Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lady Bulldogs hold their standing after weekend’s split performance

Last week, Hardin’s varsity girls competed in two non-conference games playing against teams from Class B Lodge Grass and Class AA Billings West, winning the first and losing the second.

With these games finished, the Lady Bulldogs’ overall record in Eastern Class A moves to 11-5 with their conference record remaining the same at 7-2.

Hardin will host Miles City on Feb. 19 for their last conference game of the season before the Feb. 25 divisional tournament.

“We’ve got to get one here at home,” said Head Coach Cindy Farmer, “[Miles City] is our last conference game and we’re sitting in second right now. We could tie for first or second.”

Lodge Grass

With 41 team rebounds and 22 steals, Hardin’s Lady Bulldogs gained their 11th win of the season after Friday’s non-conference game against Lodge Grass’ Lady Indians.

The Bulldogs finished in victory 37 points ahead at 69-32.

“We came out at home with more intensity and better defense,” said Farmer. “We got easy baskets to start off with and that just carried over in all aspects of their play.”

In three of the four quarters – the first, second and fourth – the Lady Bulldogs kept the Lady Indians from scoring more than 10 points.

The first quarter ended with a 7-point Bulldog lead over Lodge Grass at 6-13.

At the end of the second, the Bulldogs had gained an additional 16 points, 9 more than the Lady Indians’ 7, taking the halftime score to 29-13.

In the third quarter, the Lady Bulldogs extended the lead scoring another 18 points – 7 more than Lodge Grass’ 11 – bringing the Bulldog lead to 47-24, a 23-point differential.

In the fourth quarter, Hardin’s Nechia House, after successfully shooting a 3-pointer, scored another 4 points off of two consecutive steals for a total of 7 points.

“That was good instinct and reaction,” Farmer said, “just anticipating where they were going to pass it.”

By the end of the quarter, the Bulldogs brought in another 22 points, including House’s score – 14 more than Lodge Grass’ 8 – ending the competition and bringing in the 69-32 Bulldog victory.

Notably, the Lady Bulldogs shot eight of thirteen 3-pointers, or 61 percent, which is their highest 3-point shot percentage this season.

“That was better than our 2-point field goal percentage,” Farmer said. “We only shot 29 percent from the field goal.”

Point leaders for the Lady Bulldogs were Nechia House, Madisan Chavez, Aubrey Meiwald and Sharmayne Hardy. House finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four steals. Chavez followed with 14 points, three rebounds and five steals. Meiwald finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and two steals and Hardy finished with 10 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals.

Billings West

The Jan. 26 game against Billings West ended in a 73-50 Bulldog loss.

On Feb. 12, again unable to defeat Billings West, the Lady Bulldogs trailed behind by 4 points at 43-47.

The first quarter ended with Billings West in the lead, 3 points ahead of the Bulldogs at 13-16.

With the Bulldogs scoring 12 additional points in the second quarter – 6 points more than Billings West’s 6 – the lead changed into the Bulldogs’ favor going into halftime with the score at 25-22.

“We came out with intensity on defense,” said Farmer, “They played good defense too, but we were actually being able to capitalize and hit some shots.”

In the third quarter, the Bulldogs reduced their average score-per-quarter, gaining only 7 points to Billing West’s 12, taking the score to 32-34 in favor of Billings West.

“We have to start the third quarter with more intensity,” said Farmer. “Usually the third quarters are not one of our stronger quarters.”

In the final quarter, the Bulldogs managed to gain an additional 11 points, 2 behind Billings West’s 13. Unable to finish with the lead, the Lady Bulldogs suffered their sixth overall loss.

“Still, against Billings West, them outscoring us by 4 is a lot better than having a quarter where we get blown out,” Farmer said. “After [the third and fourth] quarters, we were right there, but we didn’t hit our free throws.”

Point leaders for the Lady Bulldogs were Karissa DuShane, Madisan Chavez and Evanna Wallace. DuShane finished with 14 points, one assist and three steals. Chavez and Wallace each finished with 8 points. Sharmayne Hardy also contributed six assists.