Scarlets battle five-time champs at state tourney, take second
BELGRADE – Ending a stellar season, the Arlee Scarlets fell 62-33 in the state championship game on Saturday in a battle against the perennial champion Belt Lady Huskies. It was the Scarlets’ first appearance since 1980 in the State Class C Girls Basketball Championship game.
The Lady Huskies, winners of five of the last six championships, quickly jumped out to an early 12-0 lead over the Scarlets.
For the Scarlets, the goose egg on the scoreboard wasn’t erased until late in the first quarter at the 2:40 minute mark when Alyssia Vanderburg drained a short jumper for two.
The second quarter started with the Lady Huskies having a 17-4 advantage which grew to 21-7 before Vanderburg went to work, scoring nine of the Scarlets’ 11 second-quarter points to bring the game back within striking distance at 28- 15 to finish the half.
Belt continued its dominance in the third and fourth quarters and by the game’s end the lead had bloated to 29 points, making the final score 62-33.
On the night, Vanderburg was 7-of-10 from the charity stripe and led the Scarlets with 18 points.
In the opening round of the tournament on Thursday, Carly Hergett scored a Scarlets’ team-high eight points and both Nellie Desjarlais and Bryndle Goyins added seven more apiece in a 34-23 victory over Harlowton.
The victory against Harlowton placed the Scarlets in a semifinal match up against Winifred/ Roy Outlaws on Friday evening.
A 17-7 scoring run in the second quarter gave the Outlaws a 24-15 halftime advantage over the Scarlets. But in the third quarter, Arlee rallied from the nine-point first-half deficit by holding the Outlaws to one point for the whole entire quarter. The strong third quarter defensive effort gave the Scarlets the victory and sent them to their first title game appearance in 37 years.
Desjarlais scored a team-high 13 points against the Outlaws, Vanderburg followed up with 12 points and Hergett added 11 more.
Starting on Thursday, three local teams head off to their respective state tournaments to chase their championship dreams. The Arlee Warriors head to Bozeman at the MSU Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, the Ronan Maidens travel across the state to the Metra Park in Billings and the Polson Pirates make their way to the Butte Civic Center in Butte.
Arlee 34, Harlowton 23
Arlee 7 8 9 10 - 34
Harlowton 4 6 6 7 - 23
Arlee - Noelle West 6, Carly Hergett 8, Abby Yocum 2, Nellie Desjarlais 7, Alyssia Vanderburg 4, Bryndle Goyins 7.
Arlee 44, Winifred/Roy 38
Arlee 8 7 14 15 - 44
Winifred/Roy 7 17 1 13 - 38
Arlee - Noelle West 3, Carly Hergett 11, Nellie Desjarlais 13, Alyssia Vanderburg 12, Bryndle Goyins 5. Belt 62, Arlee 33 Arlee 4 11 9 9 - 33 Belt 17 11 16 18 - 62 Arlee - Noelle West 4, Summer DarcAngelo 2, Carly Hergett 1, Abby Yocum 2, Alyssia Vanderburg 18, Bryndle Goyins 4, Hailey Shepherd 2.