By Derek Hendrickson
For the second straight day there was a battle of the Broncs in the quarterfinals of the Western A Divisional, this time it was the ladies and this time Frenchtown came out with a win, 42-26 over Hamilton. Stat sheet
The key was the full court pressure and zone defense employed by Frenchtown, which allowed them to build a 22-9 halftime lead after outscoring Hamilton 11-1 in the second quarter.
Frenchtown didn’t let up early in the second half as they continued their run into the third quarter, running over 3 minutes off the clock before Hamilton was able to score, cutting the lead to 26-11.
Hamilton did get a brief boost when they hit back-to-back triples and got buckets down low for a 10 point run to cut the deficit to 30-21 late in the third.
Alivia Williams hit a last second three to push the lead back to double digits after the third quarter and Frenchtown was able to regain control with a 10 point push of their own.
Hamilton attempted to use its own full court pressure but Frenchtown was able to break the pressure much more effectively and get higher percentage looks at the hoop throughout the game.
Hamilton graduated the vast majority of their key contributors from last season’s state championship team but had high hopes after playing the undefeated Butte Central Lady Maroons relatively close in both of their encounters this year.
Frenchtown moves on to the semifinals where they will await the winner of this afternoon’s Butte Central/Polson matchup.
Hamilton will have their work cut out of them and will need to win two games to have a shot at the consolation game and the state tournament. They will match up against the loser of the aforementioned BC/Polson game.
Frenchtown was led by Emilie Hinrichs who had 12 and was joined by Williams in double figures as she tossed in 10.
Hamilton’s offensive struggles prevented them from getting a double digit scorer. Breann Duce and Kloie Nye both had 8 for the defending state champs.