By Amanda Eggert EBS Senior Editor
BIG SKY – The Lady Big Horns avenged their Dec. 20 overtime loss to Shields Valley by defeating the Rebels 68-66 in a thrilling Jan. 27 home game.
The two teams, both boasting a 5-1 conference record heading into the game, stayed in close contention through much of the first half. The Rebels ran a tough 1-2-2 press and guarded Big Horn leading scorer Luisa Locker doggedly.
“They lack in height, just like we do, but they make it up with hustling plays and aggressiveness,” said Lone Peak head coach Nubia Allen of Shields Valley, one of the district’s toughest teams.
Five minutes into the second quarter, the teams were tied at 19 when Locker, a senior point guard, sank a 3-pointer.
Sophomore guard Kodi Boersma followed it with a 3-pointer of her own to establish a six-point lead. Lone Peak widened it further with a pair of successful free throws by Jenna McKillop, a senior post who played an outstanding game.
But the Rebels rallied hard in the third quarter, and the two teams were tied at 40 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Big Horns were down by three points with 10 seconds left on the clock when senior guard Dasha Bough sank a 3-pointer to tie the game.
In overtime, Lone Peak was down again when Luisa Locker sank her second 3-pointer of the night to tie the game once more. With seven seconds remaining, Allen was readying for a second overtime when the Rebels fouled McKillop. Lone Peak was in double-bonus, so McKillop was given two free-throw attempts.
She made both of them, sealing the Big Horns’ win—and their No. 1 district ranking. Members of Lone Peak’s boys’ team and fans rushed the court to celebrate the outcome.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls for pulling off this win,” Allen said. “It was a tough one—they had to battle the whole game.”
The Lady Big Horns followed that win with two more: a 56-9 road game against Gardiner on Jan. 28 and a 39-30 victory over Manhattan Christian on Jan. 31.
Lone Peak will play two home games in a row starting with a Friday, Feb. 3 game against Twin Bridges, and followed by a matchup against White Sulphur Springs on Saturday. On Friday, Feb. 10 they’ll play rival West Yellowstone at home, which will be their last regular season game. All games start at 7 p.m.