By Derek Hendrickson
LIVINGSTON — The Lady Rangers from Park High exacted some revenge Saturday evening in Livingston, holding on to beat the Lady Maroons, 52-47 in a competitive non-conference game.
Sophomore Sierra Higgs keyed a fourth quarter run by sinking two free throws to put Park up 41-40 midway through the final frame and then on the ensuing possession came up with a steal and breakaway layup, giving the Lady Rangers the momentum and a lead they would not relinquish. The win avenged a lopsided 53-34 loss to Central at the MAC on Jan. 10.
The Maroons seemed to just be a play or two away from taking command on several occasions, the last time when freshman Mollie Peoples had a steal and uncontested layup of her own right before Higgs stole center stage. Peoples and sophomore Teresa Piazzola both turned in strong performances with double figures in both points and rebounds. Peoples scored 13 and snared 12 boards, 10 of which came in the first half. Piazzola led the Maroons with 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Central owned the glass, out-rebounding Park 42-25 for the game. But the Lady Rangers made up for that by forcing 20 Lady Maroon turnovers, several of which set up easy points. Park only had 11 turnovers of their own. The glaring stat was the Maroons missing 15 of 26 foul shots, many of which came after their hard work on the offensive boards.
Sophomore Ryan Trudnowski, who had 13 points in the first meeting, was saddled with foul trouble throughout, picking up her third halfway through the second quarter and her fourth almost immediately in the final stanza. She was a force when she was able to stay in the game, putting up 9 points and swiping down six boards.
The Maroons were without regulars Sierra Pica, who was out with an illness, and Rylee Green, sidelined with an ankle injury.
Central seemed poised to dominate again as in the first few moments of the game they grabbed 4 offensive rebounds and drew 4 free throws but couldn’t connect on any of the putbacks or charity shots. The Lady Maroons found themselves down after the first 11-10 and at the break 23-19. Central shot just 3-10 from the line in the first half and committed 12 of their turnovers. Park hit for 7 of 8 on the stripe and only had five giveaways.
The Maroons struggled to find any scoring outside of Piazzola, Peoples and Trudnowski. Senior Shelby Paffhausen scored five but included a last second three pointer that only served to cut into the insurmountable lead. Sophomore Lacey McGree scored two, senior Chandra McCurdy, sophomore Kate Ossello and freshman Taylor Wahl all chipped in one point each as Central fell to 5-11 with the loss.
Park moved to 3-11 with the win, getting a more balanced attack that was led by junior guard Megan Schoenen who put up 14 points after not scoring in Butte earlier this year. Meadown Ingram put in 6, Meghan Gibson tossed in 5, Chelsea Woods, ALyssa Bergsing and Mariel Kelley all had 4 and Hailey Peterson added two.
Central will return to action on Saturday when they hit the highway for the Bitterroot and a game versus Corvallis. The Maroons won the first meeting 44-32 at the MAC on Jan. 18 in a game Paffhausen had one of her better efforts, scoring a team high 13 points.
BUTTE CENTRAL (5-11)
Chandra McCurdy 0 1-5 1, Teresa Piazzola 4 7-10 15, Shelby Paffhausen 2 0-0 5, Ryan Trudnowski 4 1-4 9, Emily St. John 0 0-0 0, Kate Ossello 0 1-3 1, Mollie Peoples 6 0-0 13, Taylor Wahl 0 1-2 1, Lacey McGree 1 0-2 2. Totals 17 11-26 47.
Meghan Gibson 1 3-4 5, Sierra Higgs 5 2-2 13, Megan Schoenen 3 6-6 14, Meadow Ingram 1 4-4 6, Mariel Kelley 2 0-0 4, Brittini Phipps 0 0-0 0, Hailey Peterson 1 0-0 2, Emily Cornell 0 0-0 0, Sabrina Durnez 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Bergsing 2 0-1 4, Chelsea Woods 1 2-4 4. Totals 16 17-21 34.
Central 10 9 13 15 — 47
Livingston 11 12 11 18 — 52
3-point goals — Livingston 3 (Higgs 2, Schoenen), BC 2 (Paffhausen, Peoples). Fouls — Livingston 21, BC 22. Rebounds — Livingston 25 (Schoenen, Ingram 6), BC 45 (Peoples 12, Piazzola 10) . Assists— Livingston 6 (Gibson, Shoenen, Woods 2), BC 4 (St. John 2). Blocks — Livingston 5 (Higgs, Kelley 2), BC 3 (Paffhausen, Peoples, Trudnowski). Steals — Livingston 3 (Shoenen, Woods, Kelley), BC 6 (Paffhausen 3). Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.