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Ronan Maidens bow out early at State B Tournament

Char-Koosta News

State Class B Tournament final pairings

• Thursday, March 9
Opening Round
Malta 62, Three Forks 59
Red Lodge 70, Ronan 61
Wolf Point 55, Colstrip 44
Fairfield 55, Florence 36

• Friday, March 10
Loser out
Three Forks 59, Ronan 49
Florence 60, Colstrip 59
Malta 55, Red Lodge 29
Fairfield 48, Wolf Point 40

• Saturday, March 11
Loser out
Red Lodge 47, Florence 42
Three Forks 59, Wolf Point 44
Three Forks 63, Red Lodge 56
Fairfield 34, Malta 33

BILLINGS — Sometimes dreams don’t come true no matter how hard you work to achieve them. Case in point, the truly talented Ronan Maidens basketball team, who all regular season owned the competition. Their only close win was a 1-point victory over the Florence Lady Falcons late in the season. Consequently they blitzed their way unscathed through the District 6-B Tournament and the Western B Divisional to earn a spot at the State B Tournament with a perfect 23-0 and the number 1 ranking in the Montana Class B girls power poll. However, the Maidens top gun, Lee Camel, sustained an ankle injury in the semifinals of the divisional and was not in top gun form entering State B competition. The Maidens opened play against the 18-5 Red Lodge Rams Thursday at the Rimrock Arena. 

Red Lodge 70, Ronan 61
The game started out with both teams staying relatively close — within striking distance — to the other throughout the first half but it was Red Lodge who got and maintained the upper-hand separation. The Rams led 22-18 after one and added 3 more points to their lead with a 17-14 second quarter and led 39-32 at the half.

The Maidens got back on track in the third quarter after the Rams lead ballooned to 10 points. The Maidens then went on an 11-zip run and outscored Red Lodge 16-10 to pull within 1 (49-48) at the end of three. The Rams responded with a 21-13 fourth quarter run to put the game in the Rams’ bag — Red Lodge 70, Ronan 61.

Micalann McCrea led the Maidens with 23 points; Alicia Camel had 19 points and Lee Camel 7. 

Natalie Hilderman led Red Lodger with 33 points and Zoe Cortner had 14.

The victory sent Red Lodged to the semifinal game against Malta; the loss sent the Maidens (23-1) to a Friday loser out game against the 19-5 Three Forks Wolves.

Three Forks 59, Ronan 49
Again the Maidens got behind the 8-ball early and were playing catch up —they did catch up late in the game — the remainder of the game.

Three Forks garnered a 15-10 first quarter lead and added to their lead with a 21-10 second quarter to take 16-point lead (36-20) halftime lead.

The Maidens got on track and back into the game in the second half. They had a 12-8 third quarter to narrow the Wolves’ lead a bit and were on the short end of the 44-32 tally. The Maidens got on track in the fourth quarter and went on a 14-2 run to catch the Wolves at 46-46 with 2:41 remaining in the game. Then the Wolves responded in kind with 13-3 run that slammed the door on any Maidens trophy aspirations. Three Forks 59, Ronan 49.

The loss ended the Maidens 2016-17 hoop campaign with a 23-2 record.

Alicia Camel led Ronan with 19 points; Micalann McCrea had 13 points, Louetta Conko-Camel 9 and Lee Camel 8. 

Kyle Olson led Three Forks with 22 points and Talyn Pitcher had 12.

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