Maidens topple Hamilton, Loyola
The Ronan Maidens saw a stellar weekend of competition, beating Hamilton 47-44 on Friday and conference rival Loyola 58-51 on Saturday.
Against Hamilton, the No. 1 Class A team in the state, Ronan jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first and led 16-6 after one quarter. The Maidens were up 39-28 after the third, and while Hamilton outscored Ronan 16-8 in the final frame, it wasn’t enough for a comeback. Hamilton shot three of 38 from the 3-point line, where Ronan shot five of 13. Hamilton did hit 13 of 17 free throws, where Ronan only went six of 17.
Senior Courtney Clairmont had 17 points and made four of eight 3-pointers, including three in the second quarter. Junior Raymi Clairmont had 13 points and seven rebounds, with six points in the first quarter, where she shot 3-3 from the field.
On Saturday, the Maidens were down by four after the first quarter but outscored Loyola 16-4 in the second quarter to take a 30-22 halftime lead.
“Good teams will come back on you, and when you face adversity, you have to look it right in its face and do something special,” head coach Clayton Curley said. “That’s what good teams do at the end of the road. The girls fought well and played with a lot of effort.”
Leading by five at the start of the third quarter, Loyola started a comeback. With 4:08 left in the fourth, Loyola’s Olivia Round got a steal from Ronan and passed up to Sadie Crippen. She made the fast-break layup to pull Loyola within three, 47-44.
With 2:50 left, Loyola’s Kiri Tirrell hit a 3-pointer to give Loyola the lead at 49-47. The next possession, Maiden Aspen Jore hit an inside shot to tie it back up. With two minutes left, Jore hit another inside shot to take the lead 51-49, and Ronan never looked back.
Ronan went 5-7 on free throws in the fourth, including Ashleigh Lynch’s 3-4 with less than a minute left.
“We played like a team all weekend. Girls were making the extra pass to get the open shot. We had a good week of practice, and it really showed on the court,” assistant coach Cameron Barber noted.
Ronan plays conference foe and No. 5-ranked Deer Lodge in Ronan on Friday, and will head to Troy for a non-conference game Saturday.
Ronan 47, Hamilton 44
Ronan 16 14 9 8 – 47
Hamilton 6 13 9 16 – 44
RONAN – Angela North Piegan 3, Kendra Starkel 2, Raymi Clairmont 13, Ashleigh Lynch 5, Courtney Clairmont 17, Aspen Jore 3, Alaina Madsen 2
HAMILTON – McKayl Rothie 6, Kali Hayes 8, Jaylee Albet 10,Bri Huggans 10, Sami Kratofil 8, Kloie Nye 2.
Ronan 58, Loyola 51
Ronan 14 16 9 19 – 58
Loyola 18 4 12 17 – 51
RONAN – Angela North Piegan 1 0-0 3, Kendra Starkel 1 0-0 2, Raymi Clairmont 5 7-12 15, Ashleigh Lynch 1 4-4 6, Courtney Clairmont 3 4-5 12, Alaina Madsen 2 0-1 4, Aspen Jore 7 0-1 14. Totals 20 15-23 58.