Cut Bank’s Aryana Black shoots from the block over Bailey Johnson of Shelby Friday night during the Lady Wolves battle with the Lady Coyotes.

The Cut Bank Lady Wolves split a pair of conference tilts last weekend as they fell to Shelby at home before taking down Great Falls Central on the road. The Lady Wolves will look to improve on their 2-4 conference record this weekend as they take on Fairfield and Conrad, both at home. 

Last Friday against the Shelby Coyotes the Lady Wolves fell behind 23-9 after the first quarter of play. Cut Bank was outscored 14-8 in the second stanza and the lead grew to 37-17 at the half. The third quarter was a low scoring affair and Cut Bank trailed 45-23 going into the fourth quarter. The Lady Wolves tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter as they cut the lead to 11, but that was as close as they could get and they fell 56-45. 

Jada Rides at the Door led the offense with 16 points followed by Sadie Pepion and Aryana Black with 10 apiece. Sienna Spotted Bear scored four points and Aliyah Cruz rounded out the scoring with two points. 

“We came out and had four turnovers and just one basket in our first five possessions,” said head coach Brandon Kavanagh. “It’s tough to win games if you aren’t giving yourself a chance to put points on the board.”

He continued, “In the second half we got the ball moving and got really good looks. Our group on the floor in the fourth quarter never gave up and kept attacking at both ends of the floor and gave us a chance to get things close, unfortunately it was too late in the game for us to come back.”

Saturday the Lady Wolves hit the road to take on Great Falls Central and after a slow start they found themselves up 14-2 after the first quarter. Cut Bank was outscored 12-8 in the second stanza and took a 22-14 lead into the half. The Lady Wolves scored 14 points in the third quarter and they led 36-23 going into the fourth. Cut Bank scored 12 points in the final eight minutes to keep the Mustangs at bay. The Lady Wolves finished strong and came away with a 48-33 victory. 

Rides At The Door led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points followed by Black with 10. Cruz and Spotted Bear scored seven points each, Pepion chipped in six, Jackie Waller scored four points and Sam Burke rounded out the scoring with a pair of free throws. 

“We changed our lineup a bit before the Central game and I think we came out with good energy early, especially on the defensive end,” said Kavanagh. “Both Aliyah and Jackie were able to put some extra pressure on the Central guards. They both played well for us offensively getting the ball inside and finding scoring opportunities for themselves.” 

Friday the Fairfield Eagles come to town with tip-off slated for 6:30 p.m. and Saturday the Lady Wolves will host Conrad at 4 p.m.

“This is a big weekend for us,” said Kavanagh. “We played really well against both teams the last time we saw them. We had a chance to pull an upset in Fairfield and just came up short and in Conrad we overcame a slow start to get a victory. Hopefully we can use our home court to our advantage and pick up a couple wins this weekend.”

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