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Lady Savage Heat tip off with win

The Hot Springs Lady Savage Heat jumped right into the season last weekend at the Ronan Tip-Off Tourney, beating Lincoln on Friday 33-25. “It was a great feeling and a much-needed win,” Coach Richard Jackson said. “The girls have been working hard. They deserved it.”

On Saturday, Hot Springs came up short against Ronan JV with a 35-26 loss. Jackson was pleased with his young team’s performance on Saturday, noting that each team scored 24 points in the fourth quarter. “We were right in there,” he noted.

Back for her senior season is all-state player Katelyn Christensen, who led the Savage Heat in assists in both games and led in scoring against Ronan with 19 points. Christensen suffered a knee injury halfway through last season and Jackson is excited to have her back. “She’s a true leader on this team,” Jackson said. “It makes my job as a coach easier.”

Sophomore Lauren Aldridge led the Savage Heat in scoring against Lincoln with 12 points. Jackson said the full house at the Ronan tournament made for a great atmosphere for the team’s opening week of play. “The girls made some great plays and they have great chemistry.” He added that even though his team is young, they were able to keep it together and stay close in the Ronan game Saturday.

Moira Lonergan is the other senior on the team, and Josie Uski the lone junior. He has two freshmen on his team, including his daughter Brooke Jackson and Georgia Uski, as well as eighth graders Kara Christensen, Erika Cannon and Naoma Knudsen. “Brooke is really coming along and scored in both games,” Jackson said, adding that the freshman led against Lincoln with 14 rebounds. “And Kara comes off the bench with a lot of energy and is also very talented. Going from junior high straight to varsity is quite a challenge.”

Jackson is excited for the basketball season. “This group of girls is great. They work hard and so far it’s been a black.” He noted that he and assistant coach Randi Arnold are “having a ball” as the season commences. He said he encourages his players to step up and help the team, even if their baskets aren’t going in. “I told them not everybody needs to score, but we’re going to win with defense. We played solid defense against Lincoln and we won that game,” he noted, adding that the team also played well defensively against Ronan.”

The Savage Heat will see their first conference action this Friday when Noxon comes across the county to play in Hot Springs. They will then host Seeley-Swan on Saturday. Jackson is looking forward to his team shining in front of the home crowd. “They’ve been working hard. We’re due for a home win.” The Noxon-Hot Springs girls’ game Friday is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.


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