Lady Bearcats split games at Northern C Divisional

Two hard-fought wins but no trip to state
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Lady Bearcats split games

DGS basketball players Addie Woodhall (left) and Mariah Schott greet each other with their special handshake during introduction of players prior to the start of the DGS vs. Hays-Lodgepole contest at the Northern C Divisional Tournament in Great Falls. Photo courtesy of Doreen Heintz

Lady Bearcats split games

DGS senior Adie Woodhall (center) celebrates with her teammates after defeating Geraldine-Highwood in the consolaition game of the District 8C tournament. Photos by Matthew Strissel

Lady Bearcats split games

Senior Mariah Schott pushes past the Rival defense for a layup at the district 8C basketball tournament.

The last time the Lady Bearcats of Denton-Geyser-Stanford played at the Northern C Divisional Basketball Tournament, most of the current Lady Bearcats were in the lower elementary grades. This year’s squad secured enough conference wins to take third place in District 8C. They lost one game at the District 8C Tournament against Roy-Winifred in semi-final action and fought back on Saturday to win two games and gain a third-place trophy at the district tournament. But what was far more important to these girls was the opportunity to play at the divisional level.

The Lady Bearcats came out hotter than firecrackers in the first few minutes of their opening game on Wednesday at the divisional tournament. Behind five points from senior Mariah Schott and a layup by junior Adie Woodhall off a pretty assist from junior Sydney Von Bergen, DGS jumped to a 7-0 lead over Hays-Lodgepole in the opening minutes of the contest. The Lady Thunderbirds came back to score four points on one play when freshman Nashone Shambo was fouled on a 3-point basket. After she converted the free throw, the Lady Bearcat lead was only three points, 7-4.

After another free throw by the Lady Thunderbirds, Von Bergen scored off an offensive rebound to give the Lady Bearcats a 9-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Senior Jessica Ayers scored for DGS off another assist from Von Bergen, and Von Bergen then scored her second field goal of the contest to give DGS a 13-5 lead. After a Hays-Lodgepole timeout at the 6:45 mark of the quarter, Shambo hit two more free throws for the Lady Thunderbirds.

Von Bergen scored her fifth point of the game at the free throw line to give DGS a 14-7 lead. Shambo hit another 3-point bucket to cut the lead to three points. At the 3:40 mark of the second period, junior Ellie Messerly scored on a layup and a free throw to cut the DGS lead to only one point.

The Lady Bearcats were getting good shots at their end of the court, but just as quickly they had come out on fire in the first few minutes of the game, now the shots would just not fall.

Hays-Lodgepole gained its first lead of the game off a put back off an offensive rebound. DGS regained the lead on two free throws from senior Keonna Cunningham. Another field goal by Von Bergen upped the Lady Bearcat lead to 18-15. Two free throws by Shambo cut the lead to 18-17.

Two free throws by Shambo cut the lead to 18-17. Von Bergen was fouled on a 3-point attempt with just one second showing on the clock in the first half. Von Bergen stepped to the line for three free throws, but missed all three.

The Lady Bearcats went into the locker room at halftime holding a one-point lead, 18-17.

In the second half DGS was as cold as a frosty winter morning in Central Montana. The Lady Bearcats scored only two points in the third quarter, off of two made free throws by Ayers. Meanwhile, the Lady Thunderbirds were able to take advantage of the coldshooting by the Lady Bearcats and scored 11 points in the quarter to take a 28-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Several of the Lady Thunderbirds’ baskets came off of put-backs off of offensive rebounds.

The Lady Bearcats did not hit their first field goal of the second half until the 5:45 mark of the fourth quarter. They would score four more points in the final period, but it was not nearly enough as Hays-Lodgepole dominated the rest of the game to take a 40-24 win.

In the first half, the Lady Bearcats shot 23% from the field, but only made one of their 11 3-point tries. For the game, the field goal percentage dropped to a dismal 16%. DGS tried 11 more 3-point baskets in the second half, but not one dropped through the net.

The Lady Thunderbirds upped their field goal percentage in the first half at 17% to 24% for the game. Hays-Lodgepole connected on three of their 20 3-point attempts.

Von Bergen led DGS in scoring with 11 points. Schott was the next highest scorer with 5 points. Ayers had 4 points, while Woodhall and Cunningham had 2 points each for the contest. Von Bergen was the leading rebounder with eight boards, followed by seven each from Ayers, Cunningham and Schott. The Lady Bearcats had only 14 turnovers for the game, while Hays-Lodgepole had 18. Shambo led the Lady Thunderbirds in scoring with 11 points.

