LHS girls improving

Outlook staff writer
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boehler.  Paige O’Toole goes for the jump ball in Laurel’s game against Hardin last week. O’Toole had 12 points in the game.

Within a month of Divisional Tournament play the Lady Locomotives don’t have much time left to bring their young team together to make a statement at the end of the year, but they still have a chance.
The girls will be good for years to come, with a young core squad, including sophomore Aspen Cotter and others who will provide the team with leadership and more in the upcoming season. However, for LHS seniors Dakota Boehler and Rylee Clark, this is it.
Boehler believes her team can do it.
“We are just playing better,” she said. “Hopefully we can go on a winning streak and lead ourselves into the District Tournaments with some confidence. The end of the season matters the most.”
Boehler is right, nothing matters until the end. The girls have been playing better as of late and have put in the work in practice to make this a season to remember. Both Clark and Boehler have been outstanding as of late.
It started with Hardin last Thursday.
The girls played well during the second half, but it wasn’t enough.
“We dug ourselves a big hole,” said LHS coach Amber Griffith. “It’s tough to beat a good team when you spot them a 20-point lead. Our younger girls did a good job of going in the second half and providing us a spark.”
LHS sharpshooter Clark lead her team with 12, but the first half was just too hard to crawl back from.
LHS entered the third quarter down by 17 points to Hardin, before putting together a valiant comeback in the second half that didn’t quite pan out.
The girls outscored Hardin in both second-half quarters and got close, but still lost 67-56.

Hardin 67 def. Laurel 67-56
Laurel 11 11 17 17 — 56 
Hardin 16 23 12 16 — 67 
Laurel: R. Clark 14, A. Kotter 8, L. Schwab 2, P. O’Toole 12, M. Robertus 2, K. Dawes 6, R. Chapman 5, E. Kildahl 7. 
Hardin: Madison Chavez 16, Sharmayne Hardy 4, Trahnea Phelan 5, Karissa DuShane 25, Nechia House 4, Mashaya Alden 3, Marie Five 4, Arena Plenty 6. 

The Locomotives came out in their next game with the energy they carried over from their tough loss with Hardin two days previous.
Rylee Clark led all scorers in another amazing game with 15, making five 3-pointers for the game. Over the last few games Clark has been finding her sweet spot and getting hot from all over the court showing the team needs her. Youngster Aspen Cotter also had 11.
Both were instrumental in the early lead the girls built for themselves. They led 15-9 after the first quarter and led by four going into the final period. They had the win.
Billings Skyview hasn’t had a great season themselves, and Laurel needed to get a win to start a run, but something happened, they lost.
What happened?
“We struggled finishing layups and free-throws and that cost us the game,” said LHS head coach Amber Griffith. “We also got out rebounded.”
In the final 10 seconds of the game Falcon Hannah Stubson was fouled. She made one free throw, but missed the second with 7.5 seconds left. Laurel was left with a chance to win the game, but not quite enough time. They missed the shot and just like that they lost the game by one.
It was heartbreaking, but the girls know they could have won both of their last games. They are talented enough to make a run, they just have to do it.
Griffith, like the rest of her girls is still hopeful for the future.
“We have a few things, both offensively and defensively that we need to get better at so we can string together some solid basketball games. I’m looking forward to seeing how our girls respond.”
The team fell to 4-7 on the season.
They have another opportunity in their conference matchup tonight to make a run when they travel to play Miles City, away at 7:30 p.m.

Billings Skyview 42 def. Laurel 41-42
Laurel 15 7 11 8 — 1 
Skyview 9 10 10 13 — 2 
Laurel: Rylee Clark 15, Aspen Cotter 11, Paige O’Toole 1, Dakota Boehler 3, Riley Chapman 1, Ellie Kildahl 5, Sammi Spitzer 5.
Skyview: Sophie Stott 5, Hannah Stubson 8, Kenzie Ketchum 4, Aiyana Ereaux 2, Ashley Pomroy 6, Briana Guse 2, Jacey Reiter 16.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961


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