LPHS girls ‘very strong,’ boys competitive for first half in losses to Manhattan Christian
By Jack Reaney STAFF WRITER
The Lone Peak High School girls fell in a close loss to the Manhattan Christian High School Eagles on Thursday night, 50-42.
Head coach Loren Bough described the game in a voicemail to EBS as a “very strong performance” against an Eagles squad ranked No. 4 in Montana Class C. The loss followed a dominant, 65-23 victory against Shields Valley on Jan. 19 and a 56-16 rout of Sheridan High School the following night.
Bough said the girls continued their aggressive, fast-paced style against the Eagles and “won the first half decisively” behind eight three-pointers and strong defense.
Unfortunately, the Big Horns eased up in the second half and the Eagles took advantage.
“We just got back on our feet a little bit, had trouble scoring, weren’t as aggressive on offense and ended up losing a close one,” Bough said.
“Very proud of the girls and the way they played, we just need to extend our energy and effort from [the first half] into the [second half]. And I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Friday’s games vs. Gardiner High School were postponed to Wednesday, Feb. 1 due to heavy snow, and will be played at 5:30 p.m. (boys) and 7 p.m. (girls) in Big Sky.
Boys look to build depth in three straight contests
Head coach Al Malinowski spoke on the phone with EBS about the Big Horns’ 74-35 loss to the No. 3-ranked Eagles.
“We played as well against them as anyone has in several years, in the first half,” Malinowski said. The Big Horns trailed 34-21 at halftime, and the game remained within reach for a few minutes into the third quarter before the Eagles ran away with a lead.
The Big Horns struggled in transition—typically a team strength—and Malinowski recognizes that the Big Horns need to continue building depth, allowing them to finish complete efforts against strong teams like Manhattan Christian.
Malinowski said the Eagles’ depth allowed them to substitute players and maintain consistent defensive pressure, including a full-court press at times. He added that they were quick in transition and took advantage of opportunities.
“You don’t play in a vacuum,” Malinowski said, putting the Big Horns loss in perspective given the Eagles’ state rank. “You gotta give credit to an opponent when it’s due.
“Every game we’ve played we’ve had periods of time where we’re successful against our opponent,” Malinowski said. The Big Horns will need to play complete games to give them a shot in the district tournament, which begins Feb. 15.
After Gardiner on Wednesday, they’ll play two more consecutive games this week, including a home game against Lima High School at 4 p.m. on Thursday and a road matchup on Friday evening at Broadwater High School in Townsend.
Malinowski hopes the back-to-back-to-back action will test the Big Horns, giving them a taste of tournament play in which they might have less than a day to prepare for opponents in an elimination format.
Romney and co. continue to reach LPHS milestones
Senior captain Max Romney continued to climb the all-time LPHS scoring ranks on Thursday, as he reached 570 career points, good for sixth all-time passing Haven Morris’s record of 568 points.
With 161 rebounds this season, Romney has already set the single season rebound record, which has been a strength throughout his high school career, according to Malinowski.
In addition, sophomore Isaac Bedway, freshman Ebe Grabow and junior Juliusz Shipman all broke the 100-point mark on Jan. 20 against Sheridan High School. They became the 30th, 31st and 32nd members of the Big Horn boys’ 100-point club.