Sports Shorts for Nov. 2, 2022
WHITEFISH — The Polson Lady Pirates finished off their regular season on Oct. 25 with a win over the Whitefish Bulldogs, 3-0. The Bulldogs pushed the Lady Pirates, extending the first game to a 26-24 win and a 25-23 second game. The Pirates were able to runaway in the third, winning 25-13. Hannah Simpson led the team with 14 kills, while Clara Todd and Samantha Rensvold added eight and seven more, respectively. Avery Starr also had a strong showing on the night with an outstanding 26 assists and nine digs, helping the Lady Pirates keep control of the games. Polson will take on Corvallis in the first round of the Western Class A Divisional Tournament on Nov. 3rd at 4 p.m.
St Ignatius — The Mission Bulldogs kept their perfect season going in the first round of the Montana Class C-8 playoffs, beating the Circle Wildcats 48-34 on Oct. 29.
The Bulldogs came out the first quarter with quarterback Kellen McClure and receiver Bryce Umphrey connecting for both of Missions touchdowns. The first was a 34-yard rocket of a pass and the second a clever 16-yard touchdown.
B. Umphrey opened the second quarter with an interception to set up another 34-yard pass from McClure, this time to Izeyk Umphrey. After a defensive stop, McClure threw for a 37-yard touchdown to Kenny Ness to end the half up 30-6. Ness had a total of seven receptions and 105-yard receiving to go along with his touchdown. Circle came back strong in the second half with quarterback Beau Beery throwing for four of his five passing touchdowns.
The Bulldogs’ running back Canyon Sargent rushed for a 48-yard touchdown and 7-yard touchdown. McClure threw the last of his five passing touchdowns to B. Umphrey to see out the game with a two score lead. McClure ended the afternoon with 234 yards passing going 17 for 25.
Defensively, B. Canyon Sargent had 13 solo tackles, four assisted tackles and a quarterback sack, while B. Umphrey had 11 solo and 3 assisted tackles and an interception.
Mission coach Carson Oakland praised the group as a whole for stepping up when needed.
“Credit to our seniors, they’ve been doing this since they were in sixth grade,” Oakland said. “These boys have been together this whole time, it’s the same group and they don’t care who touches the ball, they’re so selfless and just want to win. We had different leaders step up today than our usual ones and that’s something different and something we can continue to build off of. It’s such a benefit to us to have lots of leaders on this team.”
Moving into the next round of the playoffs facing Ennis next, Coach Oakland spoke about being the number one seed and facing a tougher opponent each week. “Our goal is absolutely the state championship and we want to get there, but its game by game and play by play, so we won’t get ahead of ourselves,” Oakland stated.
Mission will host Ennis next week Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. in the second round of the Class C-8 playoffs.
RONAN — The Charlo Lady Vikings won the 14C District tournament held in Ronan on Oct. 27 and 28.
Top ranked Charlo, who had a first-round bye, faced off against the St. Regis Tigers. Although Charlo won three games in a row, the Tigers pushed them all the way with scores of 25-23 and 25-21 in the first two games. The Vikings weren’t to be denied, however, winning the third game 26-24.
Next up was the only team to beat The Lady Vikings during the regular season, the Noxon Red Devils. Charlo came out fast and aggressive, winning 25-16, 25-15, 25-14.
The Lady Vikings next faced the Superior Bobcats in the tournament final. The first two games were close, but Charlo won 25-23 and 25-21. The Bobcats came back strong in the third, capitalizing on some long volleys and scrambled play, winning 25-22. This game, the only Charlo lost in the tournament, had a galvanizing effect and the Vikings ran away 25-17 to clinch the win.
“It was a fun season definitely, some ups and downs, but this group of girls is really fun to be with and is a special group,” Charlo Coach Rhondell Volinkaty said. “They can achieve anything they want really. They played their best volleyball this weekend, which is perfect timing with the tournaments coming fast … I have to pick a floor captain, which is really hard because they’re all really good at leading each other through the hard moments. But my three seniors, I’ve had them for four years, they’re really good positive leaders for their teammates and the can pretty much get us through anything.”
Tournament volleyball is different from the regular season. Having to manage multiple games a day, not being able to go through normal routines, and waiting for other games to finish is a new challenge. Coach Volinkaty praised the teams focus and seriousness throughout the tournament
“I think over the course of time and as games progress, we get better anyways. Being in the volleyball mindset helps us stay motivated, stay on top of it,” Volinkaty commented. “We’re very team oriented so not having time to go do others things and just be together is really good for us.”
You can catch The Lady Vikings next at Manhattan Christian for the Western C Divisionals. They take on The Ennis Mustangs in the first round on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m.