Maidens topple Polson

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Ronan Maidens’ girls basketball coach Steve Woll and his coaching staff emphasized setting several goals for his team coming out of the first half break.

The Maidens, who are still in the process of transitioning from Class B to Class A, made several adjustments over the break and adjustments paid dividends, according to Woll.

Ronan won back-to-back conference games against Polson and Whitefish this week. The Maidens defeated Polson 56-36 and Whitefish 55-35 in their first contest coming out of the break.

Woll said winning crucial conference games and defeating their rival Friday night at Salish Kootenai College was a big step in building his team’s confidence. The Maidens not only won two consecutive conference games but also defeated their biggest rival Polson to help bolster his team’s confidence at the start of the second half of the season.

Woll said he felt his team improved its team continuity over the break and started to sync with each other on their offensive and defensive rotations.

Winning back-to-back conference games has made the Maidens confident and has put the Maidens right in the middle of the Western Class A conference race. Currently, the Maidens are in the middle of the pack behind Columbia Falls, Browning and Libby.

“This was a big week for us,” Woll said. “I think instead of thinking the girls are just going out there and having fun, now they can just react.”

Because of the Maidens’ lack of height, Woll knows his team is going to have to be consistent for a solid four quarters. They don’t have the height of Libby or Columbia Falls. They have to compensate for execution and efficiency, he said. “We have to push through every week and continue to work harder to get better.”

The Maidens began their game against rival Polson with a 7-0 lead. Ronan wasn’t able to keep up the pace and allowed the Lady Pirates back into the game. Polson was able to cut the Maidens’ lead 43-34 in the fourth quarter.

In the victory, the Maidens had three players that scored in double figures. Louetta Conko-Camel scored 13, Micalann McCrea scored 12 and Tiana Ulutoa scored 10 in the victory. The trio accounted for 35 of the team’s 56 total points.

In the game against Whitefish, McCrea and Conko-Camel scored 33 of the team’s 55 points.

McCrea eclipses career milestones

Micalann McCrea reached the 1,000-career point mark in the game against Whitefish. McCrea, who signed with Montana State University-Billings, also reached the 200-career steals mark.

Jaelynn Askan, a critical role player for the Maidens, also grabbed her 100th career rebound as one of her nine rebounds against Whitefish.

The Maidens will travel to Frenchtown Friday night and then they will host the Mission Lady Bulldogs Saturday night at the Ronan Events Center to play two non-conference games before they start another portion of conference play in the following weeks.

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