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The wild, wild 14C race

County teams all in the mix for conference crown


January 11, 2018

Welcome to the wild, wild, world of District 14C girls basketball.

Things are heating up fast in the District 14C girls hoop race and it looks like the race for conference honors could eventually go one of up to four, or possibly even five different ways in the competitive league.

For proof of the hoop chaos in 14C, look no further than last weeks’ results.

Previously unbeaten in 14C play, the Arlee Scarlets lost 37-35 in overtime at home to Noxon Saturday. One night earlier in Noxon, the Lady Devils had lost to rival Hot Springs 39-34. Earlier last week, Plains came back from 18 points down at halftime to defeat St. Regis 50-48 in Plains Thursday.

To wrap up the topsy-turvy week of action, the Trotters went to Hot Springs and handed the homestanding Savage Heat girls a 52-36 loss Saturday to further muddle the proceedings.

Noxon coach Bart Haflich thinks parity is the word of the season in this year’s District 14C race.

“I would say that every team in the league, with the possible exception of Two Eagle, is capable of beating each other,” he said, “and has a chance to win the tournament later on.

“It’s really just a matter of playing your best at the right time,” he added.

Hot Springs coach Richard Jackson agrees with Haflich’s assessment. “The rest of the season should be very competitive in 14C,” he said, “and the tournament could be a wild one.”

The Lady Devils’ huge win at Arlee was aided by the fact that the Scarlets’ high-scoring Alyssia Vanderburg was sick and held out of the game, but Haflich feels that his Devils have a lot more to give than what they showed that night.

“We were able to get it done in overtime – we played the OT we needed to play – but it also had to show the girls what they are capable of themselves,” he said. “We did not play anywhere near our best and were still able to win that game in the end.”

The Devils built a 21-13 lead by halftime, Arlee tied it up at 30-all at the end of regulation, and Noxon won the four extra minutes 7-5 to pull out the big win.

Delaney Weltz canned 12 points to lead the Lady Devils, Cory Brodmerkle scored eight, Kristina Brown and Anna Kaiser added six apiece, Phalyn Fickas three and Kali Murray two.

Emily Fiddler scored 11 points to pace Arlee and Sydni Rogers added seven.

The Devils led 29-25 heading into the fourth quarter in Hot Springs Friday but coach Richard Jackson’s Savage Heat won the final eight minutes 14-5 to surge to the win.

“You have to give Hot Springs credit, they are scrappy, they really get after you on defense,” Haflich said. “We feel like we could have finished better but you can’t take anything away from Hot Springs, they made the plays they had to.”

Weltz scored 14 points to lead the Devils in Hot Springs, Brodmerkle scored 12 and Brown and Kaiser four apiece.

Sage Jackson led Hot Springs with 11 points, McKennzie Cannon added eight, Stacy Gray six, Sydney Jackson and Brianna Gray five apiece and Danielle Graham four. Brianna Gray also cleared eight rebounds against Noxon.

“It had been seven years since we had beaten Noxon so we were glad to get this one,” Jackson said.

The Savage Heat also played well through much of the game in the contest with Plains at Hot Springs Saturday, but the much bigger Trotters eventually pulled away late to win. The Heat put on the defensive pressure early to take a 10-8 lead into the second quarter.

“We pressured them and had some success doing it,” Jackson said. “I thought we played them tough under the basket too, but Lindsay (Laws) and Kassie (Kinzie) showed up to play for Plains, hit some big shots to get them going.”

Laws finished with 19 points to lead all scorers, Kinzie scored a season-high 12, Jessica Thompson and Kara Altmiller six apiece, AnaLisa Loberg five, and Brooklyn Stafford and Rachel Huenink two each.

Sydney Jackson counted a team-high 12 points (in addition to grabbing eight steals) to pace Hot Springs, Stacy Gray added eight, Cannon six, Brianna Gray five, Sage Jackson three and Lexi DeTienne two.

The Trotters’ big comeback win over St. Regis Thursday was a highlight of the season for coach Jess Nagy and the Plains girls. Trailing 32-14 at the half, the Trotters outscored the Tigers 36-16 in the second half (23-11 in the fourth quarter) to move to the win.

Thompson paced the Trotters to the victory with 15 points and 12 rebounds, Laws added 12 points, Haley Josephson nine, Natalee Deschamps six and Huenink and Altmiller four each

Anna Sanford scored 15 points for St. Regis, Emma Hill 12, Kylee Thompson 11 and Madison Kelly and Justice Tate five apiece.

Several more important 14C conference games are in the offing for this week.

St. Regis will visit Hot Springs and Noxon will host Troy Thursday, Plains will entertain Two Eagle River and Hot Springs will visit Charlo Friday, and the Lady Devils welcome Plains to the West End Saturday.


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