The Cut Bank Lady Wolves split their final regular season contests with Shelby and Great Falls Central last week and go into this week’s District 1B Tournament as the sixth seed. They will face off with Rocky Boy, who finished conference play in third place, tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. at the Willie DeGroot Gymnasium.
The Lady Wolves traveled to Shelby on Friday and jumped out to an early 14-2 lead before Shelby closed the gap to 14-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Wolves pulled within 14-13 in the second stanza but Shelby took advantage of a string of Cut Bank turnovers to take a 21-13 lead into the half. Both teams came out firing in the third quarter, combining for five straight threes to open the quarter, but Shelby outscored the Lady Wolves 20-17 to extend their lead to 41-30 and the Coyotes went on to take the game 55-39.
Jada Rides At The Door led a balanced scoring attack with nine points while hauling in 11 rebounds followed by Sadie Pepion and Aryana Black with eight apiece. Pepion also pulled down eight boards in the contest. Aliyah Cruz scored six points, Sienna Spotted Bear and Sam Burke chipped in three each and Hannah Fetters rounded out the scoring with two.
Saturday the Lady Wolves hosted Great Falls Central in their regular season finale and took a 14-11 lead after the first quarter. Cut Bank turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter and Spotted Bear hit four shots from long range as the Lady Wolves scored 25 points in the quarter and took a 39-19 lead into the half. Cut Bank outscored GFC 13-10 in the third quarter and pushed the lead to 52-29 and the local cagers cruised to the 63-58 victory.
Spotted Bear led the way with 22 points followed by Black with 12 points and six rebounds. Rides At The Door chipped in 11 points, 10 rebounds and six steals while Burke also hit double digits with ten points and Cruz rounded out the scoring with eight points and pulled down five rebounds.
“We played really well defensively for most of the weekend,” said head coach Brandon Kavanagh. “We had a bad stretch to start the game against Shelby and then settled in and made a game of it but we had too many breakdowns offensively that led to easy buckets for them. Against Central we were locked in from the beginning and our pressure really started to wear on them in the second quarter. Sienna had a huge night for us going six for six from three and we fed off of our defense all night. It was a great way to end the regular season.”
Cut Bank will look to be one of four teams to advance to the Northern B Divisional Tournament in Shelby March 5-7.
“The District Tournament is going to be a fun one to watch play out,” said Kavanagh. “There are no easy games in our league so whoever shows up to play has a great chance to advance. Hopefully we can build on our final game and come out ready to go in our gym.”