Hawks put to the test in matchups
January 19, 2023
Mission turned out to be where the Lady Hawks were put to the test. Even though Thompson Falls was up by nine in the first quarter and led the whole game, the Bulldogs wouldn't let up on their home court in last Tuesday’s game. Coach Mike Tessier said that every time the Blue Hawks would get ahead the Bulldogs would be right on their heels. They made an impressive nine three-pointers to boot. “We just couldn't put them away. I’m proud of the girls; they kept up the battle,” said Tessier. He added that they held a tight defense on their shooters. Ellie Baxter with 25 points, controlled the game. The team had some big shots in the third and fourth quarters. The game ended in a 51-48 victory and another notch to the Blue Hawks undefeated record, now 6-0.
That record got a hole in it when Bigfork came to town. The Lady Hawks took on District 7-B rival Bigfork on Thursday night on their home court in Thompson Falls, looking to upset the No. 1-ranked Class B basketball team. Bigfork showed why they are the top team in the state, beating the Hawks 61-16. “They jumped on us and we couldn't recover,” said Tessier.
The Valkyries were up eight points in the first quarter before Hawk freshman Gabi Hannum hit a long shot for two points with just two minutes left in the quarter. The Vals and their fast breaks held the Hawks to just five points in the first quarter as Baxter scored two points and Chesney Lowe hit a free throw. The Vals were up 20-5 going into the second quarter, which was much of the same for the two teams. Bigfork ended the first half up 45-12, and kept Thompson Falls scoreless in the third quarter, but the defense held the Vals’ offense to just 12 points.
The Lady Hawks did an about-face in Libby on Saturday, nearly capsizing the Lady Loggers with a 59-20 point game. “It was a team effort, with all the girls contributing,” said Tessier. Baxter scored 18 points, Natalie Roberts 13, Avery Burgess 11, Hannum eight, Lowe four and Delainey Gerhard one point for the team. Hannum seized upon ten steals. “They just kept throwing her the ball,” said Tessier.
“We made some big strides in the Mission game,” said Coach Jake Mickelson. The Blue Hawks were tied with the Bulldogs 26-26 in the first half. Then again in the third quarter, 34-34. But in the end they were defeated 55-43. “In the end we made some mental mistakes that ended up costing us. We did a fair job of defending their best player and we are proud of the guys for that,” added Mickelson. The Hawks were able to gain 31 rebounds to the Bulldogs 21 and the team made 50% of their free throws and 33.3% of their field goal attempts.
Bigfork got the upper-hand right away Thursday night in Thompson Falls against the Blue Hawks, up 40 in the first half, to take the win at 61-17. Breck Ferris was the top scorer with five points and three rebounds, Nick Tessier shot four points and had three rebounds and Jesse Claridge scored two points, four rebounds and made three assists. The Blue Hawks had a total of 19 rebounds to the Vikings 21. At the free throw line the team shot 53.8%.
“Bigfork is a veteran team and they capitalized in a big way on our multiple turnovers. We believe we will be able to make some adjustments going forward that will help us deal better with their ferocious pressure on defense,” said Mickelson.
Traveling to Libby on Saturday to take on the Loggers proved to be a good match-up for the Blue Hawks in a close game that ended in a 59-51 win for Libby. Claridge scored 13 of those points, Bryson LeCoure netted twelve and Braxton Dorscher racked up ten points. The Blue Hawks were able to grab a total of 23 rebounds to the Loggers 15. Dorscher made six of those along with Claridge for five and LeCoure for four. The Hawks excelled at the free-throw line with a 64.7% average and a 48.7% shooting average from the field.
Thompson Falls teams will be in Plains on Friday to take on the Horsemen and Trotters.