Kolya Bough looks for an opening in the Big Horns’ Dec. 5 game against the Roberts Rockets. “We’ve got a real young freshman point guard that does a real good job of handling and distributing the ball,” said Big Horns head coach Al Malinowski. PHOTOS BY LOREN BOUGH

Kolya Bough looks for an opening in the Big Horns’ Dec. 5 game against the Roberts Rockets. “We’ve got a real young freshman point guard that does a real good job of handling and distributing the ball,” said Big Horns head coach Al Malinowski. PHOTOS BY LOREN BOUGH

LPHS boys handle Sheridan, lose to Roberts

By Amanda Eggert

EBS Staff Writer

SHERIDAN/ROBERTS, Mont. – Junior guard Eddie Starz scored 34 points on Dec. 4 in the Big Horns’ first basketball game of the season, breaking his own 28-point school record during a 66-28 road win over the Sheridan Panthers.

Two LPHS players added double-doubles in the Big Horns’ decisive win. Senior Chris Tompkins, new to the regular starting lineup, logged 15 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Jackson Wade netted 10 points and snagged 12 rebounds in his first high school basketball game.

Big Horns Head Coach Al Malinowski said the team’s dynamics are still falling into place – especially with only three returning players – but he’s pleased with what he’s seen so far.

“We don’t have a lot of game experience, but we have a lot of athleticism, a decent amount of skill, and a lot of work ethic,” Malinowski said.

On Dec. 5, the Big Horns launched a strong fourth quarter comeback but ultimately couldn’t close the gap to catch the Roberts Rockets, a bigger team with a deeper bench.

After scoring six points or fewer in each of the three preceding quarters, the Big Horns found the mark with their shots, scoring 24 points in the fourth quarter. LPHS closed the deficit to five points but ultimately lost to the Rockets 49-40.

“[Roberts] clearly had more game experience … I think experience was the difference in that game, especially early on,” Malinwoski said. “We made a pretty nice comeback, but we had dug a pretty big hole to come back out of.”

Malinowski is hoping to add two players to his lineup in coming weeks, bringing the roster to a total of nine.

Once he’s participated in enough practices, eighth-grader Frankie Starz will don a Big Horns jersey to play with the high school team.

Senior Hugo Boman is still dealing with a wrist injury he suffered during football season, but will be back on the practice court over the holiday break, pending a successful recovery.

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Sophomore Carter Johnson directs the offense from point guard in the Lady Big Horns’ 47-23 win over the Panthers on Dec.4.

LPHS girls win two games on the road

By Amanda Eggert

EBS Staff Writer

SHERIDAN/ROBERTS, Mont. – With two wins under their belt and seven returners on their 15-player hoops team, the Lady Big Horns are shaping up to be serious contenders this season.

LPHS established a sizable lead early on in their Dec. 4 victory at Sheridan, leading 26-9 at the half. “We were able to score a lot of points right from the get-go and get some experience for the new girls,” said Head Coach Nubia Allen.

With just five girls on their team, Sheridan got into foul trouble in the third quarter when one Panther fouled out, followed by another in the fourth.

“Almost the full fourth quarter was three-on-three basketball,” Allen said. “That was the first one for me. I’ve been playing since I was 9 years old and I’ve never seen that happen.”

Juniors Dasha Bough and Luisa Locker led the team with 10 points each in the Big Horns’ 47-23 victory over the Panthers.

On Dec. 5, the Lady Big Horns managed a 46-39 win in Roberts, relying on strong defense to shore up some offensive weaknesses. “We were a little bit sloppy [on offense], but we were able to come out with a win,” Allen said.

Locker and junior Bianca Godoy had particularly strong showings.

“[Locker] was able to create a lot for us, get teammates open, and she’s also a very good defender,” Allen said of her point guard.

Godoy contributed seven points and aggressively defended the strongest player on the opposing team, a 5-foot-11-inch post player who netted more than half of the Rockets’ points.

Godoy is the Lady Big Horns’ smallest post player but the team’s best defender, Allen said. “She’s 5-foot-5 but she plays like she’s 6 feet tall.”

The seven returning girls played together in four tournaments this summer and there are no seniors on the LPHS squad this year. “We have a situation where our juniors have to be seniors and our sophomores have to be juniors,” Allen said.

The Lady Big Horns are still dialing in their team chemistry and learning one another’s strengths and weaknesses, according to Allen, but she has high expectations for the team and its potential for tournament success.

“If they keep improving the way they have so far, we’ll be in the top four in the district and make it to divisionals and then state,” Allen said.