By Bill Foley
It might be hard for Montana Tech coach Carly Sanon to know exactly how well her Montana Tech women’s basketball team played in Saturday’s season opener.
The competition level of the visiting Centurions of Yellowstone Christian College certainly doesn’t match up to the Frontier Conference.
The Orediggers, though, looked about as impressive as you could expect, and then some. Tech jumped out to a 19-2 lead and never trailed in a 102-32 victory at the HPER Complex. Stats
“There was a lot of things we did well tonight,” Sanon said. “I’m really happy with how we played.”
The Orediggers saw 13 players score points, including Kaylynn Coverdell’s game-high 15 points. Coverdell also grabbed seven rebounds.
“Kaylynn came out and had a great night for us,” Sanon said. “She’s a two-year starter coming into this, and she really stepped up. She’s really stepping into that leadership role.”
Shay Potter and Sammy McGree each scored 10 points, while Hannah Sparks, Kourtney Coverdell, Adriane Horn, Bailey Armburster and Kaylee Zard each scored nine points.
Zard also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds as the Orediggers out boarded the Centurions 36-23. Mesa Williams, who scored six points, Kaylynn Coverdell and Potter each grabbed seven.
Sanon pointed to the play of McGree, who returned late last season after suffering a gruesome knee injury late in her freshman season.
“It was good to see Sammy McGree back,” the coach said. “In the last week I’ve started to see a lot of glimpses of what she was like her freshman year.”
Sparks, who dished out seven assists, is also coming off an ACL tear suffered early last season.
“She did a very good job tonight,” Sanon said of Sparks. “As you can tell, she’s very athletic. She gets after it on the defensive end.”
Yellowstone Christian, which only had seven players on the team, played zone defense the entire game.
Sanon said she doesn’t expect to see much zone this season because the Orediggers can shoot well, which was evident with their 11 3-pointers on the night. Horne hit three, while McGree and the Coverdell twins each hit two.
Freshman Mollie Peoples scored seven points off the bench, while Monica Landdeck joined Williams with six. Madison Akers scored two, and Tjaden Pallister scored one. Hailey Crawford also contributed in the win.
Crawford and Williams are true freshmen, while Horn and Pallister are redshirt freshmen.
Sanon said turnovers and rebounding are areas where the Orediggers need work. The team turned the ball over 17 times, including 11 in the second half. Yellowstone Christian grabbed nine offensive rebounds.
“Those are the two things that we struggled with tonight, but it was good for them to see it against somebody else,” Sanon said. “It’s something we really have to work on. We’re small, we’re fast, but we’ve got to box out and get rebounds.”
Taneil Poitier led Yellowstone Christian with 10 points.
All-in-all, Sanon declared Saturday a good night.
“There’s a lot of things we need to work on, but we’re happy to get out of here at 1-0,” she said.
The Orediggers play again Thursday when the Northwest Indian College comes to town.