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Hawk boys to trek to Three Forks


December 7, 2017

It does not mean quite as much as it has in the past, but the Libby Loggers defeated the Thompson Falls Blue Hawks 70-56 in Libby Saturday in the season opener for both boys teams.

The reason the game between far northwestern Montana foes is not quite as important as it once was is the fact that Libby has moved back up to Class A this school year after several seasons at the Class B level.

It was in Libby last year where the Hawks had one of their highlights of the season, defeating the Loggers in the District 7B tournament semifinals on the strength of a last second 3-pointer from Falls junior Dylan Beckman. The Loggers did not allow the Hawks to pull off another last-second miracle this time around.

Led by Ryggs Johnston, who poured in 24 points during the game, the Loggers rushed out to a lead of 16-9 after one quarter and extended that advantage to 37-22 by halftime. The Hawks never really got back into the game after that and fell to the loss.

Coach Jake Mickelson will take the Hawks to the Three Forks Invitational this week for another pair of non-conference games, against Big Timber Friday at 2:30 p.m., and versus Gardiner at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Mickelson said the Hawks found some things to work on in the loss to Libby.

“We felt we could have played better, we saw some stuff we need to clean up,” he said. “But it is what it is. It was our first game and a non-conference at that, we will move forward from here.”

Returning all-conference center Danny Hoisington led the Hawks in the Loggers’ den with 27 points, 12 rebounds and three steals, Michael Johnson scored nine points and secured seven rebounds, Payton Frields added eight points and three assists, Beckman seven points and six assists, Grant Lundberg six points and two steals and Ryan Schraeder one point.

JJ Davis added 17 points in support of Johnston’s 24 to lead Libby, but no other Logger scored in double figures.

The Hawks were playing without starting point guard Nathan Thiebault, who missed a practice or two during the Thanksgiving break visiting family. He is expected to be ready to play this week.

“That will help getting Nate back,” Micklelson said. “It will be interesting to see how we do this week with our full lineup in Three Forks.

Mickelson knows a little about what Big Timber and Gardiner bring to the table. “Both teams can score really well, they are very aggressive offensively,” he said. “We will have to see how our defense responds to the challenge.”


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