Underdog Ladyhawks
take third in District

November 16, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

Ladyhawk Team: From left, standing back: Coach Les Gordon, Beth Copenhaver, Lara Parker, Shyanne Feucht, Jessie Diamond, Sadie Linford, Jana Greenwood, and assistant coach Laurie Bender. Middle row: Hayley Blackburn, Sarah Gehrke, Blair Barthelmess, Abbie Christianson, Crystal Wood, Teshia Freseman. Front seated: Anne Leishman, Briana Kessler, and Chelsea Kesinger.

by Gary Noland
For the Pathfinder

Few people would have predicted that the Seeley-Swan Ladyhawks would be going on this week to the Western B Divisional Girls' Basketball Tournament in Hamilton.

But tournaments are full of surprises and the Ladyhawks surprised everyone last week. Coming off a regular season where they had won only two league games, the Ladyhawks won three straightafter losing a cliff hanger opening round match to first-seeded Deer Lodge by only two pointsand captured third place in the District 5-B Tournament.

Coach Les Gordon whose watched his team struggle with ups and downs all season said last week's wins were no fluke and that the girls played well enough to have been in the title match except for the 2-point loss to Deer Lodge.

"We're disappointed we lost that first game by two points. The kids played good enough to compete for the title. They played four really strong games." he said.

Gordon will be happy if the Ladyhawks can continue the level of play last week into divisional play this week.

"Everything came together for us (last week). They (the Ladyhawks) put it all together and you could feel the team turning a corner," he said.

This Thursday, Nov. 23, the Ladyhawks will meet Thompson Falls in first round divisional tournament action at 2 p.m. at Hamilton High School. Thompson Falls finished fourth in the regular 6-B conference season, but claimed second place in last week's 6-B District Tournament.

Traditionally 5-B teams are a little stronger than 6-B teams, but Gordon isn't taking that for granted in tournament play, and the Ladyhawks will be taking it one game at a time.

That's what they did last week, and in first round action against Deer Lodge, the Ladyhawks took it right down to the wire, losing by 2, 52-50. The Ladyhawks were down only 3, 19-16, in a high scoring first quarter and they rebounded to within 1, 36-35 going into the final period.

Shyanne Feucht led a balanced offensive attack with 13 points, followed by Jesse Diamond with 10, Abbie Christianson 9, Lara Parker 8, Crystal Wood 5, Beth Copenhaver 4, and Blair Barthelmess 1.

In second round action, Lara Parker paced the offense in a 46-40 win over Frenchtown. Parker had 16 points, including two 3-pointers, in a game that was close in every period except the third when the Ladyhawks outscored Frenchtown 15-7, and then held most of that margin to the end. Shyanne Feucht added 12 points, Abbie Christianson 5, Crystal Wood 5, Jesse Diamond 4, Beth Copenhaver 2, and Sarah Gehrke 2.

The Ladyhawks blitzed Valley Christian early on, jumping to a 15-4 first quarter lead, then a 23-12 half-time lead. Valley Christian responded in the third period, though, erasing much of that lead but the Ladyhawks held off any threat in the fourth period, winning 41-35. Shyanne Feucht led with 20 points and received strong support from Jesse Diamond with 12 points. Abbie Christian added 4, Lara Parker, Blair Barthelmess and Crystal Wood 2 each, and Hayley Blackburn 1.

In the third place consolation bracket Saturday night, Darby watched a one-point half-time lead, 20-19, disappear when the Ladyhawks went on a 18-9 scoring spree in the third period, winning third place by 6, 46-40.

The third quarter rally was sparked by Abbie Christian who scored 7 of her 11 points in that period, backing up Shyanne Feucht who again led with 18 points. Jesse Diamond added 6, Lara Parker 5, Chelsea Kesinger, Crystal Wood and Hayley Blackburn 2 each.

Throughout the tournament games, Lara Parker made five 3-pointers, Abbie Christianson 3, and Crystal Wood 1.

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