The Corvallis High School Girls’ Basketball team placed fourth at the Montana High School Association’s 2017 Class A State Tournament in the Butte Civic Center last week in their first trip to state competition.
“Our girls did well the whole tournament and proved we did belong there,” said Andy Knapp Corvallis Head Coach. “We are very proud of them and their fourth place finish.”
Initially, Corvallis lost to Belgrade, 60 to 53, which put them in the loser’s bracket. They beat Hamilton, 44 to 31, and Havre, 47 to 37, to play against Butte Central for the Consolation game.
“We had a good game with Hamilton, a valley rival. It was good to see them at the tournament,” Knapp said. “Havre was a dog-fight for most of that game. We did pull away in the fourth quarter.”
The Corvallis girls lost against Butte Central, 41 to 60, to place fourth in the tournament.
“By the time we got to Butte Central they were emotionally spent but still played really well,” Knapp said. “Butte Central came out and shot the ball really well. They shot 65 percent of the first half and we couldn’t keep up.”
Columbia Falls won the tournament. They beat Corvallis at the Southwest Divisional tournament, Feb. 25, for the first seed at state and they remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.
Three Corvallis girls were honored with All Conference awards.
Corinne Sanderson, a senior, was ranked fourth and All State and 1st Team All Conference. Sophomore Calla Haldorson was ranked sixth and 2nd Team All Conference. Senior Emme Warnken was ranked ninth and 2nd Team All Conference.
At the state tournament, the Hamilton High School Girls’ Basketball team lost to Hardin, 69 to 54, then to Corvallis, 44 to 31.
"Despite only winning three of our last seven games, our girls played their best basketball of the season during this stretch and won the one game that mattered most at last week's divisional,” said Hamilton coach Mark Albert. “Two of our losses came to Columbia Falls and Hardin, teams with a combined record of 44-2 before they played for the state title on Friday.”
Albert said he was especially proud of the Hamilton battle against Hardin in their opening game of the state tournament.
“We were down just six after three quarters but their press and 16 for 18 free throw performance in the fourth was tough to overcome,” he said. “I told the girls I'm not sure I have been any prouder of a team than I was that night. Unfortunately we didn't seem to have much left in the tank the next day against Corvallis but Coach Knapp and his girls seemed to be a team of destiny this season.”
Albert said he was happy to see Corvallis beat Havre the next day and advance to the consolation game.
“Those girls were incredibly deserving and did our valley and our conference proud,” Albert said.