Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Lady Lions overcome Lady Loggers in Libby

| February 18, 2022 7:00 AM

Due to a mix-up, the Eureka Lions were late in arriving to take on the Libby boys and girls in basketball action at Ralph Tate Gymnasium on Feb. 11.

No problem. It gave the assembled crowd more time to take in the outstanding Libby High School pep band.

“Funkytown,” “Enter Sandman” and “Crazy Train,” some of the best tunes of the 70s, 80s and 90s. If you have never heard “Hooked on a Feeling” performed by a pep band, it’s worth a trip to a Loggers game. They even hit the opening vocals: “Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga.”

The basketball action that followed was just as intense. In a contest that featured aggressive play on both ends of the floor, fouls and turnovers as well as fumbling fingers plagued both teams. The Eureka Lady Lions defeated the Lady Loggers, 51-22.

Rylee Boltz’s bucket at 6:25 in the first quarter gave Libby an early 2-0 lead. Two Libby free throws and a solid man defense kept the game close early on. With 2:30 left, though, Eureka enjoyed a 7-4 advantage over Libby. The Lady Loggers would not score again until well into the second quarter.

“We played man defense the whole game,” said Libby coach Todd Boehmler. “We’re getting better. The girls did a nice job slipping through screens and denying cutters to the basket.”

Two Maddie Vincent conversions and Boltz’s steal and layup were all the offense the Lady Loggers would muster in the second quarter. The Lady Lions’ 2-2-1 half-court trap also began taking its toll on the Lady Loggers, creating multiple turnovers.

The teams went in at halftime with Eureka leading 27-10.

“Turnovers and problems shooting the ball have plagued us all season,” Boehmler said. “That will change as the girls gain more experience.”

For the game, the Lady Loggers suffered 28 turnovers and shot at 27 percent.

The third quarter saw Sidney Rusdal’s crossover layup and teammate Taylor Munro’s offensive rebound and put back create Libby’s only points. The Lady Lions’ lead, meanwhile, continued to grow. They held a 38-14 advantage over Libby at the quarter’s end.

Eureka added to that margin during the fourth quarter. Despite the lopsided score, Boehmler praised his players for continuing to fight.

“Our girls sure play hard,” he said. “They don’t hang their head; they don’t quit.”

He highlighted the efforts of Munro, who had six points combined with seven rebounds, and Rusdal in particular. Rusdal earned two points for the Lady Loggers during the tough matchup.

“[Munro] played a solid game,” he said. “[Rusdal] gave us quality minutes off the bench.”

Boltz emerged as the team’s top scorer, putting away seven points for the Lady Loggers.

Eureka: 13 14 11 13 - 51

Libby: 4 6 4 8 - 22