Hardin grinds down Miles City, outshoots Glendive for two victories

Thursday, January 24, 2019
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Photo by Julie O'Dell

Hardin center Marie Five maintains her guard Saturday during a game with Glendive’s Red Devils. By the end, she led her team both in rebounds and steals.

Article Image Alt Text

Photo by Julie O’Dell

Guard Kamber Good Luck of the Lady Bulldogs searches for the right spot to pass against Glendive’s Red Devils. Kamber tied for the top shooter against Glendive at 13 points.

Hardin’s Lady Bulldog basketball team took down the Miles City Cowgirls Friday in a close, hard-fought away game – making up for lack of shooting accuracy through sheer volume of rebounds. 

In their 36-31 victory, the Ladies caught their highest amount of rebounds so far this season at 43; twenty-six of them were on offense. The Cowgirls, according to Hardin Head Coach Cindy Farmer, only caught about two offensive rebounds.
“Miles City is pretty aggressive on defense and we just weren’t taking care of the basketball,” said Hardin Head Coach Cindy Farmer. “It was a grind.”

Despite the Ladies’ relatively low, 25-percent shot average for the game, she expressed pride in their efforts to push forward. 

Miles City pulled ahead at halftime 17-14, causing Hardin to respond with – in Farmer’s estimation – a “much cleaner” second half. By the end of the third quarter, the Ladies took the lead once again at 26-22.

“They’re quick, they’re in-your-face,” Farmer said of the Cowgirls. “We had to match that, and it took a while to shift gears and get in that mold.”

Hardin’s final quarter, which ended 10-9 for the team, should have concluded with a much larger separation, Farmer said.  Once the Cowgirls began fouling them to slow down the game, however, the Ladies’ free throw average dropped to three of 11. Farmer always aims for a free throw average of 60 to 70 percent, but for this game, it ended at 35 percent.

Basket-related challenges aside, team center Marie Five managed a double-double as both the top shooter and top rebounder for Hardin at 11 in each category. Coming in second for team points was guard Kamber Good Luck with 10 and in second for rebounds was post Bergan Realbird with six.

Saturday’s home game against Glendive’s Lady Red Devils, according to Farmer, went “much better” than the match-up with the Cowgirls, ending with a 43-29 victory for the Ladies. While the Cowgirls maintained a full-court press, she said, the Red Devils didn’t press, but “were fundamentally sound” on defense.

Hardin point guard Ivery Fritzler, Farmer said, did an effective job of pointing out Glendive’s defensive strategies and adjusting accordingly “instead of just trying to rush things.”

“Our theme is that we’ve got to have a good first quarter,” she said. “We’ve got to come out, be aggressive, be intense and set the tone early – we did.”

Hardin shot ahead 11-6 going into second period and maintained the lead throughout the game. For the third-quarter score, the Ladies nearly tripled their opponents point-wise with 16 to the Red Devils’ six.

For this game, the Ladies’ 3-point shot average actually managed to outpace that of their 2-pointers at 34 percent to 27 percent respectively. With eight successful shots, this means more than half of the team’s score was through 3-pointers. In addition, Hardin showed a better free throw average at 53 percent.

Where the Ladies had gained more than 10 times more offensive rebounds than the Cowgirls, however, the Red Devils did catch one more offensive rebound than Hardin at 11 to 10 respectively.

“We just have to keep stressing and working on the little things,” Farmer said. “Blocking out, hitting our free throws and playing good defense.”

Fritzler and Good Luck managed to tie for top shooter against Glendive at 13 points each. Five, meanwhile, led in both rebounds and steals, with 10 of 22 and five of nine respectively.

Friday, the Ladies will play an away game against Laurel, rated No. 1 in the Eastern A, at 6 p.m. The following day, they will face Sidney in another away game at 4 p.m.