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Lady Hawks fall at Western B

 

March 11, 2021

John Hamilton

LADY HAWK SENIOR Jody Detlaff completed her fine basketball career for Thompson Falls last week at the Western B divisional tournament in Eureka.

EUREKA – Maybe not the perfect result, but definitely the perfect effort.

The Thompson Falls Lady Hawks fought the good fight but could never seem to find the regular-season magic that got them to this point, and lost two of three games at the Western B divisional tournament Eureka last week to complete season play with a 14-4 record.

"These girls gave us the perfect effort, they never quit trying," coach Chadd Laws said. "We didn't get the perfect result but that's the way basketball goes sometimes."

Not for a lack of trying, the Hawks' season came to an end in one of the more competitive Western B tournaments ever. Besides Western B champion Eureka and runners-up Anaconda, defending State B champion Loyola, Bigfork and the Lady Hawks were all fixtures in the state's Class B top ten power poll all season.

The problem is, only three of those five very good teams had the chance to keep playing.

Eureka defeated Anaconda in the Western B championship and Loyola topped Bigfork in the division consolation game Friday evening. Eureka, Anaconda and Loyola will now represent the west in the State B tournament in Billings this week.

By all rights, the Lady Hawks should be one of those three. Everyone knew at least one good team would wind up staying home from the fracas in Eureka, unfortunately the Hawks are one of those teams.

"Our division was extremely tough this season," Laws said. "On any given night, most any of the top teams could beat most any of the others, it just happened to us at the wrong time."

The Lady Hawks began their 2021 Western B tourney appearance with a 48-26 win over Florence Wednesday, the Anaconda Copperheads upended the Hawks 54-38 in the semifinals Thursday and rival Bigfork, sparked by 31 points scored by Emma Berreth, eliminated Thompson Falls 52-50 Friday morning.

Against Florence, Jody Detlaff scored 12 points to lead the Lady Hawks, Faith Frields added 11, Megan Baxter 10, Ellie Baxter five, Elli Pardee and Riley Wilson three apiece and Abbi Lane and Caity Alexander two each.

Kolbi Wood and Kasidy Yeoman scored seven points each for Florence.

Anaconda was the wild-card game for the Lady Hawks, the one that would have put them in the championship had they won, and they had defeated the Lady Copperheads by 17 points in Anaconda earlier this year. But things went much differently this time as Anaconda was able to stifle Thompson Falls' offensive flow and move to the win.

Sami Johnson scored 16 points to lead the Copperheads, Mia Sullivan-Sanders added 12, Alyssa Peterson 11 and Makena Patrick eight.

Megan Baxter bucketed 16 points to lead the Lady Hawks, Detlaff scored eight, Frields six, Alexander and Ellie Baxter three apiece and Pardee two.

Poor shooting was a big factor for the Hawks as they shot only 22% from the floor (14 for 63) and 43% from the free throw line (9 of 21).

John Hamilton

MOVIN' OUT! Lady Hawk sophomore Ellie Baxter dribbles during action against Bigfork in the Western B.

The loss to Bigfork ended the Lady Hawks' season prematurely as Berreth proved to be almost unstoppable, making 12 of 16 2-point attempts and two of four 3-pointers on her way to her 31 points. Audrey Buenz, Madison Chappius and Callie Gambala added six points each for the Vals.

Megan Baxter, Detlaff, Frields and Wilson capped their outstanding Lady Hawk careers in the game as Baxter scored 21 points, Detlaff 16, Frields six and Wilson three. Ellie Baxter and Chesney Lowe added two points each.

Detlaff cleared a team-best 11 rebounds and added four steals, Megan Baxter grabbed five steals, Ellie Baxter dished out five assists and Pardee three.

Again, poor shooting was an unwelcome wild card for the Hawks as they made only two of 13 3-point attempts (15%) and just 12 of 23 free throws (43%).

 

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