Lady Vikings win Western C Divisional championship
BUTTE – For the fourth time this season, the Arlee Scarlets and Charlo Lady Vikings battled on the hardwood. The Lady Vikings prevailed over the Scarlets 60-55 in overtime to capture the Western Class C Girls’ Basketball Divisional Championship.
Headed into the divisional championship game on Saturday, the Lady Vikings led the season matchup 2-1 with their most recent victory coming a couple of weeks ago during the 14C District Championship game in Pablo with a close one-point 44-43 win over the Scarlets.
During the divisional tournament held at the Maroon Activities Center in Butte, both teams had very little problem advancing through the tournament brackets.
On Thursday, the Lady Vikings ran past Drummond 50-36, and the Scarlets defeated Ennis 53-43. Scarlet Alyssia Vanderburg scored 23 points. Liev Smith netted 18 points for the Lady Vikings.
In Friday’s semifinal games, Arlee routed Manhattan Christian 62-38. Louetta Conko-Camel paced the Scarlets with a game-high 18 points, followed by Vanderburg with 17 points and Nellie Desjarlais with 11 points.
Carlee Fryberger led with 12 points in the Lady Vikings’ 59-41 semifinal win over West Yellowstone. For Charlo, Kaitlin Cox and Destiny Manuel both scored 11 points, while Teaira Truman and Smith chipped in 10 points each.
During Saturday’s championship game, the Scarlets jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead over the Lady Vikings, but a late first quarter 7-0 scoring run by Charlo sent the teams headed into the second quarter knotted up with a tie.
A 21-9 scoring outburst by Arlee put the Scarlets up 29-17 as both squads trekked off into the locker rooms at the half.
In the early minutes of the third quarter, the Scarlets appeared to have the game and championship well in hand.
Trailing by as much as 14 points, the Charlo defense held the Scarlets to only two points the remainder of the third quarter allowing the Lady Viking offense time to battle their way back into the game. The third quarter ended with another tie 31-31.
Both teams traded baskets and fouls in an intense fourth quarter with multiple lead changes. With 40.3 seconds left and a score of 49-44, Arlee was in a great position to take the win, but Lady Viking Carlee Fryberger dropped in a three-point shot to cut Charlo’s deficit back to only two points at 49-47.
After being fouled, Scarlet Louetta Conko-Camel answered back by hitting the second free throw with less than 20 seconds left, pushing Arlee’s lead back to three, 50-47.
With 11.3 clicks left on the clock, Lady Viking senior Teaira Truman calmly fired a three-point shot from the top of the key to send the game into overtime. Charlo would eventually prevail over Arlee 60-55 for the Western C Girls’ Divisional Basketball Championship title. Alyssia Vanderburg scored a game-high 24 points for the Scarlets followed by Conko-Camel with 18 points.
Along with scoring the shot that sent the game into overtime, Truman paced the Lady Vikings with 15 points on the evening. Also for Charlo, Smith scored 13 points, Cox had 12 and Fryberger added another 10.
On Thursday, the Lady Vikings will make their first state tournament appearance since 2007. Back in 2007, they finished as runners up. Charlo will play the Savage Lady Warriors on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Great Falls.
The Scarlets return to the state tournament for the third time in the last four years. In 2017, they finished state as the runners up for the title. Arlee will face Scobey from the east at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Arlee 8 21 2 19 5 – 55
Charlo 8 9 14 19 10 – 60
Charlo – Teaira Truman 15, Liev Smith 13, Kaitlin Cox 12, Carlee Fryberger 10, Destiny Manuel 6, Allie Delaney 3, Kira McPhail 1
Arlee – Alyssia Vanderburg 24, Louetta Conko-Camel 18, Emily Fiddler 7, Noelle West 3, Nellie Desjarlais 3