Lady Bulldogs defeat Lady Bluehawks to snatch 3rd place at districts
LIBBY — With everything seemingly going against them and their season on the line, Mission coach Les Rice didn’t draw upon his 20 years of high-school coaching experience to come up with some complicated plan to mount a comeback – instead he wanted the Lady Bulldogs to forget everything he had taught them.
In the loser-out game at the District 7-B tournament in Libby Saturday, the Lady Trojans led 21-15 at the break after starting the game by making their first seven free throws and going 5-for-7 from the field, including two banked in 3-pointers. In the locker room at halftime, Rice told his team that they were going to have to take chances if they were going to win the game and advance to the Western B Divisional Tournament.
And chances they did take, using an aggressive zone defense, the Lady Bulldogs capitalized on Lady Trojans mistakes for a 40-32 come-from-behind victory and a spot in the consolation game, where they beat Thompson Falls for the first time this season to finish in third place.
“It was like a Friday P.E. class with a substitute teacher. It was pandemonium out there. But we got them to turn the ball over and got some easy baskets, and things just started going our way,” Rice said. “It was a complete reversal of fortunes.”
Besides two points from LaGlen Mitchell, senior guard Katie McDonald and Kyla Mitchell did all the damage for the Lady Bulldogs in the second half. McDonald matched her career high of 18 points, which she set in a 41-30 victory over Plains to open the tournament, and Kyla finished with 16 points, just one point shy of her career best.
In the 36-32 victory over the Lady Bluehawks in the nightcap Saturday, it was Adessa Durglo having a career night for the Lady Bulldogs. The junior scored 17 points, including the last six points for Mission after Thompson Falls had scored eight straight points to tie it at 30. Durglo went 7-for-11 from the field and 3-for-4 at the line, in what Rice said was definitely the best game of her career.
It was the third time the Lady Bulldogs had faced the Lady Bluehawks and the first time they had beat them. The Lady Bulldogs had just lost to them 52-29 the week before to end the regular season.
With the victory over Thompson Falls, the Lady Bulldogs will be the third seed from District 7-B at the Western B Divisional starting Wednesday at the Joe McDonald Health and Fitness Center in Pablo. The Lady Bulldogs open the tournament against Florence Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
The Lady Bulldogs opened the tournament with a 41-30 victory over the Trotters. McDonald set the tone early scoring six of her game-high 18 points in the first quarter to help the Lady Bulldogs take a 12-5 lead into the second quarter. A layup by McDonald at 4:40 gave the Lady Bulldogs a 4-3 lead, which was their first lead and a lead they never would relinquish. McDonald went 4-for-6 from the field and 9-for-12 from the line. McDonald averaged 15 points in Mission’s three victories at the tournament.
“She just stepped up...she just refused to lose,” Rice said of McDonald.
Durglo finished with nine points and Ashley Courville and Kyla Mitchell each added six points.
The Lady Bulldogs were no match for the district-leading Bigfork Valkyries in the semifinals and lost 60-25. Kyla Mitchell led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points.
Mission 41, Plains 30
Plains 5 7 9 9–30
Mission 12 13 6 10–41
PLAINS - Lacey Hermiston 5, Kelsey Beagley 2, Cassie Ross 4, Heather Earhart 13, Kayla Revier 3, Nikki Kunzer 2, Alexis Kunzer 1.
MISSION - Ashley Courville 6, Dalena Weaselhead 2, Kyla Mitchell 6, Adessa Durglo 9, Katie McDonald 18.
Bigfork 60, Mission 25
Mission 5 4 7 9–25
Bigfork 12 19 12 17–60
MISSION - Ashley Courville 2, Kyla Mitchell 12, Lyssia McDonald 2, Rachel Jensen 3, Katie McDonald 5, Bella Dally 1.
BIGFORK - Mallery Knoll 15, Kristen Well 1, Quinci Paine 5, Lya Cenis 3, Taylor Peck 13, Melissa VanDerveer 4, Caitlin Charlesbois 14, Kailey Fierro 4, Jessica Killan 2.
Mission 40, Troy 32
Troy 10 11 7 4–32
Mission 6 9 14 11–40
TROY - Kimmy Klin 4, Jordan Williams 18, Jackie Pepiot 8, Michiela Carney 2.
MISSION - Ashley Courville 2, Kyla Mitchell 16, Adessa Durglo 2, LaGlen Mitchell 2, Katie McDonald 18.
Mission 36, Thompson Falls 32
Mission 6 13 9 8–36
T. Falls 7 8 7 10–32
MISSION - Kyla Mitchell 5, Adessa Durglo 17, Bryanna Steele 2, Katie McDonald 9, Bella Dally 3.
THOMPSON FALLS - Kelsey Fitchett 5, Makayla Becker 17, Allison Vaught 2, Karli Cavil 6, Kyla Molzhon 8.