St. Regis Lady Tigers hold off Darby, 36-33

Valley press | January 6, 2021 12:00 AM

Last year, the St. Regis girls basketball team was a very young team with only one senior on the roster.

This year, they are still a young team with only one senior on the roster, but they are more experienced and gritty if their opening game is an indicator.

The Lady Tigers traveled to Darby Saturday night to take on the Lady Tigers from that school and came away with a hard-fought 36-33 win in coach Buffy Cheesman’s first game at the helm.

St. Regis used a balanced scoring attack in the first quarter to take a 14-6 lead after the first eight minutes of play.

In the opening quarter they got four points each from forward Grace King, the team’s lone senior, and junior Taylor Hurd.

However, the second quarter belonged to Darby, as it outscored St. Regis 12-7 to pull within three, 21-18 at the half.

Baylee Pruitt, who missed most of last year with knee injuries, sank a 3-pointer in the third quarter and was joined by two points each from King, Hurd and Macy Hill for a 9-6 quarter advantage and a six-point lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.

Some key misses at the free throw line and timely shooting by Darby kept the final outcome in doubt until the very end.

St. Regis sank just four of nine free throw attempts in the last quarter, allowing Darby to close the gap with time running out.

Hurd scored the lone St. Regis basket of the quarter and the four successful free throw attempts, two by King and two by Hill, helped hold the line and give St. Regis a confidence boosting opening win.

St. Regis made 13 of 25 of its free throw attempts during the game.

Coach Cheesman, while acknowledging the misses from the charity stripe were a problem, was encouraged by the grit shown by her young squad.

“They played through adversity in a gym full of fans cheering against them,” Cheesman said. “They played smart, disciplined basketball, especially for a group of girls with only one senior.

“We need to work on better ball movement and we will be shooting more free throws this week.”'

Hill paced the St. Regis attack with 10 points, while Hurd and King chipped in eight each. Pruitt added seven points in her return to the court.

The Lady Tigers next game is scheduled for Friday against Hot Springs, in St. Regis. They then head down the road the next evening for a road game with Mineral County rival Clark Fork, in Superior.