Carroll women turn back Orediggers

Carroll College guard Bailey Pasta strips the ball from Montana Tech's Callee Remsen as Remsen drives in the key Thursday night at the HPER Complex. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bill Foley

Every time the Montana Tech women’s basketball team made a run Thursday night, the No. 5 Carroll College Saints had an answer.

For the second time this season, the Saints had enough to hold off a hard-charging Oredigger squad for a 65-59 Frontier Conference win. This time it was at the HPER Complex. Stats

Like too many times this season, the Orediggers played on the wrong side of the scoreboard almost the entire game after the Saints outscored Tech 20-12 in the first quarter.

Tech, which trailed by as much as 11 points, battled back repeatedly, but trailed almost every second of the game.

“I think the big thing is we’re playing every game coming from behind,” Montana Tech coach Carly VanDyke-Sanon said. “That’s just stressful because you get tighter on all your shots, every defensive play is so important and the mistakes you make are so much more.

“We need to get the lead, stay in the lead, and then we can relax. Playing from behind is just so hard.”

A Oredigger run tied the game at 30 with 2 minutes, 55 seconds left in the second quarter when Martha Dembek pulled up to drain a 3-pointer on a break.

Callee Remsen hit a pair of free throws to give the Orediggers a 32-30 advantage, but it didn’t last long.

Baylee Watson sank a pair of free throws to tie the game at 32 with 1:19 left before halftime. Then Cassidy Hashley scored on a put back to put the Saints on top for good at 34-32 with 40 seconds left.

Carroll took a 37-32 lead into halftime, and the Saints led 46-42 after three.

The Orediggers cut the lead to two points several times in the last frame, the last time when Kourtney Coverdell hit a jumper with 14.1 seconds left to make it a 61-59 game.

The Saints, though, iced the win with four free throws in the final seconds.

Katie Estey scored 19 points to lead three Saints in double figures. Watson scored 15, while Hashley tossed in 13.

Butte High graduates Sammy McGree and Hattie Thatcher paced the Orediggers. McGree tossed in 15 points, while Thatcher added 14 points to go along with nine assists.

Rachel Farris added 10 points for the Orediggers, who also eight points from Kourtney Coverdell, six from Dembeck, four from Kaylynn Coverdell and two from Remsen.

The teams tied in rebounding with 39 apiece. That is a far cry from the Dec. 3 Carroll win in Helena that saw the Saints outboard the Orediggers 58-27 in a 68-63 win in Helena.

“In the second half we only let them have six offensive boards,” VanDyke-Sanon said. “As small as we are I thought we did a good job. They destroyed us on the boards last time.”

This time, it was turnovers that sank the Orediggers.

“We had 18 turnovers,” VanDyke-Sanon said. “We were shooting the ball well. We were shooting the ball well from the three, we just can’t turn it over.”

VanDye-Sanon also pointed to the play of the Saints as a factor in the Carroll win.

“They’re No. 5 in the country for a reason,” the coach said. “They’re a good team.”

Montana Tech is back on the road next week when the Orediggers take on Montana Western and Rocky Mountain College.

Despite falling to 1-7 in conference and 5-14 overall, VanDyke-Sanon said she sees strides in her team.

“We’re getting better and better,” she said. “We started three freshman. We’re young, but we keep improving every day. We’re getting there.”

The Saints improved to 6-2 in league play and 16-2 overall.



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