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Lady Hawks stay unbeaten

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | January 12, 2022 12:00 AM

It’s one thing to be the only team around with an unbeaten record, and quite another to be the only team around who whupped Mother Nature.

The Thompson Falls Lady Hawks took care of the Earthly part of things this past Tuesday when they kept their season record unblemished by outlasting a determined St. Ignatius team 55-43 in a Western 7B Conference basketball game.

A few hours later they slipped past Mother Nature, or Old Man Winter, which ever you prefer, a potent winter storm swept through the region.

With nature poised to unleash a schedule scrambling snow storm in a few hours, the Lady Hawks took care of business on their home court. In so doing, they upped their overall season record to 7-0 and their Conference mark to 3-0 to remain a half-game behind Bigfork, which has also yet to lose.

The two teams collide tonight (Tuesday, Jan 11) on the Lady Hawks home court in what may be the game of the year so far in Western Montana high school hoops.

To keep their record perfect, Thompson Falls had to hold off a gritty St. Ignatius squad which fell behind early but would not fold under the withering pressure of the T Falls defense.

With the Lady Hawks front line of senior Maliyah LeCoure along with juniors Ellie Baxter and Avery Burgess controlling the rebounding situation at both ends of the court, the Lady Hawks pulled away midway through the first quarter on their way to a 15-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play.

But the Lady Bulldogs, who are now 3-3 on the year and 2-3 in Western 7B action, would not go away and trimmed three points off the Thompson Falls lead before halftime by outscoring the Lady Hawks 9-6 in the second stanza.

Trailing 21-17 heading into the second half, the visitors from the Mission battled hard but could not overcome Thompson Falls’ depth and height advantage.

The Lady Hawks also cranked up their offense a bit in the third quarter behind the shooting of Baxter and inside scoring from LeCoure and Burgess.

At the end of quarter number three, Thompson held a 39-29 lead, a margin that would hold up the rest of the game. The final eight minutes of play were more of the basket-for-basket trading between the two teams.

When the final horn sounded, the Lady Hawks were up by 12.

Baxter had a solid night on both ends of the court and wound up as the game’s leading scorer with 17 points. Fellow front-liners LeCoure and Burgess chipped in with 14 and 10 points respectively.

Shortly after the game ended, the light snow that had been falling throughout the evening started coming down with more authority. Eventually the storm that swept through would cause postponements and cancellations throughout the region.

Included in those games now needing to be re-scheduled were boys and girls games against Eureka, which had been set for Friday, January 7.

Now the Lady Hawks await tonight’s match-up with Bigfork in a battle for the conference lead as the second half of the season gets underway.

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