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By Andi Bourne

Eagles Soar on Home Court


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

The Seeley Lake Elementary B Team were B Tournament Champions at their home tournament, Feb. 6. Front (L-R): Tru Good, Dani Sexton and Tara Cahoon. Middle (L-R): Grace Mercado, Hannah Ayers, Cierra Hinchey, Tia Good, Madison Debernardi. Back (L-R): Rowan McClure, Sariah Maughan, Trista Mackie-Wendel, Emily Maughan and Coach Jennifer Bosley.

SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake Elementary (SLE) hosted their annual double-elimination tournament Feb. 6. The SLE Eagles welcomed teams from Lincoln, Clinton, Drummond, Philipsburg and Charlo to participate in the B (fifth and sixth-graders) and A (seventh and eighth-graders) tournament. Charlo defended their title from last year winning the A tournament, while SLE took home the trophy this year in the B tournament.

While the tournament typically wraps up the season for the Eagles, this year they joined the Copper league and extended their season through the end of March.

The Eagles A team took their first loss of the season to Charlo in the tournament.

"Things have been going pretty good and we have been successful," said Head Coach for the A team Brett Haines. "We've been working on the fundamentals, dribble, pass and shoot and then defense. Trying to work on those aspects of the game to elevate their game for next year."

The B Team Head Coach Jennifer Bosley is very pleased with how well the fifth and sixth- graders have been playing this season. Bosley said they have are a fast team so they have been working on setting screens, fast breaks and pushing the ball.

Bosley said that they have only lost one game this season to Drummond. In a couple of the games they have scored 40 points which is really high at this level. And they have a strong defense.

"It has been a fun team. We have a lot of talented fifth and sixth-grade players. I'm looking forward coming together again next year."

A Tournament

Only Drummond, Charlo and SLE played in the A Tournament. SLE started the tournament off with back-to-back games.

Drummond was the first team they met. Klaire Kovatch led the Eagles in the first half scoring 10 of the Eagles' 14 points. They held the Trojans to 5 points.

In the second half, Kovatch continued her shooting success adding 4 more for the Eagles, while Bethany Hoag also stepped up with 4. The final score was 23-9 in favor of the Eagles.

The second game, the Eagles met the defending champions from the SLE Tournament last year, the Charlo Vikings. The Eagles matched their four points in the first half and kept the score within two baskets in the second half.

With 48 seconds left on the clock, eighth-grader Taylor Dillree made a steal that put the ball back in the Eagles' possession. Terra Bertsch cut in for a layup and drew the foul. At the line, Bertsch broke the tie and brought the Eagle's one point ahead of Charlo.

Charlo drew the foul with 30 seconds left on the clock and made both attempts. When the Eagles lost the ball because of travelling, they had no choice but to foul to get the ball back. Charlo was able to sink their next two shots and win the game 10-13.

"You have to give Charlo credit. They made four free throws in the end. They were down by one and won by three," said Haines. "We missed some opportunities throughout the game. Charlo came in fresh and were rotating 10 girls and I was rotating 8. Our girls played hard and it is what it is playing back-to-back after a tough game with Drummond getting pressed."

Each having a loss to Charlo, the Eagles and Trojans battled it out in a 10- minute game for second place. While the Eagles took an early lead, the Trojans quickly brought the score to within a basket for the last couple of minutes. In the end Bertsch was able to make a final layup, giving the Eagles the win 8-7.

B Tournament

The SLE B Team went undefeated for the tournament taking down Lincoln 31-2 and beating the Charlo Vikings twice 19-17 and 10-9.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Eighth-grade Eagle Terra Bertsch going for a layup and drew a foul from Charlo's defense during the A Tournament. After making the shot and one of her free throws she gave the Eagle's a one-point lead with 38 seconds left on the clock.

Emily Howard and Dani Sexton led the Eagles in scoring against Lincoln with 10 points each. In the Charlo games, Sariah Maughan, Cierra Hinchey and Trista Mackie-Wendel were the top scorers for the Eagles.

The championship game between the Eagles and the Vikings mirrored the first. Few points were scored and the game was within reach by either team. The first half ended with the Eagles again being up one-point, 7-6.

In the second half, the Eagles were able to pull away by 5 points, but the Vikings closed the gap to one point with less than a minute and a half left on the clock. Neither team were able to sink a shot making the final score 10-9 Eagles for the championship win.

"Charlo is mostly seventh-graders so our girls played great," said Bosley. "We are looking forward to playing them again at their tournament next weekend."

The Eagles travel to Charlo for a tournament Feb. 12 and 13. Their next home game is against Target Range, Tuesday, Feb. 16 starting at 4 p.m.


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