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Big Horn basketball teams win close openers




In their opening games on the road Dec. 1 in Roberts, Montana, at the Hybrid Tip-Off Jamboree, the Lone Peak Big Horns boys and girls basketball teams took on Harrison/Willow Creek. Both games were nail-biters, where late clutch plays helped the Big Horns escape with narrow victories.

Junior captain Frankie Starz knocked down two free throws in the final seconds to put a hotly contested game in the win column for the Big Horns, 46-45.

“Saturday’s game was good, hard-fought win. Although we didn’t play offensively as we had hoped to, we made up for it in rebounding and defense,” said head coach Brian Van Eps. “We need to clean up our turnovers and make every possession matter. We’ve got to find a way to make teams play at our pace, and our emphasis in practice will be playing with more confidence.”

For the Lady Big Horns, 6-foot-2-inch senior Brooke Botha rejected a game-tying, three-point shot in the last seconds of the fourth quarter, a crucial block that secured a win in their first contest of the season.

“We have a lot of work to do before our first conference game, but I’m happy with how far we’ve come so far,” said head coach Ausha Cole. “Between now and our game against White Sulfur, we will be working hard on our toughness, discipline and taking care of the ball.”

Frankie Starz poured in 18 points in the season opener, with Keegan Babick and point guard Kolya Bough adding 14 and 8 points, respectively.

Senior captain Solae Swenson led the way for the Big Horns scoring 15 points. Brooke Botha was also productive offensively with 12 points, and junior captain Emma Flach rounded out those performances with 6 points and strong defensive play.

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