BUTTE – The Granite Lady Prospectors were solid as a rock Monday night, defeating the Ennis Mustangs in the District 12C Challenge game played at the Maroon Activities Center in Butte.
The Lady Prospectors now advance to Thursday’s Western C Divisional opener as the #2 Seed from District 12, playing the #1 Seed from District 13.
“We said all year that we had a really young group and so we knew it was going to take some time,” said GHS Head Coach Brandon Piazolla after the win. “We just kept preaching to them that when things weren’t going our way, it’s a learning experience. We wanted to win in February. The girls really worked hard and I’m proud of them.”
The game opened with both teams not scoring, but Granite got things started with senior Audrey Radtke drained a three-pointer from the corner to give the Lady Prospectors the lead. Amelia Hill followed on the next possession with a two pointer underneath and the locals were up 5-0. When Ennis answered with a three from Shae Lovett, Granite’s Reece Pitcher and Rachel Ward hit two more from beyond the arc to reclaim the lead.
In the second quarter the Lady Prospectors applied pressure to Mustang guards as they brought the ball up the floor. The tactic by Granite’s Piazolla was effective, causing a few turnovers and breaking the Ennis offensive rhythm to the tune of just two points over the eight-minute stretch. Meanwhile, Granite scored five to take a 16-12 lead into the locker room.
When play resumed, Asha Comings collected her third personal fouls just 90 seconds into play. The play had little effect on the period’s play, as Granite finished it with a similar 22-17 advantage.
In the fourth, Ennis pulled within 26-24 when Shae Lovett laid the ball in while going against three Granite defenders and then followed it with a three pointer. But Ward followed that score by driving the ball in for the Lady Prospectors and feeding hill for an easy inside bucket.
Comings finally got on the board on the next possession when she stole the ball from the Mustangs and went coast to coast for the lay in. Granite socked the game away from there.
In two previous matchups this year, the Mustangs and Lady Prospectors had split their regular season games with both winning at home. Ennis won the first round 39-26 while Granite was victorious 33-24 in Philipsburg.
Pitcher led the Lady Prospectors with 14 points while Amelia Hill added 12.
“Our team was working on passing the ball and over rotating the defense,” said Pitcher. “When they did it was really easy to drive.”
GRANITE – 11/5/6/14 – 36
ENNIS – 10/2/5/7 – 24
Granite – Hill 12, Pitcher 14, Ward 3, Comings 4, Radtke 3
Ennis – Snider 5, Lovett 7, Paladichuck 8, Inman 4