Charlo, Mission tip-off basketball season
MISSION VALLEY – The valley was abuzz with basketball frenzy Friday and Saturday as teams from Stillwater Christian and Eureka met Mission and Charlo, opening up the season with a blast of court action.
With both Charlo and Mission hosting, teams were split with the girls playing in Mission and the boys duking it out on the Charlo court.
Mission’s Bulldogs showed no mercy in their opening games, putting a stronghold on last week’s opponents and proving they mean business.
In game one against Stillwater Christian, the Bulldogs flooded each frame with successful shots at the net, putting up 73 points to Stillwater’s 49.
Showing top-dog performance was Aaron Ahenakew who led his team to the victory with 29 points and 12 rebounds logging the team’s first double-double before you could blink. Also lending a strong first game performance was Gentry Brown, who finished with 13.
Bulldogs’ coach James Lozeau was pleased to see how well his team worked it out and said the majority of the team was able to score — a high note for opening weekend.
“It went great,” Lozeau said. “We got up on those guys quick and then just kind of cruised from there. If we can get everybody to score in the first weekend, that’s pretty good.”
Against conference foe Eureka, Ahenakew dished out another double-double, scoring 28 and adding 10 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to the 81-67 victory.
Nick Durglo, Will Powell and Brown each chipped in double digits to the scorebook with Durglo scoring 15, Powell with 14 and Brown netting 13 for the Bulldogs.
Lozeau is excited to see where the season will take his Bulldogs and though he knows he has a well-rounded and talented team, they will need to continue to work hard to get past the class B’s play-in woes at Districts.
“It’s their car to drive,” he said. “I just give them the keys when they want them. They know their potential; I don’t have to preach it to them. They understand what I expect out of them. It should be fun though; it will be an interesting season.”
The Lady Bulldogs toughed out their opening games with a pair of losses.
Friday Mission was blasted on their home court as Stillwater Christian pushed for the 32-50 Lady Bulldog loss.
With only five ballers scoring, Lady Bulldog Irene Lopez led with 12 points. Emilie Charlo and Jordyn Eichert added eight apiece.
Against Eureka on Saturday, the Lady Bulldogs managed to outscore their opponents in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to overcome the battle, falling to the Lady Lions 45-57.
Despite the loss, the Lady Bulldogs showed promise with three athletes netting double digs. Lopez once again high-scored with 13 while Eichert added 10 and Pam Anderson tossed in an additional 10.
The Charlo Vikings opened up their season’s play with a loss but returned with a vengeance in game two to grab a split in the Charlo-Mission’s tip-off.
Playing the late game Friday night, the Vikings had a rough start dropping a 38-71 loss to Eureka.
Viking Dalton Delaney worked hard netting 19 points despite the loss and teammate Dugan Runkel threw in another 9.
Viking Coach Gale Decker won’t let a first game loss deter his plan of future victories and with football injuries plaguing a promising starting crew, Decker knows the Vikings aren’t yet in tip-top shape.
“You know Friday night against Eureka was kind of a rough start,” Decker said. “Right now there’s a lot of thinking going on and a lot of changes but we’re making progress. It’s not going to be all at once, but we’re making progress.”
Against Stillwater Christian Saturday, progress on the court proved to be in the works as the Vikings took down the Cougars 62-58.
Delaney’s 19 points were matched by Kobe Cox combining to net 38 of the 62 total scored. Jesse Long added 9 for the Vikings.
The win proved to leave a positive vibe among the Vikings and gave an uplift to the ball club’s season outlook.
“It was a good opening weekend for us, getting a spilt with two of the better teams we’ll see this year so you know, that’s positive and we’ll move forward from that,” Decker said.
For the Lady Vikings it was all business as they toppled both contests with ease, posting 10-plus scores with wings on their sneakers.
Leading the Lady Vikings in game one against Eureka on Friday, Cheyenne Nagy netted a team-high 18 points for the 45-39 win.
Mikaylan Roylance tossed in 12 more sealing the deal.
Saturday against Stillwater Christian, Shayna Nagy stomped Lady Cougar defense putting up 15 points leading the Lady Vikings to the 59-29 domination but not without help from Lady Viking teammates.
Roylance, Sienna Brown and Skylar Frame each added 10 apiece.
Whether the Mission and Charlo teams finished with wins or losses in opening weekend, the season looks to be a competitive and action packed ride for all four clubs. Next up for the Mission teams will be a home hosted bout against Deer Lodge Dec. 18 and then Bulldogs and Vikings, Lady Bulldogs and Lady Vikings will meet in Charlo Dec. 19.
Lady Bulldogs and Lady Vikings coaches were unavailable for comment.
Mission 22 19 19 13 – 73
Stillwater Christian 7 17 9 16 – 49
Aaron Ahenakew 29, Gentry Brown 13, Will Powell 8, Dennis Ahenakew 5, Raymond Matt 5, Tate Weingart 4, Ridge Vanderburg 3, Andrew Esslinger 2, Nick Durglo 2, Beedo Matt 2.
Mission 23 12 17 29 – 81
Eureka 12 11 18 26 – 67
Aaron Ahenakew 28, Nick Durglo 15, Will Powell 14, Gentry Brown 13, Raymond Matt 6, Tate Weingart 4, Beedo Matt 1.
Charlo 11 4 11 12 – 38
Eureka 20 20 20 11 – 71
Dalton Delaney 19, Dugan Runkel 9, Kobe Cox 4, Maverick Nelson 3, AJ Wiggin 3.
Charlo 19 16 12 15 – 62
Stillwater Christian 12 15 13 18 – 58
Dalton Delaney 19, Kobe Cox 19, Jesse Long 9, Dugan Runkel 6, Maverick Nelson 6, Greg Montgomery 2, Tyson Pettigrew 1.
Mission 2 15 6 9 – 32
Stillwater Christian 13 7 20 10 – 50
Irene Lopez 12, Jordyn Eichert 8, Emilie Charlo 8, Briar McCray 2, Pam Anderson 2.
Mission 8 8 8 21 – 45
Eureka 17 17 7 16 – 57
Irene Lopez 13, Jordyn Eichert 10, Pam Anderson 10, Sydney Castor 7, Trinity Lewandowski 3, Shania Dubois 2.
Charlo 11 7 10 17 – 45
Eureka 10 4 19 6 – 39
Cheyenne Nagy 18, Mikaylan Roylance 12, Shayna Nagy 7, Skyler Frame 4, Madison Foust 2, Lindsey Tryon 2.
Charlo 16 12 19 12 – 59
Stillwater Christian 6 4 10 9 – 29
Shayna Nagy 15, Mikaylan Roylance 10, Sienna Brown 10, Skyler Frame 10, Cheyenne Nagy 8, Madison Foust 2, Ashley Tryon 2, Lindsey Tryon 2.