Lady Pirates battling school of hard knocks under hoop
POLSON – With only three seniors on the roster and a tough “O-for” on the season, the Lady Pirates have kept chins up and have used each game as a learning tool to gain experience, bringing the young bench closer to victory.
While starting out with what Head Coach Jay Krantz calls a “grueling” first part of the season after facing AA and A conference top dogs, the Lady Pirates have seen improvement, according to Krantz. They are looking to pick up the pace as the season progresses, and if it’s anything like last season, surprising the masses with a break-out Divisional run.
The Lady Pirates have proved they will not give up without a fight.
“You know, we’re getting better,” Krantz said. “Boy, we’ve just had such a brutal schedule so far but we are improving each game. We haven’t got one of those wins under our belts yet, and that’s what we need to do next.”
With what the Lady Pirates may be lacking in experience, talent is abundant with junior post Nichole Lake, who leads the Northwest A conference in total games played, points scored, and rebounds.
“Nichole’s doing a really good job inside,” Krantz said. “She takes care of everything inside for us.”
Also leading the conference is Marlee Congdon in three-point shots made and Skyla Krantz in steals.
Hosting Columbia Falls Saturday, the Lady Pirates faced those “hard knocks” with a tough 22-66 loss against the number one seeded Wildkats.
Though the Lady Pirates saw some crafty ball handling from point guard Lauren Lefthand, Polson had trouble executing clean passes as well as getting by Wildkat defense to score.
“We definitely have to score more, we’re working hard at trying to put the ball in the hole,” Krantz said. “We also need to cut down on the turnovers, those are the two things that are killing us right now. Those are two big things we are working on in practice.”
As the season is still young, Krantz remains optimistic his Lady Pirates will persevere in the weeks to come with postseason looming in the backs of everyone’s minds. With the exception of top seed Columbia Falls, Krantz believes the rest of the conference is anybody’s game and with hard work, the Lady Pirates have a shot at turning things around.
“We’re just trying to work out the little things,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to our next stretch of games here. We feel that talent wise, we’re right in there with these next few teams, and they’re important games for us. It will put us in pretty good shape with the league if we win some of those games.”
The Lady Pirates hope to gain that first W with a contest in Libby against the Lady Loggers Jan. 17.
Polson 5 8 2 7 – 22
Columbia Falls 19 22 15 10 – 66
Marlee Congdon 6, MaKenna Weltz 4, Skyla Krantz 3, Lauren Lefthand 3, Nichole Lake 3, Dylan Quinn 2, Peyton Anderson 1.