Granite holds off much improved Lincoln squad, Girls blast Lady Lynx
PHILIPSBURG – Lincoln applied so much pressure to Granite Thursday night that they (or someone) set off the gym’s fire alarm.
But despite the run by the Lynx, the Prospectors held on to secure a 44-33 victory in District 13C play.
The game started on an ominous note, as Granite was awarded two free throws on a Lincoln technical for dunking in the pregame warm ups. Senior Andrew Tallon stepped to the line, but missed both freebies.
And while he came up empty on those two chances, Tallon came up aces in the fourth with the game on the line hitting 8-of-10 down the stretch to give the Prospectors their third win in district play.
The two squads had played to an 11-11 tie after one period, but the visiting Lynx went cold in the second as Granite snapped off a 9-0 run over those eight minutes to lead 20-11 at intermission.
Lincoln regrouped in the third, halving the margin to just four to start the final period.
The Prospectors rallied to score 17 points in the final stanza, 12 of which came at the free throw line. With eight from Tallon and two each from Eric Pitcher and Cayhel White it proved more than enough secure the victory.
“They’re going to have a very good over the next few years,” GHS Head Coach Mindy Avila said of the Lynx boys squad. When asked about what her team needs to refine headed into the second half of District play, Avila cited, “Boxing out and getting boards are some things we’ve got to work on; That and getting more shots.”
Senior Cavan Babbitt was a welcome site in the game, returning after breaking his right hand just before the New Year. He scored four points, all with his left hand.
In looking ahead to Saturday’s game at Valley Christian in Missoula, Avila added, “We beat them with Cavin in the rotation before, so we need to beat them with Cavin this time around.”
Tallon finished with 21 points for Granite with White adding 11. Eric Pitcher scored six, but his presence felt on the boards with a team-best eight caroms.
Lincoln – 11/0/12/10 – 33
Granite – 11/9/7/17 – 44
Lincoln – Brown 3, Dempster 4, KRiddle 11, Dietz 4, TRiddle 9, Joyce 2
Granite – Pitcher 6, Tallon 21, Babbitt 4, White 11, Wingo 2
Granite 58, Lincoln 26
Missing starting guard Rachel Ward due to a prior commitment, sophomore Montannah Piar saw an opportunity to help her team and fill a void.
She didn’t disappoint, scoring a season high 27 points as she led the Lady Prospectors to a 58-26 win over the visiting Lady Lynx of Lincoln.
Piar hit a variety of shots in the game, most notably runners with both her right and left hand. She stated after the game that she is ambidextrous, writing with her left but doing many athletic functions with her right.
“Since Rachel (Ward) wasn’t here and since she drives quite a bit, I thought we should drive quite a bit and really attack the defense,” explained Piar. “And that was kind of my plan from the get go because yesterday in practice I was hitting more of my shots when I was driving to the basket.”
Granite stepped on the offensive gas from the start, outscoring Lincoln 17-4 and held a 32-14 advantage at halftime.
“In past years I’ve noticed we really slump coming out of halftime. We usually come out really strong in the first quarter, but after halftime we slump so coming out hard in the third and finishing strong in the fourth could be our strongest strategy and really help us.”
The Lady Prospectors showed no such lull Thursday, as they used a 20-6 run to put the game well out of reach.
Along with Piar, Granite had two other players get into double figures in Ramset Smith (14) and Gretchen Hill (12). Senior Lucia Lee rounded out the scoring with five.
Lincoln – 4/10/6/6/ - 26
Granite – 17/15/20/6 – 58
Lincoln – Dempster 9, Zarske 2, MCopenhaven 9, Weisner 2, Lewenight 4
Granite – Smith 14, Piar 27, Lee 5, Hill 12