The loss moved the Lady Bearcats into a Thursday morning loser-out contest against Valier, while Hays-Lodgepole moved to a quarterfinal match against Augusta late Thursday evening.

DGS bounces back with 47-43 win over Valier

DGS had another strong first half in loser-out action against Valier on Thursday morning. The Lady Bearcats built a 27-17 halftime lead and then withstood a Lady Panther comeback to win, 47-43.

Valier scored the first seven points of the third quarter to cut the Lady Bearcat lead to 27-24 before a 3-point basket by Von Bergen to up the Lady Bearcat lead to 30-26. Von Bergen added two free throws with 2:15 left in the third to up the DGS lead to 32-26. Valier responded with two free throws of its own. With 41 seconds left on the clock in the third, Schott made one out of two free throws to complete scoring in the third period and gave the Lady Bearcats a 33-28 lead into the final eight minutes of the game.

A Kara Reed 3-point basket with just over six minutes of the game pushed the Lady Bearcat lead to seven points at 36-29. Valier scored seven of the next eight points to tie the score at 36-36 with 4:38 left in the game. A Schott field goal put the Lady Bearcats up by two, but a Valier 3-pointer gave the Lady Panthers a 39-38 lead. Von Bergen scored a 3-pointer of her own to give the lead back to DGS. Valier tied the score with two free throws.

At the 2:28 mark, Schott scored a field goal to give DGS a 43-41 lead. At the 2:15 mark, Valier tied the score, but two free throws by Von Bergen gave the Lady Bearcats a 45-43 lead. On their next time down the court, the Lady Panthers had three good looks at the basket, but missed all three.

With 1:30 left in the contest DGS coach Breanna Vaskey called a time out. After Cunningham was fouled and made one of two free throws to give the Lady Bearcats a 3-point lead with 1:10 left in the contest. Again, Valier missed a shot at its end of the court. DGS took time off the clock, and the Lady Panthers were forced to foul. Von Bergen calmly went to the free-throw line and converted one of two free throws to give DGS its divisional win, 47-43.

Von Bergen scored 26 of the 47 points for DGS. Schott added 12. Other scorers for the Lady Bearcats were Reed 3, Ayers 2, Woodhall 2, Cunningham 1.

The win moved the Lady Bearcats to another loser-out contest on Friday against the Simms Tigers at 11 a.m.

DGS defeats Simms, fall to the Thunderbirds


That was a very close game, but the Bearcats snuck out a 41-39 win to keep their tournament chances alive.

The Lady Bearcats started off strong, winning at the end of the first quarter by four points. But the Tigers answered back in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Bearcats 14-9. Going in to halftime, the Tigers were ahead 20-19.

The second half saw the Lady Bearcats slightly outscore the Tigers. They gained two points over the Tigers in the third quarter, and outscored them by one point in the final quarter, giving the Lady Bearcats the three-point victory.

Mariah Schott scored 20 of the 41 Lady Bearcat points in the game. Jessica Ayers had seven points, Adie Woodhall had five, Keonna Cunningham had four, Sydney Von Bergen had three and Fayelee Dugan had two points.

The girls moved on to play in the next elimination game. With just one game to win before the consolation game, and a possible challenge for second place at the tournament, DGS faced a familiar team, the Hays-Lodgepole Thunderbirds.

Hays-Lodgepole had lost in the semi-final to the eventual divisional champions, the Roy-Winifred Outlaws, and was forced into the loser-out bracket.

The tough Thunderbird team bested the Lady Bearcats once again, winning the game 40-24.

Thje Lady Beacats were winning the game throughout the first half, ending the first quarter ahead 9-5, then leading at halftime 18-17. But the Thunderbirds severely outscored the Lady Bearcats in the second half. The third quarter had the Thunderbirds score 11 points, while holding the Lady Bearcats to just two points. Similarly, in the fourth quarter, the Thunderbirds scored 12 and the Lady Bearcats scored four.

With the loss, the Lady Bearcats were knocked out of the tournament.

Sydney Von Bergen scored 11 points in the game, followed by Mariah Schott with five, Jessica Ayers with four, and Jessica Ayers and Adie Woodhall each had two points in the game.

While the Bearcats didn’t make it to the state tournament this year, getting into the extremely tough Northern C divisional tournament is a great accomplishment. The girls look to be back at the Northern C next season.