BC girls sting Stevis as Lalicker, Stajcar save the day

By Bruce Sayler

Kathryn Lalicker saved the day with game highs of 14 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and five steals, including one at the end of the game that rescued a 40-36 Butte Central girls’ basketball win over Stevensville Thursday night.
Arika Stajcar saved the day with three baskets from 3-point range, each one a big, key one, including the go-ahead points, at 37-36, with only 35 seconds left in the game. She also had seven rebounds.
The dramatic, suspenseful finish in the Southwestern A Conference game in the Maroon Activities Center even left BC head coach Quinn Carter almost breathless – but not speechless..
The Maroons had two seniors, Lalicker and Mollie Drew, and the sophomore Stajcar, and two eighth-graders, Kenzie McQueary and Zayonna Otherbull, on the floor when the last buzzer sounded. Two Maroons had fouled out.
Contributors came from across the spectrum.
“We’re so young, we don’t know any better,” Carter gasped, explaining how BC trailed for so much of the game, well into the second half, and pulled out the victory in a pressure scenario that included a technical foul on a, well, technicality.
“I can’t speak highly enough of our senior leaders who stepped up in the second half,” Carter said. “Kathryn Lalicker, on both ends, scoring and rebounding and defending and passing, and making that huge steal at the end.
‘Arika Stajcar made the biggest shots of her career tonight, every basket she made was a game-changer, but that last one really gave us the momentum and confidence we needed to finish the game.”
Holly St. Germain’s basket 17 seconds into the fourth quarter broke and 27-all tie and gave Stevensville the slight edge. Stajcar then buried her second 3-ball of the game and BC led by a point. Addi Drye scored on a jumper from just inside the 3-point arc and St. Germain netted a foul shot for a 32-30 Yellowjacket edge.
The teams swapped points to 34-all before 6-foot Shilo McLain Lampi tallied from inside and Stevi had the 36-34 lead with just under 2 minutes left on the clock. Stevensville didn’t score again.
Stajcar then arched in her last 3-pointer and Butte Central owned the lead. It was for good, but that wasn’t yet known and seemed shaky at best.
An inbounds play after an out-of-bounds call, saw the Yellowjackets have possession near midcourt. Carter sent in 6-1 freshman basketball rookie Rylee Forbes to defend against the inbounds pass. Forbes has never played basketball until this year, and wasn’t aware of the no-reaching-over-the-boundary-to-deflect-the-ball rule.
Consequently, she was called for a technical foul after not understanding the warning she received for committing the infraction, then repeating it.
“She didn’t know,” Carter said, acknowledging that it wasn’t something yet covered in practice. “She’s brand new, she’s fresh.
“But, she’s our tallest player and any coach in America would’ve done the same thing to defend against that inbounds pass.”
With 22 seconds left, Drye missed both free throws. Stevensville kept possession because of the technical and Lalicker swiped the inbounds pass. She dribbled rapidly down the court then veered away from the hoop, choosing to work more time off the clock instead of attempting the layup. Haylie Tolley fouled her and Lalicker made the first charity toss, but missed the second. Holly St. Germain snared the rebound for the Yellowjackets and the players raced to the other end. Lalicker blocked a Stevi shot attempt, then grabbed the loose ball and was fouled by Drye.
Lalicker sank both freebies with five seconds left and the Maroons had the win.
“I challenged the team at halftime,” Carter said, “because I didn’t like our first half.”
Stevensville led 9-4 after the first quarter and 18-12 at halftime.
“I’m super grateful for games like this because of the experience gained by our young players,” Carter said. “The calls, the situations, the ebb and flow, are all things we can’t simulate in practice. The beauty of our young team is that we’re learning as we go.”
Thursday night, they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to be poised in such a game-on-the-line situation. So, they were.
“Our eighth-graders, our freshmen, our sophomores really matured tonight,” Carter said. They did a super job.”
Drew scored 11 points to back Lalicker in the BC scoring totals. Arika Stajcar had nine, all on her 3-pointers. Foul-plagued McQueary tallied four points, Ali Stajcar and Marley Mansanti each caged a free throw, and Zayonna Otherbull and Forbes also saw court time.
The win gave Butte Central a sweep of its games with Stevensville. The Maroons will take their records of 2-11 overall and 2-3 in conference into their Saturday Southwestern A game at Hamilton.
Stevensville is 0-11 for the season, 0-4 in conference game. The Yellowjackets were led Thursday by Cheyenne Sannar with nine points. Drye notched eight points, and St. Germain and Lampi each scored seven. Lampi also had nine rebounds. The foul line was no friend of the Yellowjackets. They missed 16 times from there.
STEVENSVILLE (0-11, 0-4) – Holly St. Germain 2-8 3-8 7, Cheyenne Sannar 4-6 0-2 9, Haylie Tolley 0-3 3-4 3, Shilo McLain Lampi 3-12 1-4 7, Alex Perez 0-2 2-4 2, Addi Drye 4-13 0-3 8, Emma McKoy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-44 9-25 36.
BUTTE CENTRAL (2-11, 2-3) – Kathryn Lalicker 5-15 4-6 14, Ali Stajcar 0-2 1-2 1, Kenzie McQueary 1-4 2-2 4, Arika Stajcar 3-8 0-0 9, Mollie Drew 5-11 1-3 11, Marley Mansanti 0-0 1-2 1, Zayonna Otherbull 0-0 0-0 0, Rylee Forbes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-40 9-15 40.
Stevensville 9 9 9 9 – 36
Butte Central 4 8 15 13 – 40
3-point goals – Stevi 1-6 (St. Germaine 0-2, Sannar 1-1, Tolley 0-1, Lampi 0-1, Drye 0-1), BC 3-14 (Lalicker 0-3, Ali Stajcar 0-1, McQueary 0-1, Arika Stajcar 3-7, Drew 0-2). Fouled out – Perez, Mansanti, Ali Stajcar. Total fouls – Stevi 21, BC 21. Technical – Forbes. Rebounds – Stevi 32 (Lampi 9), BC 38 (Lalicker 15). Blocks – Stevi 2 (Lampi 2), BC 2 (Lalicker 2). Assists – Stevi 10 (Drye 4), BC 8 (Lalicker 7). Steals – Stevi 12 (St. Germaine 4), BC 10 (Lalicker 5). Turnovers – Stevi 18, BC 22.