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  • POLSON GUARD Quinn Motichka goes up for a layup in the first round of the Western-A Divisional playoff game against Butte Central. The Lady Pirates finished their season after falling to the Class-A defending champions and Whitefish in the double-elimination format. (Photo provided by Bob Gunderson)

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    POLSON CENTER Mollie Fisher attempts a jump shot in the first round of the Western Class-A Divisional Tournament against the defending Class-A Champion Butte Central Lady Maroons. Fisher will be one of the key contributors Polson will lose because of graduation as they begin their preparations for the 2017-2018 after ending their season with losses to Butte Central and Whitefish in the double-elimination format. (Photo provided by Bob Gunderson)

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    POLSON LADY Pirate guard Rhiley Big Beaver attempts a jump shot against Butte Central in the first round of the Western Class-A Divisional against Butte Central. The Lady Pirates 2016-2017 campaign ended with losses to Butte Central and Whitefish in a double-elimination format. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

  • POLSON GUARD Quinn Motichka goes up for a layup in the first round of the Western-A Divisional playoff game against Butte Central. The Lady Pirates finished their season after falling to the Class-A defending champions and Whitefish in the double-elimination format. (Photo provided by Bob Gunderson)

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    POLSON CENTER Mollie Fisher attempts a jump shot in the first round of the Western Class-A Divisional Tournament against the defending Class-A Champion Butte Central Lady Maroons. Fisher will be one of the key contributors Polson will lose because of graduation as they begin their preparations for the 2017-2018 after ending their season with losses to Butte Central and Whitefish in the double-elimination format. (Photo provided by Bob Gunderson)

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    POLSON LADY Pirate guard Rhiley Big Beaver attempts a jump shot against Butte Central in the first round of the Western Class-A Divisional against Butte Central. The Lady Pirates 2016-2017 campaign ended with losses to Butte Central and Whitefish in a double-elimination format. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

The Lady Pirates then had a more favorable match up with a team they had defeated twice in the regular season with Whitefish in the loser’s bracket. However, Polson was unable to come away with the victory as they lost 26-28. That eliminated them from the double-elimination format and ended their season.

“Whitefish had a tall post player and they were just confident they could come in, upset us, and get a win,” Quinn said. “To me, it felt like they were there to win the game and we were nervous just trying not to lose the game.”

The Lady Pirates trailed 9-1 in the opening sequence and Quinn said his team was able to fight back despite trailing by such a large margin.

“I think that ended up showing up at the end of the game and we fought back,” Quinn said. “We tried pressing a little. We just didn’t play well as a team I didn’t think in the game against Whitefish.”

Despite the early struggles against Whitefish, Quinn said he felt his team battled back well but a blown defensive assignment hurt the Lady Pirates chances.

“We battled back and the girls played hard and fought to get the lead back,” Quinn said. “Once we got the lead, we missed a defensive assignment and that led to the tie game. Whitefish really got off to a good start. We just couldn’t get a basket. We had some unforced turnovers and missed free throw opportunities. We played with a lot of nerves.”

Quinn said he felt Whitefish came out and executed a strong game plan against the Lady Pirates.

“You really have to give them credit because they played extremely hard and they didn’t want to lose a game,” Quinn said. “They wanted to finish their season with a victory. They went out, played hard and didn’t turn the basketball over nearly as much as they did in previous games. I think that is what led to their victory.”

The Lady Pirates will be losing some key contributors and seniors because of graduation including Lauren Lefthand, Mollie Fisher, and Mikayla Croft.

“Next year, we will have good senior leadership from Quinn Motichka and Kaelyn Smith,” Quinn said. “Those will be our two big seniors next year. With all of our sophomores that played varsity, no one else had varsity playing experience. We are still pretty inexperienced when you look at it that way.”

Quinn said in order for his Lady Pirates to improve in the future, the work starts in the off season.

“Hopefully, we can get into the gym and continue to play basketball throughout the off season,” Quinn said. “We can work on some of the fundamentals of shooting the ball, catching the ball, passing the ball, and dribbling the ball.”

Quinn credited his sophomores for working hard in the gym despite not having any previous experience playing varsity.

“Those sophomores hadn’t played any varsity games and were getting just a few minutes on JV last year as freshman,” Quinn said. “That will be nice to have a little more experience on our team next year. They worked extremely hard as freshman. They will get in the gym to continue to build from this point until we start playing next season. You can’t just put the basketball away and expect to pick up right where you left off. In the off season is where you gain a lot of your basketball skills.”

In the off season, Quinn said he would like to put an emphasis on some of the fundamentals.

“Dribbling, passing, catching and working on our man-to-man defense (will be emphasized),” Quinn said. “I think we need to work a lot on just playing solid man defense. I do like the 1-3-1 zone and we need a lot of emphasis on taking care of the basketball.”

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