Consistent defense, timely offense keys Lady Viking wins
CHARLO — They're still not where they want to be, but the Charlo Lady Vikings were plenty good enough to post two more wins last week and improve to 7-1.
After a slow start, Charlo kicked its offense into gear to cruise to a 46-14 conference win over Arlee Thursday night. On Friday, the Lady Vikings hosted Class B Thompson Falls and made a big run in the second quarter to pull away for a 46-24 victory.
On Thursday, Charlo struggled a bit on offense against Arlee in the first half, leading 5-2 after the first eight minutes before making a 17-6 run in the second quarter. Kinley Pope led the Charlo charge, sinking three straight buckets, followed by a three-pointer from Deondra Brown. Then Stephanie Maughan closed out the Charlo run with a 4-for-5 performance at the line plus a layup to give the Lady Vikings a commanding 22-8 halftime lead.
"We didn't shoot well in the first half, but ... those free throws (by Maughan) were a big boost for us," Charlo head coach Bret Thompson said.
Charlo continued to have trouble shooting the ball in the second half, but the Lady Vikings' defense more than made up for the off-night on the offensive end. Charlo held Arlee to six points in the second half, pulling away for the 46-14 win.
Pope went 5-for-5 from the line in the second half and finished with a game-high 15 points, nine rebounds and two steals. Maughan and Brown finished with eight points apiece and Jaris Kelley put up seven. Rachel Hoyt also added four, all in the second half.
It wasn't pretty, but the Lady Vikings worked hard for the win.
"We just missed a bunch of shots. We went inside to Kinley (Pope) and Rachel (Hoyt) in the second half, but we just didn't get anything going inside," coach Thompson explained. "When you are creating open looks inside and not making them, it makes it tough to get going. It's one of those things ... we just couldn't get the dang ball to fall. We worked hard. In the first half we had 11 offensive boards, but didn't get any points off of them."
Maughan had a great night, with eights points, five assists, six steals and six rebounds.
"Those are pretty good stats for a guard," Thompson emphasized.
Charlo started out slowly against Thompson Falls, too, falling behind 8-4 before rallying late to hold a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"A lot of (the slow start was) because of their zone. We just couldn't get it to go down ... but then we got a couple to fall," Thompson said.
Actually the Lady Vikings got a couple of big ones to fall as Kelley hit for two threes and Maughan and Brown each sank a bomb of their own to lead a 20-3 Charlo run in the second quarter that sent the Lady Bluehawks reeling.
"That was quite a run," Thompson agreed.
And Charlo's defense continued to clamp down on Thompson Falls in the second half, holding the Lady Hawks to just 13 more points and dominating the second half of play. Charlo put up 13 points against a man-to-man defense before slowing down for four fourth quarter points. But, by then the outcome was already decided as Charlo cruised to a 46-24 win.
Kelley led the Lady Vikings with 19 points and five steals. Pope also poured in 10 and hauled in eight board, while Brown finished with six points.
"Our girls did a good job adjusting to their man defense and got the ball inside. In the fourth quarter we got it inside, too, but we just couldn't make a layup," Thompson explained. "We also had a season-low (seven) turnovers in the game. And (the Hawks) are good ... they are in your face."
He liked how his team attacked the basket and either made an inside basket or earned a trip to the free throw line. Unfortunately, Charlo made just four of 10 free throw attempts.
"We created a lot of shots, but just couldn't get it to go down. We tried to get to the line but when we did, we couldn't get it to go. (Shots) underneath the basket are definitely not tough ones in the fourth quarter," Thompson said. "But it was a great win for our group. Thompson Falls is a good team. We did a good job of not giving up any easy ones."
Charlo gave up just seven field goals on the night, two in the first half and five in the second half. None of them were three-pointers.
"Giving up only seven field goals against Thompson Falls is pretty good. We didn't give them much of a chance to stand and shoot," Thompson said.
The Lady Vikings will take their defense on the road this week for a pair of conference games. They'll head to Philipsburg (girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7) on Thursday, then travel to St. Regis on Friday night (boys at 5:30 p.m. and girls at 7).
Charlo 46, Arlee 14
Arlee 2 6 2 4–14
Charlo 5 17 12 12–46
ARLEE - Chelsea Allaire 2, Melissa Ivanoff 4, Mahalia Hendren 4, Kristyn Adams 4.
CHARLO - Stephanie Maughan 8, Rachel Hoyt 4, Jessica Foust 2, Dawn Blevins 2, Kinley Pope 15, Deondra Brown 8, Jaris Kelley 7.
Charlo 46, Thompson Falls 24
T. Falls 8 3 6 7–24
Charlo 9 20 13 4–46
T. FALLS - Hannah Peters 2, Karli Cavill 6, Kyla Molzhon 14, Kelsey Fitchett 2.
CHARLO - Stephanie Maughan 3, Rachel Hoyt 5, Dawn Blevins 3, Kinley Pope 10, Deondra Brown 6, Jaris Kelley 19.