Cowgirls play well in non-conference split


The Custer County District High School Cowgirl basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak on Saturday night at home against Class B St. Labre. That came after a tough 49-40 loss at Class AA Billings West on Friday night.

“We actually put together a good weekend,” Cowgirls Head Coach Jacqui Engstrom said. “We have minutes where we do great things and then minutes where we have lapses. If we put together 32 solid minutes, we’re going to be alright.”

The Cowgirls now sit at 3-5 overall on the season and remain 2-2 in the Eastern A. They will return to Eastern A action this weekend. They host Hardin on Friday night and will travel to Sidney on Saturday.

On Friday night in Billings, the Cowgirls fell behind 18-9 after the first quarter to West (6-2). They clawed their way back into the game in the second quarter, cutting the West lead to 25-22 at the break.

Midway through the third quarter, the Cowgirls cut the lead to two, 29-27, but traled 38-31 after the third quarter.

West ran out to a 13-point lead late in the fourth quarter before the Cowgirls made a late run that ended the game at 49-40. 

“We did a great job at West,” Engstrom said. “I thought we could have come away with that ball game.”

Ashlie Larson and Tori Swope led the Cowgirls with nine and eight points, respectively, in the loss at Billings. 

On Saturday night, the Cowgirls hosted a dangerous St. Labre team, led by all-state sophomore Shiloh McCormick.

McCormick had a big game for the Lady Braves, but the Cowgirls had a great defensive night that led them to the 73-59 win.

“We needed a win,” Engstrom said. “We had a few tough games, and our schedule isn’t going to get easier, but we needed a win to get back rolling.”

The Cowgirls looked like they would take control of the game in the first quarter, leading 15-11 with 2:27 to play. But the Lady Braves scored the final 11 points of the quarter and the first two of the second quarter to build a 24-15 lead.

But then the Cowgirls started chipping away at the lead. Shaylee Singleton scored three points and Amy Blaquiere hit a basket to cut the score to 24-20.

After a St. Labre basket, Ashlie Larson hit consecutive shots and Tori Swope tied the score at 26 with 3:23 to play. 

Kadie Heinle hit a pair of free throws to give the lead back to the Cowgirls and two free throws from Larson gave them a 34-29 lead with 11 seconds to play.

But McCormick drilled a very long three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 34-32 going into halftime.

Singleton, the Cowgirls leading scorer on the season, hit a shot early in the third quarter, but picked up her fourth foul of the game at the 7:15 mark of the third.

The teams traded the lead through most of the third quarter.

With just over three minutes to play in the period, Blaquiere hit a shot, was fouled and hit the free throw to give the Cowgirls a 42-41 lead that they would not relinquish.

The Cowgirls ended the third quarter on a 12-0 run, including 8-11 from the free throw line.

In the fourth, Larson essentially put the game away early with back-to-back three-pointers that gave the Cowgirls a 13 point lead. Larson finished with 11 points in the fourth quarter.

The Cowgirls held St. Labre to 23 percent shooting from the field, forced 19 turnovers and held a 66-51 edge in rebounds.

Larson had a career high 26 points to lead the Cowgirls. Blaquiere came off the bench to score a career high 12 points. Beth Sutter and Tori Swope each just missed on double-doubles. Both had nine points, with Sutter finishing with 15 boards and Swope had 10 rebounds and six steals. Singleton scored eight points in less than eight minutes of playing time due to foul trouble.

McCormick had 34 to lead St. Labre.

Billings West 49, Miles City 40

MC 9 13 9 9 - 40

BW 18 7 13 11 - 49 Miles City (2-5, 2-2)- Tori Swope 8, Beth Sutter 4, Ashlie Larson 9, Shaylee Singleton 5, Jaylen Henderson 3, Jenna Swope 4, Kadie Heinle 6, Amy Blaquiere 1.

Billings West (6-2)- Delaney Clement 9, Paige Vinger 11, Steph Boehm 10, Jessi Zuroff 2, Mackenzie Shellnutt 4, Cody Rogers 2, Mika Robinson 9, Erin Schreibeis 2.

Miles City 73, St. Labre 59

StL 22 10 9 18 - 59

MC 15 19 16 23 - 73

Miles City (3-5, 2-2)- Tori Swope 9, Shaylee Singleton 8, Beth Sutter 9, Ashlie Larson 26, Kadie Heinle 6, Makena Ellingson 3, Amy Blaquiere 12.

St. Labre- Trelyn Two Two 4, Tamia Two Moons 2, Shiloh McCormick 34, Shanaya Spang 3, Tiffany Tallwhiteman 2, Kurri Harris 4, Aubrey Tyon 10.