. When the Arlee offense is humming, they can light up the scoreboard in a hurry.

Girls

The host Scarlets are still in the process of adapting to a lot of changes to their roster that include the graduation of last yearís senior laden starters compounded further by transfer as well as other attrition. Arlee enters the contest averaging among the 20s, whereas Charlo is averaging in the mid-40s. The Lady Vikings are renowned for a stingy defense, so the Scarlets will want to play like they did against Darby when they put almost 40 points on the board, spread the scoring wealth around as well as pounded the boards. Junior Halle Adams and senior Peyton Lammerding collaborated on 20 rebounds in that win.

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