Plenty of basketball action this weekend in Lewistown
Roy-Winifred’s Lorianne Stulc puts up a shot between two Lady Hawk defenders during last year’s Holiday Showcase. A total of 24 games will be played at the FHS Fieldhouse during this year’s Holiday Showcase.
Photo by Doreen Heintz
From the time the Fergus Holiday Showcase begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday at both the FHS Fieldhouse and the Civic Center until the final game ends on Saturday sometime around 10 p.m., basketball fans can watch 39 games of basketball. Of course, it is impossible to watch all 39, as there will be games going on at the same time at both the Fieldhouse and the Civic Center. Twenty-two Class C boys’ and girls’ varsity teams, plus the Fergus boys’ and girls’ JV teams, are scheduled to play 24 games over three days at the Fieldhouse. At the same time, there will be junior varsity, plus the Fergus freshman squad, playing at the Civic Center. A total of 15 games will be played at the Civic Center.
All four Class C divisions will be represented in this year’s tournament. District 8C of the Northern C Division will be well-represented at the Holiday Showcase with Denton-Geyser-Stanford, Tri-City (Moore, Hobson, Judith Gap), Geraldine-Highwood and Roy-Winifred sending teams. Coming from District 2C from the Eastern Division is Circle, while North Country (Saco, Whitewater, Hinsdale) will represent District 3C. Garfield County (Jordan) and Powder River County (Broadus) come from District 4C in the Southern Division, while Reed Point-Rapelje represents District 6C from the south. Shields Valley and White Sulphur Springs come from District 11C in the Western Division.
There will be a number of good matchups in the 24 scheduled contests. The Roy-Winifred boys face Jordan in the opening game of the tournament at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The Outlaws were a young team last year and will still be young this year, but Coach Nick Econom is looking for his team to be more competitive this year.
Tri-City set to compete
Tri-City is a new face in this year’s tournament. The Titans play White Sulphur Springs on Thursday at 4 p.m., followed by the Lady Titans facing off against the Lady Hornets at 5:30 p.m. The Tri-City squads got a jump up on most of the competition by playing Gardiner last Friday and facing Harlowton on Monday. The Lady Titans could be in the thick of things in District 8C this year. Coach Roger Derks is in his second year of leading the Lady Titans and has high expectations for this team.
“We are still very young with Devyn Hughes being are only senior on the squad, but we look to be in the mix by the end of the year,” said Derks. “Many of these girls played volleyball so they have some good momentum heading into the season.”
Another interesting matchup will be played at 5 p.m. on Saturday when the Bearcats of DGS go up against Reed Point-Rapelje. The Renegades return their top nine players from last year’s Class C state team. Coaching the Renegades is former Hobson coach Jerry Thompson.
Coaching the Bearcats is Wyatt Woodhall. Woodhall lost several strong players to graduation, but still looks for his team to be in the thick of things in District 8C. Seniors on the Bearcat squad are Sean Bronec, Zane Smith, Tyrell Morris, Jaeger Schaffer and Cameron Cali. Other important players for Woodhall include his son Rhet, Clay Hill, Keaton Protsman and Riley Donaldson. Both Kordell Carpenter and Parker Donaldson are still sidelined with injuries suffered during the football season. Woodhall is hoping to have both back after the Christmas break.
The Lady Bearcats begin their 2016-2017 season against Garfield County on Thursday at 2 p.m. DGS hopes to improve on last year’s season when they won two games. The team is still young with only two seniors, Kyra Randel and Rachel Burns.
“We are excited for this season with almost everyone coming back from last year’s team,” said Head Coach John Hansen. “Kyra and Rachel are two players to watch. However, I do believe we are in the toughest conference in the state.”
Layne Murnion, who is in his first year as a head coach, coaches Garfield County this year. He has three returning starters from last year, including two all-conference performers, Tarissa Phipps and Tawney Stanton.
Roy-Winifred girls open against Circle
The Roy-Winifred girls’ team sees its first action of the tournament on Friday at 11:30 a.m. against Circle. Marietta Boyce and Mauri Ellness continue with their co-coaching duties for the Lady Outlaws. Key returnees for the two coaches are 5-10 senior Lorianne Stulc, 5-6 senior Kaylie Carlstrom, 5-9 junior Brietta Boyce, 5-8 junior Jada Goettlich and 5-9 sophomore Keyara Bahnmiller.
“We finished strong, playing eight games during the post season,” said Boyce.
The Lady Outlaws finished third at the Northern C Divisional Tournament. Finishing above Roy-Winifred were Belt in first and Box Elder in second. These two teams also finished first and second at the state level.
“We are excited about this season, with some good leadership and experience in our upperclassmen, and some athleticism and competitiveness in our freshman and sophomores,” said Coach Boyce. “We are in a tough district, which allows us to constantly be challenged, work hard and improve each week.”
The Geraldine-Highwood girls play their first game of the tournament at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. The young Lady Rivals face Garfield County in the early morning matchup.
Brandon Gondeiro returns as the head coach for the Lady Rivals, who are in their second year of the basketball co-op.
“We started last season 8-1 in the first year of the co-op, led by a great bunch of seniors,” said Gondeiro. “This year we will be an incredibly young team with five eighth-graders having to step up and fill holes on the junior varsity and varsity.
“We hope to improve every day and build that youth into the depth of our four upperclassmen,” added Gondeiro.
Key returnees for Gondeiro are 5-6 senior point guard Katy Long, 5-4 senior shooting guard Rylee Adamson and 5-11 sophomore center Jackie Long.
DGS boys face North Country Mavericks
The DGS boys’ team will also face a tough opponent in their first game of the tournament at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The Bearcats go up against the North Country Mavericks. Coach Barry Malone returns two all-conference selections to his team in Cache Younkin and Trace Simonson. Younkin is a senior, while Simonson is a junior.
The DGS girls’ team faces Reed Point-Rapelje in their other contest at the Holiday Showcase. The Lady Renegades are coached by Tricia Hess, who is in her first year as head coach. All five starters return for Hess this season, and include juniors Destiny Ayers and Nynah Bryant, sophomores Mercedes Hoff and Jocelyn Ott and freshman Carlee Blodgett. Hess sees her team as having the potential to be competitive during the season.
The Roy-Winifred girls’ squad faces North Country on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Key players for the Lady Mavericks, under Coach Amber Erickson, are senior Kayleigh Cummings and juniors Mickayla Johnson, Jada Sudbrach, Bailey Funk and Casity Boucher. Sudbrach earned all-state honors last season, while Johnson and Cummings are all-conference players last season. This is Erickson’s 15th season as a head coach. She holds a 237-109 win-loss record.
Fergus JV and freshman contests
The Fergus boys’ junior varsity squad plays its first contest at the Holiday Showcase at 7 p.m. on Thursday against Shields Valley. The Fergus girls’ junior varsity plays against Shields Valley following the boys’ contest.
The final game on Friday (8:30 p.m.) will feature the Fergus girls’ JV squad against Broadus. The final game of the tournament on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. will pit the Fergus JV boys against White Sulphur Springs.
At the Civic Center, the FHS freshman boys’ team plays the DGS junior varsity at 4 p.m. on Thursday, and then concludes tournament play at the Civic Center at 5 p.m. on Saturday against the White Sulphur Springs JV team.
The Fergus freshman girls’ team only plays once during the three-day tournament on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against the White Sulphur Springs JV team.