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Valkyries vanquish Broncs

Feb. 24—BUTTE — Bigfork might have had a little more trouble than usual with Frenchtown Saturday, in the Western A girls basketball title game.

The Valkyries still reign.

Braeden Gunlock scored 17 points and Bigfork opened the second half with a 10-0 run on the way to beating Frenchtown 41-29 in the Butte Civic Center.

Ava Davey added 11 points for the Vals (20-1), who avenged their only loss of the season, a 40-37 setback in Frenchtown in December.

Bigfork, Frenchtown (19-2), Dillon and Browning are all headed back to Butte in two weeks: The top four teams made the State A tournament March 7-9.

It's especially impressive for Bigfork, which a year ago went 22-0 and won the State B crown.

Bigfork 41, Frenchtown 29

The Vals led just 17-14 at halftime, but took command in the third quarter starting with a putback by Davey that made it 19-14. Gunlock's 15-footer made it 22-14, and she converted an offensive rebound into a three-point play and a 27-14 lead at 2:27 of the quarter.

Bigfork led 31-17 going to the final quarter and kept that margin through most of it.

Sadie Smith led Frenchtown with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Championship

Bigfork 13 4 14 10 — 41

Frenchtown 10 4 3 12 — 29

BIGFORK — Ava Davey 3-6 3-4 11, Afton Lambrecht 0-3 1-2 1, Braeden Gunlock 4-9 9-11 17, Paeten Gunlock 1-10 4-4 7, Callie Gembala 2-6 0-0 4, Keni Wade 0-6 1-2 1, Haley Schara 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 10-42 18-23 41.

FRENCHTOWN — Mason Quinn 2-8 1-4 5, Madi Kaufman 0-7 4-6 4, Heather Haskins 1-6 0-0 3, Maya Skiner 1-2 1-2 3, Sadie Smith 5-11 2-5 12, Haylee Kaufman 1-4 0-0 2, Bailey Hansen 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Lucier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-38 9-19 29.

3-point goals — Bigfork 3-17 (Davey 2-3, P. Gulock 1-6), Frenchtown 0-7. Rebounds — Bigfork 29 (Lambrecht 8, Gembala 7), Frenchtown 29 (Smith 14). Fouls — Bigfork 17, Frenchtown 20. Fouled out — Quinn, M.Kaufman. Turnovers — Bigfork 13, Frenchtown 17.

Dillon 49, Browning 38

Browning led 31-26 on Sugar Spoonhunter's two free throws late in the third quarter. From there, though, it was almost all Dillon (18-4).

Halle Fitzgerald's 3-pointer with 5:45 left in the game gave Dillon the lead for good, 33-31; with 2:40 remaining she hit her third three to cap an 18-2 surge and make it 44-33.

Kenleigh Graham led the Beavers 13 points and eight rebounds. Jerel White Grass topped Browning (15-7) with nine points and seven boards. Spoonhunter had eight points.

Third place

Browning 11 11 9 7 — 38

Dillon 17 5 7 20 — 49

BROWNING — Natalee St. Goddard 1-2 0-0 2, Sugar Spoonhunter 2-6 4-6 8, Amari Calf Robe 2-5 0-0 5, Jerel White Grass 4-9 1-2 9, Kalcie Connelly 0-2 0-2 0, Teslin Trombley 3-6 0-0 7, Shaylee Heavy Runner 0-2 0-0 0, Tashlyn Lazy Boy 2-3 0-0 5, Peyton Eagle Feathers 0-0 0-0 0, Brooke Blue 0-1 0-0 0, Oceanna Arnoux 0-1 0-0 0, Josey Michael 0-1 2-4 2. Totals 14-38 7-14

DILLON — Kenleigh Graham 3-6 6-11 13, Sydney Peterson 4-10 3-4 12, Kylie Konen 2-6 1-1 5, Halle Fitzgerald 3-12 0-0 9, Leila Stennerson 1-4 1-2 4, Kinzy Creighton 0-0 0-0 0, Josie Robbins 2-3 0-0 6, Abbi Lemelin 0-0 0-0 0, Sage Tash 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-42 12-18.

3-point goals — Browning 3-10 (Lazy Boy 1-2, Trombley 1-2, Calf Robe 1-3, White Gras 0-2, Spoonhunter 0-1), Dillon 7-16 (Fitzgerald 3-7, Graham 1-2, Petersen 1-4, Robbins 2-2, Stennerson 0-1). Rebounds — Browning 27 (White Grass 7), Dillon 21 (Graham 8). Fouls — Browning 16, Dillon 11. Turnovers — Browning 23, Dillon 16.

Browning 55, Columbia Falls 50

The Lady Indians improved to 3-0 against Columbia Falls this season, but it took an old-fashioned three-point play from Sugar Spoonhunter to give them a little breathing room.

Spoonhunter steal and conversion opened up a 45-41 Browning lead with 5:30 left, and the Wildkats (10-11) couldn't keep pace. Jerel White Grass' basket down low made it 51-43 with 2:00 remaining, and clinched Browning's berth into the State A tournament.

White Grass finished with 16 points, to go with six rebounds.

Hope McAtee had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildkats, and Taryn Borgen chipped in 11 points. It was Cary Finberg's final game as the Kats' head coach: He finished with a career record of 235-67 with the girls. His combined coaching record for the boys and girls is 533-201.

Browning 10 10 18 17 — 55

C-Falls 8 10 19 13 — 50

BROWNING — Natalee St. Goddard 4, Sugar Spoonhunter 6, Amari Calf Robe 4, Jerel White Grass 16, Kalcie Connelly 5, Teslin Trombley 7, Shaylee Heavy Runner 6, Tashlyn Lazy Boy 2, Brooke Blue 2, Josey Michael 2.

COLUMBIA FALLS — Hope McAtee 13, Taryn Borgen 11, Emalee Alton 4, Demye Rensel 6, Onnikka Lawrence 7, Addy Bowler 2, Ellie Stutsman 7.

Dillon 69, Ronan 33

Halle Fitzgerald shot 6 of 7 from the arc and scored 20 points for Dillon, which led 45-18 at halftime.

Ronan was led by Kailyn Marengo's nine points. Lauryn Buhr added seven, and the Maidens finished up 9-14.

Ronan 8 10 6 9 — 33

Dillon 28 17 15 9 — 69

RONAN — Maddy Illig 5, Lauryn Buhr 7, Arianna Zepeda 2, Kailyn Marengo 9, Ernastine Tapia-Torosian 3, Kylee Kelch 4, Neveah Perez 3.

DILLON — Kenleigh Graham 14, Sydney Petersen 10, Kylie Konen 9, Halle Fitzgerald 20, Leila Stennerson 2, Kinzy Creighton 4, Josie Robbions 3, Sage Tash 7.