Valley Journal
Valley Journal

Maidens suffer a couple of nail-biting losses

WHITEFISH — The Maidens’ nails are a probably a little smaller after last week, but unfortunately their hands are empty. The Maidens battled down-to-the wire in a pair of games last week, but came away with nothing to show for it in both cases.

The Maidens took a narrow lead into the fourth quarter against Superior at home Tuesday, but went cold from the field when it mattered the most, only scoring four points in the final frame and falling to the Lady Bobcats 29-27. Thursday in Whitefish against the only team they have beaten this year, the Maidens couldn’t buy a basket and still had a chance to win late in the game, but their second Northwestern A victory continued to elude them and they left Whitefish with a 42-36 disheartening loss to the Lady Bulldogs.

Ronan coach Doug Fisher said as disappointing as it was to be so close to a victory and not win, he liked how his team fought until the end and he thinks his team will take away valuable lessons from the pair of losses.

“ ... It’s a little frustrating, there’s no doubt about it. We’re hungry and we’re working hard to get that win ... On the other hand, it’s nice to see them in a game and competing down the stretch,” Fisher said. “The girls are showing a better understanding of what we want them to do. They are growing as individuals and as a team.” 

Charged by the play of Taylor Lynch in what Fisher called the best game of her career, the Maidens took a 23-21 lead over the Lady Bobcats into the final quarter, but watched three quarters of good work unravel because of turnovers and cold-shooting, two problems that have plagued the Maidens throughout the season.

“We just couldn’t knock down a shot at the end of the game, and then the turnover bug bit us again and we had a little trouble getting shots up,” Fisher said, describing the Maidens’ four-point conclusion.

The Maidens had 31 turnovers against the Class B Lady Bobcats.

Lynch finished with 10 points on 5 of 9 shooting.

“Taylor came off the bench and played what I felt was the best game of her career. She only had one turnover, she scored 10 points and had an outstanding game on defense,” Fisher said of the junior.

Jonna Grant finished with six points and 10 rebounds and Nina Orozco had four points and three assists.

Against Whitefish Thursday, Fisher said his team did everything right, except make baskets, and despite playing better than they did when they beat the Lady Bulldogs 42-32, they couldn’t get their second win of the season.

“I felt we outplayed them on both ends of the court and in transition. We outplayed them in every aspect of the game, except we couldn’t get our shots to fall,” Fisher said. “If we could’ve made our shots. I think we would have beat them by double figures, we just couldn’t get anything to fall down.”

The Maidens shot 25 percent from the field, connecting on only 16 of 53 shots. Fisher said at least six of those missing were wide-open shots within five feet of the basket, in what he described as one of the craziest shooting nights he had seen.

“The girls were frustrated at the end of the game. They played so hard and executed so well. It was probably the best game they played all year,” Fisher said.
 
Ashley Grandchamp. Grandchamp came off the bench and had a season-high eight points, sinking three of the 10 shots she took.
 
Van Gunten took advantage of the Lady Bulldogs’ attention to Grant. The Lady Bulldogs pinching in on Grant, left the low post open for Van Gunten and the sophomore finished with a team-high 11 points. Despite the Lady Bulldogs’ concentration on her, Grant was still able to add eight points and collect a team-leading seven rebounds.
 
Things won’t get any easier for the Maidens, they travel to Libby Saturday to take on Jackie Mee and the Lady Loggers. The Maidens didn’t have an answer for the 6-foot-2 senior in their first meeting of the season. Mee scored 29 points in the 55-22 Lady Logger victory.
 
Summary
 
Superior 29, Ronan 27
Superior 6 9 6 8–29
Ronan 3 12 8 4–27
 
SUPERIOR - Shelby Cooper 2, Jessica Yarnall 3, Ashley Blaylock 4, Tamara Rennick 4, Jessica Taylor 6, Kaitlynn Koke 10.
RONAN - Jonna Grant 6, Alice Van Gunten 3, Nina Orozco 4, Ashley Grandchamp 2, Shandeen Belanger 2, Taylor Lynch 10.
 
Whitefish 42, Ronan 36
Ronan 8 7 9 12–36
Whitefish 11 11 8 12–42
 
RONAN - Courtney Clairmont 1, Taylor Lynch 2, Jonna Grant 8, Alice Van Gunten 11, Nina Orozco 5, Ashley Grandchamp 8, Tailyr Irvine 1.
WHITEFISH - Olivia Nagler 2, Taylor Havens 3, Jessica Slaybaugh 9, Mariah Kanistanaux 6, Karissa DeMarco 4, Alyana Voight 2, Danielle McCully 16.
 

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