Big Sky girls hang on for All-Star victory

The opener of the Southwest Montana All-Star Basketball Classic felt like anything but an All-Star game Wednesday night.

The Big Sky All-Stars, a team made up of six players from the Mining City, held on to knock off the Treasure-State All-Stars 59-58 in a game that went down to the wire at the Maroon Activities Center.

In the end, the game came down to a missed free throw with 2.1 seconds left that ended the come-back hopes of the Treasure State squad that trailed by 11 points in the second half.

Alex Rouse of Dillon hit a 3-pointer to put Treasure State up 5-2 early in the first quarter. That was the last time Treasure state led.

Janessa Williams of Jefferson High School in Boulder sank a 3-pointer to tie the game and spark a 10-0 Big Sky run.

Big Sky led 18-9 after the first 10-minute quarter. The team took a 37-28 lead into halftime.

Williams opened the third quarter with a bucket that made it a 39-28 Big Sky lead.

Then, the Treasure State, coached by former Anaconda state champions Ali Hurley and Lisa Laslovich, made a run.

Dillon star Cierra Lamey hit a free throw before scoring off a nice pass from Rouse for a bucket to start a 9-0 Treasure State run that cut the lead to 41-37.

Big Sky slowed Treasure State’s momentum when Williams, Butte Central’s Emily St. John and Butte High’s Abby Dodge hit buckets to extend the lead back to 45-37. Big Sky took a 46-39 lead into the fourth.

Treasure State continued to cut the lead in the final frame, even though Big Sky, coached by Ted Ackersman and Jordan Kambich-McIntyre, kept coming up with answered.

When the lewd was cut to 49-45 on a free throw by Twin Bridges’ Cassidy Wetzel, Butte High’s McKaul Ori drove for a bucket.

When Dillon’s Audrey Schurg cut the lead to 51-47, Williams answered with a bucket.

When Schurg took a nice pass from Harrison’s Britt Cooper to make it a 53-51 lead, Ori drained a 3-pointer.

Treasure State eventually pulled within 58-57 when Lamey sank a pair of free throws with 22.2 seconds left. Emily St. John hit one of two free throws with 20 second left to make it 59-57.

Lamey’s saw a game-tying shot bounce just out on the other side of the court, and Twin Bridges’ Megan Martin grabbed the rebound and was fouled.

Her first free throw bounced out, and she nailed the second one.

Treasure State couldn’t get a foul called in time, and the clock ran out.

Williams scored a team-leading 12 points in the victory. She was one of 10 Treasure State players to dent the score book.

Ori scored 10 points, while St. John tossed in seven. Big Sky also got six points from Butte Central’s Sierra Pica, five from fellow Maroon Mollie Peoples and Dodge, four apiece from Whitehall’s Aubree Simon and Deer Lodge’s Natalie Padovich and Kelsie Gray and two from Boulder’s Richelle Powers.

Butte Central’s Kloie Thatcher also contributed for the Big Sky All-Stars.

Dillon’s three players combined to score 33 points to lead Treasure State. Lamey tossed in a game-high 14 points, while Rouse, who won the 3-point contest during halftime of the boys’ game, scored 10 and Schurg tossed in nine.

Martin scored seven, while Anaconda’s Tyler Baustadt and Molly Huber joined Wetzel with four points.

Also, Harrison’s Taya DeFrance and Twin Bridges’ Julia Cox tossed in two, and Anaconda’s Khali Knadler and Cooper each scored one.

Harrison’s Alecia Panagakis also played for the Treasure State team.

Tyler Baustadt 1 2-2 4, Khali Knadler 0 1-2 1, Molly Huber 2 0-0 4, Cierra Lamey 5 4-6 14, Audrey Schurg 4 0-5 9, Alex Rouse 4 1-2 10, Julia Cox 1 0-0 2, Megan Martin 2 3-4 7, Cassidy Wetzell 1 2-5 4, Britt Cooper 0 1-4 1, Alecia Panagakis 0 0-0 0, Taya DeFrance 1 0-2 2. Totals 21 14-32 58.
Emily St. John 2 1-2 7, Mollie Peoples 2 0-0 5, Kloie Thatcher 0 0-0 0, Sierra Pica 3 0-1 6, McKaul Ori 3 2-4 10, Abby Dodge 2 1-3 5, Janessa Williams 6 0-0 12, Richelle Powers 1 0-0 2, Aubree Simon 2 0-0 4, Natalie Padovich 1 1-2 4, Kelsie Gray 2 0-0 4. Ttotals 25 5-12 59.
Treasure State           9          19        11        19 — 58
Big Sky                       17        20        9          13 — 59
3-point goals — Treasure State 2 (Schurg, Rouse), Big Sky 4 (Ori 2, Peoples, Padovich). Fouled out — none.

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