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Hamilton's Lauren Ryter

Hamilton's Lauren Ryter (24) takes a shot in the key over a Missoula Big Sky defender Saturday. The Class A Broncs won on their home court in Hamilton against Class AA Missoula Big Sky, 60-44. At the same time in Missoula, the Hamilton boys bested the Eagles, 76-40

The Hamilton girls were victorious in their first outing Saturday topping Missoula Big Sky, 60-44. The Class A Broncs got out to a 23-8 lead in the first quarter against their Class AA opponent and never looked back in the season opener for both teams.

"...I'm really proud of our maturity," Hamilton coach Mark Albert said. "(Big Sky) cut it to six at one point and we ended up winning by 16.

"...It was solid, Abby Johnson had a really solid game, she was really composed, and sophomore Katelyn Dickemore had her first start — she played freshman ball last year — and she ended up with 15 (points) and had some big hoops."

Senior post Lauren Ryter had a big first quarter, too, scoring seven points, but she left midway through the game with a shoulder injury. Fortunately, coach Albert expects her back sometime this season.

"She was on a tear, we were going to her and they couldn't stop her," Albert said. "...We hope she can be back for Tuesday's game against Corvallis, but I'm sitting her out this weekend (at the Western A Tip-Off Tournament) for sure."

Hamilton takes on Whitefish at 11 a.m. Friday at the Tip-Off tournament, held at the University of Montana in Missoula. The Broncs play Polson Saturday at 5 p.m., then they travel just down the road to Corvallis for the Bitterroot rivalry game Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. It's a matchup that could be very telling about the top dog in the Southwest A.

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"I think Corvallis is the favorite with what they have returning," Albert said. "They have four returning starters. Of course the have (6-foot-3 post Isabel Evans) in the middle and good guard play, but I think we might be able to challenge them.

"It'll be fun to watch."

Kyle Hansen covers Griz men's basketball and more for the Missoulian and 406mtsports.com. Email him at kyle.hansen@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @khansen406

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