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Valley rivals battle to split

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RONAN — At the Ronan Event Center on Friday evening, Dani Coffman tallied 13 points for the Ronan Maidens in a 51-30 victory over the visiting Polson Lady Pirates while Jarrett Wilson booked 16 points to lead the Polson Pirates to a 56-47 win over the hosting Ronan Chiefs.

The game between cross county and conference rivals Polson and Ronan started as a low scoring defensive battle with both teams knotted at 8-8 with less than a minute left in the first quarter. A short jumper by Peyton Cates broke the tie and quickly turned into a 6-0 scoring run by the Chiefs.  

Leading 14-8 entering the second quarter, the Chiefs extended their lead margin to ten points, 18-8 before the Pirates chipped their way back into the game narrowing Ronan’s advantage 29-26 to close out the second quarter.

The Pirates in the first half had difficulty defending against Cates, who dominated the court during that span, scoring 12 of his game high 17 points. 

With Ronan clinging to a slim three-point lead to start the third quarter, both teams kept the game close with neither taking a real distinct advantage over the other. 

The game turned at the 2:22 minute mark, deadlocked at 35-35. A Jarrett Wilson rebound and put back shot gave Polson the lead and sparked an 8-2 scoring spree which gave the Pirates some breathing room down the stretch.

Wilson led the Pirates with 16 points and Xavier Fisher chipped in with 10, while Marlo Tonasket scored 13 points for Ronan.

In the earlier matchup of the night, the Polson girls were unable to pull off the sweep falling to the Maidens for the second time this season.

Ronan took control of the game quickly racing out to a 11- 4 first quarter lead. The Maidens outscored the Lady Pirates 11-7 in the second quarter sending both squads into the locker room at the half with Ronan up by 11 points, 22-11. 

With a high-intensity defense forcing a barrage of Lady Pirate turnovers in the second half, the Maidens sealed their 14th consecutive win in the rivalry series.

Following Coffman’s game high 13 points, LaReina Cordova booked 12 points for the Maidens while Turquoise Pierre led the Lady Pirates with nine points.

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