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Vikings make Trotters play a different game


December 20, 2018

John Hamilton

JUMP SHOOTING Kylee Altmiller gets her shot off over the defense of Charlo's Kaitlin Cox in Plains Saturday.

PLAINS – The Charlo Lady Vikings' game is to take you out of yours. To force you into making bad passes, to make you pull up on your dribble and travel, to get you to take shots at the basket you would not normally attempt.

If long-time coach Bret Thompson's Vikings are successful in taking you out of your game, you are now playing theirs. Thompson has made a living of making life miserable for Charlo opponents over the years and Saturday's win over the Trotters in Plains is only the latest example of that fact.

The persistently consistent Vikings squeezed out a 36-28 win from the Trotters in a key early season District 14C conference test for both teams.

"Charlo is a good team, they are experienced and well-coached," Plains coach Eddie Fuultz said. "I have to credit their defense for a lot of what they were able to do Saturday. They tend to force you into uncharacteristic bad passes and errors that you normally wouldn't make."

Fultz said learning how to play Charlo's style is also a matter of time; time that the Trotters have not put in yet. Fultz is only a few weeks into the job as Plains' coach.

"We don't have a lot of our offense in yet, and Charlo is one of the few teams that plays man-to-man defense," he said. "With time, we will get more plays in and should be able to deal with that better."

The Vikings, as is their wont during Thompson's long and prolific career in Charlo (he has been there for the better part of three decades), built a small lead early and controlled the pace of the game after that.

Natalee Deschamps scored 10 points to lead the Trotters, Kassidy Kinzie scored seven, Rachel Huenink four, Willow Sturdivant three, and Haley Josephson and Kylee Altmiller two apiece.

Kaitlin Cox hit a few timely 3-pointers and wound up with 10 points to lead Charlo, Liev Smith and Carlee Fryberger added seven points each, Teaira Truman five and Allie Delaney four.

The Trotters have two important games before the holidays, hosting Arlee Tuesday (results of that game were not available) and at Thompson Falls Thursday. Along with Charlo, Arlee is considered one of the best teams in 14C and games with rival Thompson Falls are always big news in Sanders County.

"Thompson Falls will be our first true road game of the season," he said, "and we look pretty even on paper. We look forward to a tough game."


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