by Gary Noland
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
November 26, 1998
Before Saturday night's consolation match-up of Seeley-Swan and Valley Christian, Ladyhawk fans harbored thoughts of a challenge match on Monday for a possible state berth.
That wished-for scenario depended on two things: Seeley-Swan defeating Valley Christian, and Frenchtown defeating Florence in the championship game, thereby setting up a Seeley-Swan / Florence challenge the following Monday.
For three quarters it looked like the first part of the scenario might work.
The Ladyhawks exploded to a 20-7 first quarter lead and held a steadily shrinking lead for three quarters, leading 38-36 going into the final period. Valley Christian then went ahead after the start of the fourth quarter, held onto a small margin until the final minutes when the Ladyhawks, forced to foul, fell further behind on Valley Christian free shots which ended the Ladyhawk's bid for third place in the Western Divisional Tournament at Hamilton last weekend. A week earlier the Ladyhawks had defeated Valley Christian for third place in the District 5-B tournament.
The second part of the scenario didn't work either as Florence, thrashed by Frenchtown a week earlier in the District 5-B championship game, held on through three overtimes to win the Divisional title 48-44.
The reverse of the scenario did work, however, for Valley Christian, who needed a win over Seeley-Swan and a win by Florence to set up a Monday challenge game with Frenchtown.
So, from the Western B Divisional, Florence and the winner of Monday night's challenge game between Valley Chrisitan and Frenchtown will be representing the western half of the state at the state tournament next weekend in Belgrad.
The Ladyhawks earned their way to the consolation finals with a first-round win over Plains and a third-round win over Superior, after losing to Frenchtown in the second round.
Trailing 18-17 at halftime, Ladyhawk senior Becky Kyle turned the game around, scoring all 16 of the Ladyhawk third-quarter points, while the defense held Plains to only four points.
The Ladyhawks scored another 16 points in the final period while holding Plains to only nine, with the score 49-31 in the end.
Kyle led the winning effort with 24 points, followed by Annaliese Pena with 8, Shannon O'Brien 7, Deborah Cahoon 5, Shyanne Feucht 2, Debbe Boone 2, and Beth Copenhaver 1.
The Ladyhawks played as fine a first quarter as a team could against Frenchtown in the second round matchup, but a center-court toss at the buzzer swished the net and gave Frenchtown it's first lead, 18-16.
That long three-pointer marked the beginning of the end when the Ladyhawks turned cold in the second period and Frenchtown, turning hot, outscored the Ladyhawks 23-5, taking a commanding lead that held for the duration, 72-42.
Kyle led the Blackhawk effort with 12 points, followed by Feucht and Cahoon with 8 each, O'Brien 6, Marlee Brown 5, and Pena 3.
Saturday morning, playing Superior, District 6-B champion, the Ladyhawks earned their way into the consolation finals against Valley Christian with a 58-46 win, with Kyle and O'Brien teaming up with 17 and 15 points respectively, followed by Feucht and Pena, also in double figures with 10 each, and Cahoon with 4.
Feucht led the Ladyhawks with 12 points in the losing effort, 56-47, against Valley Christian in the consolation finals, with Pena adding 11 points, followed by O'Brien with 8, Cahoon 8, Kyle 5, and Brown 2.