Free throws lift Maroons to loser-out victory

Free throws lift Maroons to loser-out victory

HAMILTON — Butte Central saved its season from the free throw line.

Central hit 30 of 35 free throws Friday, and the Maroons beat Polson 40-47 in a loser-out game of the Western A Divisional girls’ basketball tournament.

BC advances to Saturday’s play, and the Maroons will have two chances to qualify for the Class A State tournament.

Central (15-9) will play at 11 a.m. against the loser of the Dillon-Columbia Falls semifinal game at Hamilton Middle School. A win in that game would send the Maroons to the third-place game at 5 p.m. on the Dale Berry Court. The loser of that game goes to the fifth-place game at the middle school. That game is also at 5.

For the first time, top five teams advance to the State tournament, which is March 9-12 in Missoula.

The Maroons jumped out to a 17-9 lead in the first quarter, and took a 27-17 lead into halftime. Polson made a couple of runs in the second half, but BC was able to hold on thanks to free throw shooting.

Sofee Thatcher scored 16 points to lead three BC players in double figures. Ella Moodry netted 15, and Brooke Badovinac tossed in 14.

Of the 45 points from those three players, 35 came from the free throw line. Moodry hit 11 of 12 free throws, Badovinac connected on 9 of 10, and Thatcher made 10 of 13.

Brenna Foley added two points for the Maroons, who connected for just eight field goals in the game. Payton Hartwick and Mollie Drew also contributed in the win.

Grace Simonich scored 10 points to lead Polson, which closes the season at 4-16. Areanna Burke hit three 3-pointers and scored nine points, and Lexi Wirz tossed in eight before fouling out.

POLSON (4-16) — Lexi Wirz 3 1-1 8, Turquoise Pierre 0 1-2 1, McKenna Hanson 1 0-0 2, Grace Simonich 4 2-4 10, Areanna Burke 3 0-0 9, Nikki Kendall 2 0-2 4, Javin Badbear 0 0-0 0, Julia Burnard 0 1-2 1, Jazlyn Dalbey 1 0-0 3, Ilysia Adams 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 5-11 40.
BUTTE CENTRAL (15-9) — Brenna Foley 1 0-0 2, Payton Hartwick 0 0-0 0, Brooke Badovinac 2 9-10 14, Ella Moodry 2 11-12 15, Sofee Thatcher 3 0-13 16, Mollie Drew 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 30-35 47.
Polson                           9        8         15          8 — 40
Butte Central             17        10        10        10 — 47

3-point goals — Polson 5 (Burke 3, Dalby, Wirz), BC 1 (Badovinac). Fouls — Polson 21, BC 7. Fouled out — Wirz.



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